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The Bird Boys

Booklist
"Like her award-winning debut, The Do-Right (2015), also starring Delpha Wade, Sandlin sequel soars on the wings of its its spot-on evocation of a time and place and its utterly compelling central charcters, Delpha and Tom, as their mutual respect and trust grows along with a dash of sexual tension. A first-rate series crying for word-of-mouth support…"
- Michele Leber, May 1, 2019 
Kirkus Reviews Zero Stars
“What sounds like an ordinary PI caper, though, becomes something elevated, poignant, and complex in this beautifully written novel…Sandlin has crafted an outstanding series that readers will want to follow and savor.”
A Texas private investigator and his assistant are hired by a man who is looking for his brother, but what unfolds is something completely different.It's 1973 in Beaumont, Texas, and Tom Phelan is trying to make a go of Phelan Investigations with the help of his assistant, Delpha Wade, who is recovering from injuries inflicted by a serial killer in a previous case (The Do-Right, 2015). And that's only one of Delpha's problems. She went to prison at 18 for killing a man who raped her. Now 32, she's on parole and learning to navigate a world with freedom, choices, and even new social exchanges. "Congratulations to you," she says to someone about a new baby—a phrase she's never uttered before in her life. When an elderly man named Xavier Bell asks them to find his brother, Tom and Delpha's meticulous research uncovers more than anyone expects. What sounds like an ordinary PI caper, though, becomes something elevated, poignant, and complex in this beautifully written novel. The author's use of dialogue is perfectly regional, and her descriptions evoke a cross between Raymond Chandler and James Lee Burke. A briefcase "might have been rubbed with twenties to give it the mellow sheen," and "the desk man was a middle-aged cop whose starched shirt could have worked the shift without him." The author also conveys the realities of doing research in 1973, from using phone books and libraries to tracking down old paper records. Proving that anything old can be new in the right, talented hands, Sandlin has crafted an outstanding series that readers will want to follow and savor.
- April 28, 2019 
“Populated with the same snappy dialogue we’ve come to expect from Sandlin, the issues Delpha and Tom face and the terrible crimes they uncover give this story all the heft and drive one hopes for in a very good crime novel.”—Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books
Lisa Sandlin’s follow up to The Do-Right is equally as good. This second book in the planned series seems more a character study built around a P.I agency just getting its feet wet versus a straight mystery, as Delpha Wade and Tom Phelan discover they are actually rather good at this business. Its each person’s growing self-awareness, particularly Delpha an ex-con, that makes this book sing. In the end, populated with the same snappy dialogue we’ve come to expect from Sandlin, the issues Delpha and Tom face and the terrible crimes they uncover give this story all the heft and drive one hopes for in a very good crime novel.
- December 5, 2018 
CrimeReads
"In Sandlin’s second to feature her ex-con-turned-private-eye Delpha and her sympathetic boss Phelan, the two take on a case involving blood, brothers, and Beaumont’s darkest secrets. The Texan on staff is confident in saying that Lisa Sandlin’s series is the best thing to ever come out of Beaumont."
- January 8, 2019  Visit Website
Publishers Weekly Zero Stars
"[W]hat makes this crime novel soar is the humanity and humility of its main characters. It is by turns exciting, tender, suspenseful, observant, and gently funny. Readers will eagerly await the next installment."
"Set in Beaumont, Tex., in 1973, Sandlin’s excellent sequel to 2015’s The Do-Right continues the adventures of Delpha Wade, who’s on parole after serving 14 years for voluntary manslaughter, and fledgling PI Tom Phelan, who has hired Delpha as his secretary. Into Tom’s office walks 75-year-old Xavier Bell, who asks the detective to locate his long-lost brother. Tom and Delpha soon suspect that Bell is not who he claims to be, and they realize that one of the two brothers is a killer. Meanwhile, Tom takes a case involving a wife who’s afraid her husband is doing something illegal and wants Tom to stop him before he gets caught. Sandlin does a superb job of evoking pre-Google days when detectives had to know their way around the library and be ready to talk to scores of people in the hope of finding valid information. But what makes this crime novel soar is the humanity and humility of its main characters. It is by turns exciting, tender, suspenseful, observant, and gently funny. Readers will eagerly await the next installment."
- May 17, 2019  Visit Website

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