Friday, December 07, 2007

A Killing in Midtown by G. Miki Hayden

My admiration for G. Miki Hayden's stories is well known and well founded. There is a lot to do in a short story, and even more that needs to be done if the short story is a mystery. Hayden consistently excels. "A Killing in Midtown" is in the current AHMM and it features Miriam Obadah, an immigrant from Ghana living with her husband and her co-wife, the much younger, Nana. In this series, Miriam solves various crimes while trying to make a living selling her handicrafts in Harlem and keeping an eye on Nana much as a mother might.

In this particular story, Nana has gotten a job in a Midtown hotel, and it isn't long before she reports that one of the other staff members died a suspicious death on the premises. She asks Miriam to go to work for the hotel to see if she can ferret out the killer - after all, it would be a shame for the woman to have died unnoticed. Miriam takes the case, and it isn't long before she uncovers more than one type of injustice happening at the hotel.

One of the treats of the series is Miriam's keen eyed appreciation of the people and happenings around her. She may have been taken out of Ghana (in fact, since her husband handles all the paperwork, she isn't sure she's in the U.S. legally), but Ghana has not been taken out of her. New Yorkers are a strange breed when seen through her eyes, and the sympathy she evokes is worth the price of admission, which, since it's a double-issue, is $5.99.

1 comment:

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Just read this one as well and I liked it a lot. Seemed slow to me at first but clearly that was just a way of building suspense and character details.