Cover image for Flashpoint : a Carlotta Carlyle mystery
Flashpoint : a Carlotta Carlyle mystery
Barnes, Linda.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, [1999]

Physical Description:
276 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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Carlotta thinks shes doing a friend a simple favor when she agrees to burglar-proof an elderly recluses apartment. But twenty-four hours later the woman turns up dead, her apartment ransacked, and Carlotta is left with entertainment moguls and real estate magnates breathing down her neck, as well as a lot of questions. Filled with gripping plot twists and razor-sharp dialogue, Flashpoint confirms Carlottas place as the hottest leading lady in detective fiction.

Author Notes

Linda Barnes is a writer and educator. She was born in Detroit, Michigan. Barnes graduated from Boston University's School of Fine and Applied Arts majoring in acting, theater education, and English.

After graduation, Barnes taught theater in a Massachusetts high school. She wrote a one-act play that won a contest sponsored by the Boston Globe. The play Wings was published and performed across the country.

Barnes' first crime novel was published in 1981 and featured an amateur detective named Michael Spraggue. She continued with a series of books that featured Spraggue until a short story featured a new detective named Carlotta Carlyle. The first book in that series, A Trouble of Fools, won the American Mystery Award for best private eye novel of 1987. Barnes won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story for Lucky Penny in 1986.

Some of her other works include Deep Pockets, Heart Of The World and Lie Down With The Devil.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Six-foot redheaded Boston PI Carlotta Carlyle returns in a sizzler of a crime story. Carlotta's volleyball buddy, Gwen Taymore, works as a home health aide to aging but feisty Valentine Phipps. Lately, Valentine, who lives in one of the few remaining rent-controlled apartments in Boston's Fenway district, has been the victim of a series of strange accidents. She thinks the accidents are the doings of her landlord, who wants her out so he can sell the building. Gwen hires Carlotta as a security consultant to help allay the old woman's fears. Two days later, Valentine is dead, and Gwen has been arrested for her murder. Carlotta feels compelled to defend Gwen and find Valentine's real killer. The intrepid Ms. Carlyle may not be as well known as some of her fellow female sleuths, but she's a breath of fresh air in a subgenre that has begun to develop its own cliches. Three cheers for this solidly entertaining series, and three cheers for the savvy and sassy Carlotta. --Emily Melton

Publisher's Weekly Review

With eight appearances in the last 12 years, Barnes's PI Carlotta Carlyle has the full-bodied presence of an old friend. Like most fictional detectives, she's fearless and smart-mouthed. Unlike most, she has a social circle, an exercise regimen and an underachieving id ("I never do seem to come close to figuring out this man/woman thing"). She also has an unusually strong affection for her turf, which is Boston, a city portrayed by Barnes as imperiled by rapacious real estate developers. So when home health aide Gwen Taymore asks Carlotta to provide security advice to Valentine Phipps, an old lady struggling to keep her rent-controlled apartment, Carlotta agrees, as much out of civic duty as out of a desire for a paycheck. But Mrs. Phipps's sudden death, which may have been murder, casts suspicion on elusive Gwen, as well as on the building's possibly mob-connected landlord. And when music industry mogul Bronson Hohen hires Carlotta to investigate Mrs. Phipps's family tree, she starts to wonder why her old cronies in Boston Homicide are so intent on barring her from the crime scene. Meanwhile, Carlotta has to cope with assorted domestic crises, such as her adolescent "Little Sister" Paolina's homelessness, and her tenant Roz's onslaught of bad boyfriends. The many messy details of Carlotta's life give her character resonance, but they also bog down the rather pedestrian plot, which ends improbably with a twist of multinational intrigue. Still, Carlotta's fans will relish dunking doughnuts again with the genial investigator, a woman who knows a thing or two about urban survival ("Car keys make great brass knuckles"). Author tour. (Sept.) FYI: This is Barnes's first novel with Hyperion, which in September also will reissue Barnes's first Carlotta Carlyle mystery, Trouble of Fools, in mass market. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Barnes continues her string of intelligent mysteries in this eighth outing with former policewoman turned P.I. Carlotta Carlyle. The murder of an older woman with a hidden past challenges Carlotta like none otherÄthis case brings potential harm to herself and her loved ones. The victim left behind a rare old Jewish manuscript that Carlotta has to find before it ends up in the hands of someone who wants it solely for profit. Carlotta remains a tough, brassy businesswoman with a soft side, especially for her surrogate teenage sister, her rebellious roommate, and her former love, Mooney. At times, these characters threaten to overshadow the main story, but even when Barnes veers from one issue to another, the plot holds up. Unlike most mysteries, once the antagonist is uncovered, Barnes proceeds to write a smart finish. Recommended for all mystery collections.ÄCecilia R. Cygnar, Niles P.L. Dist., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.