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Charlotte Justice Series

Paula L. Woods
Dirty Laundry by Paula L. Woods
Strange Bedfellows by Paula L. Woods

Charlotte Justice Series : Titles in Order

Book 4
In LAPD homicide detective Charlotte Justice, acclaimed crime writer Paula L. Woods has created a heroine for our times. Caught between her proud African American family and colleagues who still can’t deal with diversity, Detective Justice returns to an investigation she once had to leave behind–and enters an explosive realm of haunting lies and dangerous truths.

Thirteen years ago, Charlotte Justice’s husband and child were murdered in the family’s own driveway. Now, following a particularly violent incident involving a fellow officer, Charlotte is on the edge, bedeviled by bloody memories and living on single malt scotch and antacids. But a cold case is bringing her back to work . . . and a department shrink is willing to help her through it–as long as she is willing to help herself. So Charlotte resumes the hunt for the shooter who gunned down a prominent Republican businessman, his young wife, and two Muslim business associates outside an elegant Los Angeles restaurant. The case has turned hot because Charlotte’s initial suspect has suddenly surfaced as the cause of a freak auto accident.

The trouble is, the suspect is in a coma and the businessman he presumably shot is still hovering between life and death. Once Charlotte and her colleagues start digging, the investigation careens in unpredictable directions, from the meddling of a smooth-talking FBI agent to the bizarre drama unfolding around the victim’s family and business. While Charlotte is accustomed to white cops, black cops, and perps of every shade and persuasion, this case is stranger than even she could have guessed. Worst of all, it’s also about her, her contentious family, and the Justices’ terrible secret.

In this pivotal installment in her acclaimed series, Paula L. Woods returns at full throttle, weaving a brilliant tale filled with nail-biting suspense, twisted relationships, and a strong woman driven by a passion for justice and a hunger for the truth.
Book 3
In her award-winning Charlotte Justice novels, Paula L. Woods has created a rare blend of mystery, suspense, and an unflinching social critique of urban, multiethnic America. Featuring an African American homicide detective in the LAPD’s elite Robbery-Homicide Division, this Charlotte Justice novel is a sizzling story of murder, politics, families, and betrayal in the uneasy melting pot of Los Angeles, where everyone has their own. . . . dirty laundry

For Charlotte and her team, the case begins when a woman’s body is found in L.A.’s Koreatown district, where a series of robberies and murders has already put besieged merchants on edge. Now the spectacle of a bright, successful young Korean woman found bludgeoned and bound in an alley is stirring fears, passions, and city politics. In the hours after Vicki Park’s murder, Charlotte Justice must contend with a complex crime scene and a beleaguered community’s hostility toward the police.

Interestingly enough, Vicki (like Charlotte) lived and worked in two different worlds: her close-knit Korean community and the wider political world where she served as a special aide to handsome, media-savvy Mike Santos, whose is vying to become L.A.’s first Latino mayor. With twenty-four candidates running to replace a long-standing African American incumbent, the mayor’s race is shaping up as a wild brawl, full of dirty tricks and innuendo. Is Vicki’s murder connected to the campaign or is the answer to be found in the ethnic enclave that nurtured Vicki—and that may now be hiding her killer?

While Charlotte searches for answers, she must also navigate the perils of life in the LAPD, which complicates her personal life, namely her budding relationship with Aubrey Scott, an emergency-room physician. Justifying her relentless hunt for Vicki’s killer as part of her mission as a homicide detective, Charlotte must face the possibility that her motivation may also be to ease the pain she feels over the violent death of her husband and young daughter years before—a possibility that is challenged in unexpected ways.

A powerful story about families and the secrets they keep, Dirty Laundry is a fast-paced, deeply human thriller that builds to a powerful climax. Featuring one of the great female characters in detective fiction today, this book is a fascinating portrait of Los Angeles from the streets of Koreatown to the power corridors of City Hall. Dirty Laundry is Paula Woods’s richest, most rewarding novel to date.

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