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Easier to Kill (Tamara Hayle Mystery) Hardcover – August 24, 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
Book 5 of 8 in the Tamara Hayle Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Valerie Wilson Wesley's Easier to Kill, the fifth novel in her increasingly popular Tamara Hayle series, continues to provide new twists to the classic gumshoe first-person narrative. Hayle is a Newark, New Jersey, PI, and also a struggling, young, African American single parent of a teenage boy, Jamal. In this outing, Hayle is summoned by Mandy Magic to take a case that could lead to a substantial contribution to Jamal's college fund. Magic (formerly Starmanda Jackson) has the most popular radio talk show in Essex County and a lifestyle that a struggling PI could only envy. But as Hayle probes the fears of her new client, she begins to see that this talk show host's world is hardly wine and roses. Magic's second "cousin" and stylist, Tyrone Mason, has just been murdered, and now Magic is particularly unnerved by a mysterious note reading simply "Movin' On Up." As Hayle digs deeper, she suspects that these and other events are hinged to Magic's misspent youth and her relationship to such characters as Rufus Greene, a former pimp. Unfortunately, Magic and her adopted daughter, Taniqua, are unwilling to cooperate in their own PI's investigation. What drives the mystery for Hayle (and the reader), then, is a profound curiosity about Mandy Magic's apparently sordid past. What is she hiding, and why would she hire a private detective if she didn't want her secrets revealed?

Wesley, a contributing editor to Essence magazine, has filled a major niche in the world of mystery fiction with her Hayle novels. Rendered with a down-to-earth realism and gritty charm reminiscent of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, Easier to Kill is a funky slice of life twisted around a mystery with a shockingly disturbing denouement. Other books in the Tamara Hayle series include When Death Comes Stealing, Devil's Gonna Get Him, Where Evil Sleeps, and No Hiding Place. --Patrick O'Kelley

From Publishers Weekly

Wesley again fashions an engrossing plot driven by the problems and multilayered culture of Newark, N.J.'s African American community (No Hiding Place, 1997). Tamara Hayle, former cop and now a PI, is hired by Mandy Magic, a popular black talk-radio hostess, to find out who has vandalized her office and sent her threatening notes. Tamara, operating on her instincts as usual, senses immediately that Mandy is fearful out of proportion to the problem. The murders of Mandy's hairstylist, Tyrone Mason, who was also her cousin, and of her closest friend, Pauline Reese, convince Tamara that the answer lies in a secret past that Mandy refuses to discuss. Drawing the truth out of her client is as difficult professionally and personally for Tamara as discovering who is threatening the woman. Tamara persists, finally figuring it out in an emotionally charged climax. Wesley tends to write long, meandering dialogue, but she's a standout in her ability to weave important social issues into her story, considering in this tale the rise of a black professional class from the old Newark housing projects, the desperation of teenage mothers, the bond of fathers and daughters. Literary Guild and Mystery Guild alternate selections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tamara Hayle Mystery (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 193 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (August 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399144455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399144455
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,024,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Who did it, how come, what for? I don't know, but Private Investigator Tamara Hayle can definitely find out for you. Tamara Hayle is a P.I. in the novel, Easier to Kill , by Valerie Wilson Wesley, who comes across a childhood neighbor that's in a murderous situation. Tamara is assigned to find who killed New Jersey's radio superstar DJ Magic Mandy's cousin, and who sent a threatening letter a week later after her cousin was murdered. Tamara knows someone is really up to no good, and knows how to get the very best of Mandy, so it probably wasn't a obsessed fan. Things go for a turn of the worst when Many is found dead! Who did it, how come? Well like I said Ms. Hayle can find out for you.
This book as so many twist and turns its bound to leave you on the edge of your seat. You'll read the most scandalous and terrifying escapades, that will have you wondering what will happened next. I thought the book was good, because of all the suspense and mystery thr novel had. This novel wasn't your average mystery that you could tell who did it by the time you get to the middle of the book, but it will leave you with a big surprise of who this cold-hearted killer was. So , if your the one who enjoys a good mystery book you should pick this book up, I'm sure you won't want to put it down!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book, and all of the Tamara Hayle books because of the true to life, gritty not always so happy endings that I'm used to seeing. This book did have a rollercoaster of events and there was a part in the middle or a little towards the end where it read a bit slow but it definitely picked up again in the last 2 chapters. It almost felt kind of rushed, but it wasn't too bad. And I would still consider the first mystery to be the best one. I'm still excited about reading the next books in the series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
EASIER TO KILL, was another feather in the cap for Ms. Wesley. Mandy Magic, the subject of the stories, had more secrets than Samsonite had luggage. How she thought that none would show the light of day proved what a egotistical subject she would be. When her veneer did finally crack, it was Tamara to the rescue! I enjoyed every bit of the book, and have even started to pick out who is the killer was. However, all my choices were killed instead, and the true killer was someone I almost forgot was in the story! I'm now ready for THE DEVIL RIDING. Keep up the good work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I use too read a lot but what with the electronic/computer age I kind of fell off. Ms Westley got me reading again. I came across.one of her books a few months ago, fell in love with her characters, it was easy, and became a fast friend
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I was slightly disappointed in the ending, overall this was a great book. I read the entire book in one setting because I could not put it down. I can't wait until the next Tamara Hayle mystery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Easier to Kill is not the best showcasing of Valerie Wilson Wesley's tough-yet-tender character, PI Tamara Hayle. This latest volume in the life of this Jersey girl lacks the punch of previous works featuring this character.
The hiring of Tamara to trace some crank notes that are delivered to a prominent radio show host is a change from the upfront murders that Tamara is normally called in to look into. The description of the subsequent investigative process is flat, as are some of the characters that are eventually identified and interviewed by Tamara. Actually, some of the characters are just plain weird (i.e. Tasha's father and the parking garage guy).
The saving grace is due to both the book's funky ending (I loved that twist!), and the fallibility of Jake, Tamara's off-limits fantasy. I would have liked to have seen more of Jake's struggles to deal with his personal shortcomings, and not through the jealous eyes of Tamara. Overall, I would have been better off checking it out from the library.
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Format: Hardcover
I have really enjoyed reading all of Tamara Hayle mysteries. Valerie Wilson-Wesley you go girl. You keep on doing what you are doing. I was shocked that Jake wasn't in this book or on Tamara's mind like he has been in the past. Starmanda Jackson aka Mandy Magic was wicked. Too many skeletons in her closet and one day they must come out. The killer was wicked also knocking them out one by one until he accomplished what he set out to do, no marks left unattended. Although I did think that he was going to wipe out ________. I won't give it away. But, again I have enjoyed all of Mrs Wesley's book and I look forward to reading the next one. Maybe get a little romance going on with Jake and Tamara.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read the Tamar Hayle mystery series and I thoroughly enjoy. The are all page turners. What I would like to see is Tamara use more technology in her investigations. Where is the internet? I would also like to see her prosper more, and last but not least, do a complete back story on Johnny and why he killed himself and her coming to terms with that..
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