You Should Have Died on Monday
Review: Professor Lizzie Stuart of the Virginia Institute for the Study of Southern Crime and Culture is determined to locate her long missing mother Becca in You Should Have Died on Monday, the fourth mystery in this series by Frankie Y. Bailey.
It was the winter of 1969 and Chicago was a frightful place to be. The mob was still very much in evidence, the Black Panthers were becoming more powerful, and the Puerto Rican Young Lords were making themselves known. Though there were racial tensions all over the city, there were clubs specializing in the "blues" where anyone and everyone came to hear the music. On one unusually cold night men in a speeding car opened fire on Reuben James, his lady love Becca, and another man, TJ. Reuben pushed Becca to safety and TJ survived, but Reuben was killed instantly. No one was ever convicted of this criminal act. Sometime later mob boss Nick Mancini was killed in his office, stabbed with a pair of pruning shears. One man, Robert Montgomery, who was also in love with Becca and believing she had committed the crime, confessed and was sent to prison for 35 years. Under an assumed name, Becca quietly disappeared. Now, 39 years later Lizzie Stuart, the daughter Becca abandoned just 5 days after her birth, wants to find out about her heritage and embarks on a search for her mother.
In Chicago, Lizzie discovers her mother was involved with the Black Panthers and did, in fact, have an affair with Nick Mancini before fleeing to North Carolina where she married, subsequently moving to New Orleans where she opened a restaurant. Lizzie finally meets up with her mother at the same time as the dead crime boss's son who's out for revenge. Not at all what Lizzie was hoping to find.
The title, You Should Have Died on Monday, comes from an old southern blues song and fits perfectly with this story of rejected love, jealousy, and murder. Though not a mystery per se, this compelling tale of one woman's journey to uncover her past is a pleasure to read.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of You Should Have Died on Monday.
Acknowledgment: Breakthrough Promotions provided a copy of You Should Have Died on Monday for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in You Should Have Died on Monday: Virginia
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You Should Have Died on Monday by Frankie Y. Bailey — A Lizzie Stuart Mystery
Publisher: Overmountain Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2007
List Price: $9.95