Cover image for Gaudi afternoon
Gaudi afternoon
Sjoholm, Barbara, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Seattle, Wash. : Seal Press, [1990]

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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Cassandra Reilly is a footloose Irish-American based in London, who is currently in the midst of translating a magic realism novel about thesearch for a lost mother. When she gets an offer from a San Franciscan femme fatale to look for her husband in Barcelona, Cassandra can't resist--and she chases people of all genders in thish highspirited comic thriller.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Fans of Wilson's antiauthoritarian detective, Pam Nilsen (featured in Murder in the Collective [BKL S 1 84], Sisters of the Road [BKL N 1 86], and The Dog Collar Murders [BKL Ap 1 89]), will be only temporarily disappointed by her absence in this book, in which heroine Cassandra Reilly unravels the mystery of a missing child in a gender-bending romp through Barcelona, Spain. There hasn't been this much cross-dressing, confusion, and hilarity since Rosalind entered the Forest of Arden. Add a subplot about the magic realist novel Cassandra is translating, throw in conventioneers from the European Society for Organ Transplantation and a foot therapist with the unlikely name of April Schauer, and you have a novel that (to paraphrase one of the characters) is a little unconventional, but works. As in her other books, Wilson manages to shoehorn in the feminist perspective on a larger social issue--this time, tolerance for diversity and ambiguity. ~--Marie Kuda

Publisher's Weekly Review

As in The Dog Collar Murders , Wilson exploits the mystery genre to explore a feminist perspective on timely subjects--here, gender roles and child custody. This latest pk effort falters, largely because the story relies for its effect on characters with mixed-up identities and a penchant for lying. Professional translator Cassandra Reilly turns amateur sleuth when Frankie Stevens needs someone fluent in Spanish to accompany her to Barcelona to locate her estranged husband Ben, who has disappeared. However, Cassandra soon learns that very little is what it seems. Frankie and Ben aren't separated, they're divorced. Moreover, Ben (actually Bernadette) isn't an ex-husband, but an ex-wife: Frankie is a transsexual. The bone of contention between them is their daughter Delilah. Ben fled to Spain to escape the problems of their joint custody arrangement and because, now that Frankie is female, she wants to be Delilah's mother too. By the time the layers of deceit are revealed and Delilah has been kidnapped a few times, the child crawls off to get away from these people and have a nap--proving she's easily the brightest one of the lot. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved