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A Toast Before Dying(1998)
(The second book in the Mali Anderson series)
A novel by Grace F Edwards
On a busy Saturday night at a Harlem hot spot called the Half-Moon Bar, a shot rings out. Fatally wounded is a popular barmaid and sometime actress named Thea. The main suspect is the young, suave Kendrick, Thea's boyfriend and the brother of sleuth Mali Anderson's good friend Bert. Miss Bert, the straight-talking owner of Bertha's Beauty Shop, appeals to Mali to get her brother off the hook. As the story unwinds against the lushly painted backdrop of contemporary Harlem, old characters return (Mali's handsome boyfriend Tad, her jazz musician father, and her preteen nephew Alvin), new characters pop up (the colorful Too Hot, the elegant Gladys Winston), and Mali wends her way through one of the most fascinating neighborhoods on the globe to finally nail the murderer.
April 1998 : USA Hardback
March 1999 : USA Mass Market Paperback
March 2011 : USA, Canada Kindle edition