December 12, 2016

An Ex-acquaintance Reappears Bringing Danger

If you enjoy a novelist’s series, sadness creeps over you when you know you are reading the last novel in the series. Of Blood and Sorrow is the eighth and last novel in Valerie Wilson Wesley’s Tamara Hayle series. She has written several children and romance novels, but as far as I can determine, she hasn’t written anymore Tamara Hayle novels.

Lilah Love, the young woman Tamara met in Jamaica while on vacation several years ago, enters her life again. She almost got Tamara killed when Tamara was vacationing in Jamaica. An older Lilah, just like in Jamaica, brings trouble trailing behind her. She demands that Tamara bring her baby to her. She threatens to harm her son Jamal if Tamara doesn’t get Baby Dal from Lilah’s sister Thelma Lee. She gave the baby to Thelma Lee when she was in trouble and now Thelma Lee refuses to give it back. Tamara wants nothing to do with Lilah because “Death had clung to Lilah Love like fleas to an alley car down in Jamaica, and I didn’t want to bring those bad vibes into my life.” After Lilah leaves, she throws the address of the sister in the wastebasket.

To complicate matters further, Treyman Barnes, an alleged reformed gangster, hires Tamara to find Baby Dal and bring her to him. Troy, his son, is the baby’s father. Lilah married him before he was sent to Iraq and divorced him soon shortly afterwards. Tamara takes the job and tells Treyman that Lilah has also asked her to get the baby back. She doesn’t tell him that Lilah’s sister has the baby. She thinks it’ll be the easiest fee she ever earned. The ensuing event will prove her wrong.

Later, Thelma Lee calls Tamar, explains she knows Lilah is doing business with her but doesn’t explain how she knows. She’s frightened because some people, she says, have been following her. Tamara can come get the baby because Thelma Lee is tired of the drama around Baby Dal. She and the baby are living with their Aunt Edna Sweets. 

Tamara runs into a problem when she visits the home. Thelma Lee and the baby aren’t there, and the aunt’s boyfriend, Jimson Weed Carter, a Vietnam veteran, displays a hostile attitude toward Tamara. 

Her second problem when she returns home is the police are looking for Jamal. Lilah Love was killed, and they found an item in her car that belonged to him. If the killer suspects he saw what happened, he or she might be looking for Jamal. From a friend in the Belvington Heights Police Department, where Tamara used to work, she learns Lilah died from a blow with a fist to her throat that crushed her larynx.

Tamara suspects Lilah’s boyfriend Turk might be the killer until he is found in a motel room with his throat cut. She also suspects Treyman until he also is found with his throat cut. For Tamara, the only suspects left are Troy Barnes, a veteran of the Iraq war suffering from PTSD, and his mother Nellie Barnes, who suffers from one of those mysterious literary diseases.

Of the eight novels, I liked Of Blood and Sorrow the best. It has a real surprise twist for which Wesley deftly prepares the reader.

This is my last post. These days I struggle to find words to describe my impressions of the novels I read. While my reading vocabulary is intact, my writing vocabulary seems to have diminished. The words don’t come as easily as they did when I was younger. I’m sure, dear readers, you are aware that my reviews in the past year have been bland. I simply no longer have the energy to do the reading, evaluation, and writing. 

Another reason for giving up the blog is that, after reading Google’s message on Sunday, 20, 2016, about cookies and the European Union, I didn’t feel up to taxing my brain with yet another problem of learning how the Internet works. Maintaining the blog has gotten too technical and my aging brain is resisting the effort to keep up.

It’s been fun. Thanks for reading my blog.