White Noise

whiteEve Zaremba is the first author of detective fiction to introduce a lesbian as a primary character in a mystery series. Since 1970s she has written six novels featuring hard-boiled Helen Keremos whom Margaret Atwood described as a “cross between Philip Marlowe and Lily Tomlin.”

This is the sixth and last.

White Noise is quintessentially a West Coast novel, the only one set in Vancouver and the Gulf Islands, Keremos’s home turf. It starts when Sonny Burke, a black American Vietnam vet and former contact in Hong Kong calls Keremos in desperation asking her help. He arrives on her doorstep claiming to be in danger of his life yet denying knowledge of who’s after him or why.

Is this another of his scams or is the Hong Kong wheeler-dealer really in danger from persons unknown? Less than willingly Keremos arranges to hide him and is catapulted into a complex situation dangerous not only for herself but for Julie, her difficult girlfriend.

The six-book series ends with Helen Keremos on a Gulf Island with a new and older lover.