Blanche on the Lam

Blanche White #1

Barbara Neely

fiction crime mystery
dark mysterious tense slow-paced

304 pages | first published 1992


Barbara Neely’s Smart, Sassy and Groundbreaking Crime Novel
Blanche White is a plump, feisty, middle-aged African-American housekeeper working for the genteel rich in North Carolina. But when an employer stiffs her, and her checks bounce, she goes on the lam, hiding out as a maid for a wealthy family at their summer home. That plan goes awry when there’s a murder and Blanche becomes the prime suspect. So she’s forced to use her savvy, her sharp wit, and her old-girl network of domestic workers to discover the truth and save her own skin. Along the way, she lays bare the quirks of southern society with humor, irony, and a biting commentary that makes her one of the most memorable and original characters ever to appear in mystery fiction.

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mysterious 100%
adventurous 25%
challenging 25%
funny 25%
tense 25%
dark 12%
emotional 12%
hopeful 12%
reflective 12%
sad 12%


medium 75%
fast 25%

Strong character development?

Yes: 50% | It's complicated: 37% | No: 12%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 50% | Yes: 37% | No: 12%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 100%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 62% | It's complicated: 25% | No: 12%

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