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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2012
After reading "The Black Stiletto" I fervently wished that author Raymond Benson would write another book about Judy Cooper, a.k.a "The Black Stiletto". And he has and it doesn't disappoint. "Black and White" picks up where the first book left off - at the New Year, 1959. Our heroine continues to chronicle her life as a female crime fighter in Manhattan through her diaries left to her son Martin, who did not know about his mother's (in)famous identity. The Stiletto expands her crime-fighting to include battles with Harlem drug dealers and dirty cops. It is interesting to note that this character is a fan of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. King is predominate in the way Judy views the world around her. She questions society and it's treatment of Blacks and Asians during the late 1950s. Judy herself is a study in the feminist movement that would not occur until years later. The book becomes a lens into the mindset of society and the stereotypical roles of men and women of that generation. Meanwhile, the Black Stiletto faces losses and victories, both shocking and unexpected. A new character is added to the story who gives a more detailed glimpse and added depth to her son, Martin, who is really the story teller in these books. Martin's daughter Gina is also a important character as the story of Judy Cooper continues to unfold.

Super heroes have never been more fun to read about and I can only hope that Raymond Benson's Black Stiletto will be visiting again to let us hear more of her sometimes sad, sometimes heartbreaking but always thrilling, life. Highly recommend that you read "The Black Stiletto - Black & White". You will not be disappointed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2012
It is difficult to write a sequel that is better than the first book. Having read THE BLACK STILETTO and waiting impatiently for the second book in the series THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK AND WHITE to arrive, this one is the exception to that rule.

Judy Cooper is still in New York, still The Stiletto, and still fighting crime. The passing time has given her a more adult perspective on life in general and her own in particular. She still firmly believes one person can make a difference, and she does her best.

This time, The Stiletto investigates a drug ring, dodges Mafia killers, manages to avoid capture by the FBI, and tackles the issue of race relations in America back in 1959. It was a *very* different time back then, but the author manages to convey it honestly and sensitively. It's just the way things were at that time, so accept it and keep reading! Now, today, her son is still coping with the revelation his mother was The Black Stiletto, and dealing with an extortion attempt regarding proof positive of The Stiletto's real identity.

Add in a classic mystery (is the bad guy really bad? Is the good guy really good? Who is lying to The Stiletto, who's telling her the truth?) and a genuine heart-felt love affair you just know is doomed from the first kiss, and you cannot ask for a better evening's entertainment!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
In the present fortyish Martin Talbot finds an 8mm film dated 1959 inside a strongbox given to him by his "Uncle" Thomas that belongs to his Alzheimer's ill septuagenarian mother Judy, a resident of the Woodlands Nursing Home in Riverwoods, Illinois. However, Martin learns of a second copy when the apparent filmmaker's son demands payments or else he will go to the Feds as the FBI wanted the Black Stiletto. At about the same time he deals with blackmail, in New York City Martin's daughter Gina is viciously attacked.

In 1959 Judy Cooper as the Black Stiletto challenges the deadly heroin king of Harlem when her martial arts instructor Soichiro's teenage daughter Isuzu becomes a prisoner in a narcotics den. She invades the place to mount a rescue while planning to bring justice to the owner Carl Purdy. At the same time a filmmaker threatens to reveal her alter-ego to the media unless she pays him.

This exciting thriller moves back and forth between five decades as in the present Martin watches the film and reads his mom's dairy, and deals with the blackmailer and his daughter's assault; while in 1959 Judy battles drug dealers and a sleazy filmmaker. The story line is over the top of the old Yankee Stadium but is exciting fun to read as a young female heroine kicks butt.

Harriet Klausner
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2012
Judy Cooper's world is divided into daytime and the night. She may be a vigilante fighting against evil and for justice, but nothing in her life is really that Black and White. Raymond Benson's second installment of the Black Stiletto series tells the story of a single young woman in 1959 New York City through the narrative of her diary's recently found in the current day by her son and only child. He remembers his mother as a caring, vital woman now in care for Alzheimer's. Who knew that she was the famous, legendary Black Stiletto?

And that question is just one of the many that Martin Talbot must now struggle with as he comes to grip with his mother's secret life. While we learn more about Judy's dark crime fighting adventures, and her very dangerous love affair, Martin spends his day seeking employment and worrying about his daughter Gina who has left Chicago to enroll in NYC's Juilliard. Martin himself is drawn back to NYC when Gina is brutally attacked leaving campus. His visit allows him to deal directly with an extortion threat involving a black and white film exposing the true identity of the Black Stiletto. Similar to the very dilemmas his mother faced in the late 1950s, who can Martin really trust?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2012
While reading the first book in the series this one became available to pre-order and I did with out hesitation. It did not dissappoint, from the beginning it took off and was the type of read where I had to force myself to quit and go to bed. I'm the type of person that usually has a couple of books going at a time. An audio copy in the car for my 35 mile drive to and from work and one at home. I was finding myself wishing I could get home and get started back on reading and even went to be "early" a couple of nights just so I had more time to read. It is just that kind of story where you keep wanting to find out what will happen next!.

I can't wait for more books in this series and defenitly want to read other works by this author. I like his style and thought process, and even when I think I have it figured out what will happen next I find a twist I didn't see comming.

Great Job!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2012
This was a great read. Judy is back and better than ever. The story was good, but some parts were a little predictable. What I truly like about this series is how independent, tough, and strong willed, Judy's character is, without being too over the top.

I know the Black Stiletto (character) is supposed to be around for a short time, starting in 1958 to the early 60's, but I hope Raymond Benson has a lot more of Judy's diaries waiting to be read, ha ha!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2012
Book two in the Black Stiletto Series. At least, I hope it becomes a series. This is a phenomenal novel. Like the first, it is told through the diaries of the main protagonist, the Black Stiletto. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Expecting to read the book in a week, I found myself unable to put the book down, completing it in only two sittings.

I really hope there's more Stiletto coming down the road. If you like action thrillers or superhero novels, I highly recommend this book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2012
I read this book faster than I did the first one. I couldn't put it down. Where is the next one??
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2012
The Black Stiletto, Black and White was even more engrossing than the introductory book to the series, which is how it should be when a series works well. It is an enjoyable and exciting read, and a literary accomplishment.

The author switches smoothly between voices, points-of-view, and time periods, drawing extensively from dramatic epistolary material (the Stiletto's diaries) as the central vehicle. She is a formidable heroine an open-minded voice of her time, and yet full of youthful innocence. Throughout these two books, along with enjoying the story, I've seen the characters drawing together, as if the gap of decades is collapsing and their connections to the adventures bring them closer and closer to living the same moment. This is a sample of experienced storytelling and literary craftsmanship.

We, as readers, are living through a strange and often sad period of publishing. Great stories are not being printed due to economics and increasing timidity. Publishers under stress are heaving the burden of promotion onto the shoulders of writers (who are writers and not sales people). It's up to readers to tell each other what's good.

I recommend this series and I hope the conservative nature of publishing won't be a force that keeps too many good books from getting to us. I'm hoping Mr. Benson would like to continue the story. I've written this review to help pass the word. More Stiletto would be great.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2012
First time reading series. Only regret did not read earlier book first. Kept me reading from beginning to end. Liked authors giving 3 main characters their own chapters as story progressed. Have definitely added author to my reading list.
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