Books Magazine

Megan Casey Reviews In the Game by Nikki Baker

Posted on the 16 March 2016 by Lesbrary @lesbrary
Megan Casey Reviews In the Game by Nikki Baker

Virginia Kelly is black. This is significant because it makes her the first African-American sleuth in lesbian fiction. Likewise, Nikki Baker is the first African-American author of lesbian mysteries. This makes an important literary event. At a mere 171 pages, this is one of Naiad's shortest books, and it is also one of their sweetest.

Living in Chicago, where she got her MBA, Virginia Kelly has a well-paying job, an intelligent lover, and two good friends in Bev and Naomi. She certainly seems to have a good life going, but when Bev's lover Kelsey is murdered near a lesbian bar, a pall is cast over them all. Naomi is worried about being outed if it becomes known that she associated with lesbian Kelsey. Ginny is worried that Bev will be charged with the murder and hires a lawyer to defend her. I guess that's enough plot, because, although it is a good one, that's not what makes this book outstanding.

Nikki Baker is one of the few authors who can outwrite her editor Katherine V. Forrest (Kate Allen is another). There is little poetic language or ethereal descriptions here; rather it is Ginny's internal thought processes that put Baker in a class by herself. She waxes almost philosophical in almost everything she thinks about-from the presence of black women in high finance to love. And add chaos to that list: "Maybe craziness and order chase each other through our lives like seasons." Ginny's girlfriend Emily, like Gianna Maglione in Penny Mickelbury's fine series of novels, is a white woman, so In the Game has another important racial element to it as well. In fact, black woman/white woman couplings seem to be a motif in Baker's fiction. Another motif is that Ginny works in finance, an unusual profession for a black woman in the early 1990s-and don't think that Ginny doesn't obsess about that choice and about how she actually fits into a white, straight, world.

It is interesting that Ginny's friend Naomi Wolf has the same name as the feminist author of The Beauty Myth, which came out in the same year as this book. Coincidence?

The only nitpick I can find in this book is that Ginny's actions sometimes don't live up to her thoughts. Not only does Ginny's friend Naomi guess who the murderer is way before Ginny, but most readers will probably guess as well. A slight fault, and the only one this nitpicker can come up with.

Truthfully, it is hard to find a rating high enough for this book. Certainly it is as good as anything Naiad put out. And for it to be one of the first 50 or so lesbian mystery novels ever to be published speaks highly of the author and her editors.

For 200 other Lesbian Mystery reviews by Megan Casey, see her website at http://sites.google.com/site/theartofthelesbianmysterynovel/ or join her Goodreads Lesbian Mystery group at http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/116660-lesbian-mysteries


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener
    GARDENING, HOME