Cover image for Strawberry sunday : a John Marshall Tanner novel
Strawberry sunday : a John Marshall Tanner novel
Greenleaf, Stephen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Scribner, [1999]

Physical Description:
287 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"John Marshall Tanner is a reluctant survivor. Some days, as he lies in a hospital bed struggling to recuperate from a near-fatal gunshot wound, he figures life is hardly worth living." "One of the few people who can bring him out of his depression is young Rita Lombardi, in the hospital for surgery on a disfiguring birthmark and clubfeet. Rita and Tanner walk the halls together, pulling their IVs behind them, discussing the big and small issues of life: Rita's love for her friend Carlos and her passion for her special corner of the world - the strawberry fields of California's Salinas Valley." "Rita never gets to welcome Tanner to her town of Haciendas. When Tanner recovers enough to call Rita, he receives some devastating news. Rita is dead, murdered by an unknown assailant."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

John Marshall Tanner is in the hospital recovering from the physical effects of a shoot-out with his late best friend Charley Sleet, a San Francisco police detective. The brain tumor that turned Charley into someone else had nearly done in Tanner, too, at least emotionally. Then he meets Rita Lombardi, a fellow traveler on the road to recovery. On the mend from surgery to correct birth defects in her legs, she buoys Tanner with her enthusiasm for life. A month later and home from the hospital, Tanner calls Rita at her Salinas Valley home and learns that she was murdered by someone who took great care to demolish her recently repaired legs. Tanner, in debt to Rita for his own recovery, resolves to find her killer as payment. What he finds in the Salinas Valley is virtual indentured servitude, illegal migrant workers, violence, and fear. He investigates the clan who own the farm empire, and against whose excesses Rita was campaigning, but as always, there are no easy answers for Marsh Tanner. His cases always involve murder, and evil people are always among the suspects, but in a morally ambiguous world, it's too often the decent people who are driven to kill by the evil living beside them. This is another superb entry in a wonderful, intelligent series. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

At the end of Past Tense (1997), the previous mystery featuring veteran PI John Marshall Tanner, readers might have wondered whether or not the San Francisco shamus would survive a particularly bloody shoot-out. But a good gumshoe is tough to kill, and Tanner is back. As his new adventure begins, Marsh is recovering physically from being nearly exsanguinated, and emotionally from the death of his old friend Charley Sleet. As he slowly mends, he meets a young woman, Rita Lombardi, on his daily walks in the hospital corridors. She is recovering from surgery to correct serious birth defects that had crippled both legs. For the first time in her life, she feels free and excited about her future, and her optimism lifts Marsh's spirits. After his release, he learns that she has been stabbed to death. Her death seems impossibly tragic to him, and so he sets out to find out who killed Rita. He starts by visiting her hometown of Haciendas, a small company town in the Salinas Valley, a strawberry-growing area in Monterey County. Everyone there seems to owe their livelihood to the Gelbride family, the local agricultural kingpins. As he digs into the circumstances of Rita's life and death, Marsh discovers that she had been working to improve working conditions for the laborers on the Gelbride strawberry farms. Everyone around her seems to think she was a saint‘but perhaps she was also a revolutionary. The Tanner books often have been built around a specific social or political issue, and this one is no exception. Greenleaf takes a long, hard look at the miserable conditions in which many farmworkers live and toil, and builds a complex, absorbing plot around the topic. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

San Francisco private detective John Tanner investigates the murder of a young woman who worked hard for labor reform among strawberry pickers in the Salinas Valley. Sound plotting and meaty prose from the author of Past Tense (LJ 3/1/97). (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.