Baker, Lise S.

views updated

BAKER, Lise S.

PERSONAL: Female.


ADDRESSES: Home—Granite Bay, CA. Offıce—L. S. Baker Investigations, P.O. Box 95746, Granite Bay, CA 95746. E-mail—[email protected]


CAREER: L. S. Baker Investigators, Granite Bay, CA, licensed private investigator.


MEMBER: World Association of Detectives, Mystery Writers of America (northern California chapter).


AWARDS, HONORS: Best First P.I. Novel, St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America, 1998, for The Losers' Club.


WRITINGS:

The Losers' Club, St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2000.


SIDELIGHTS: Lise S. Baker is a rarity among mystery novelists—a licensed private investigator who owns her own business, L. S. Baker Investigations, in Granite Bay, California. She specializes in investigations that deal with injuries, accidents, death, and fraud.


Baker's first novel, The Losers' Club, won the award for Best First P.I. Novel from St. Martin's Press and the Private Eye Writers of America in 1998. San Francisco-based private investigator Cal Brantley is sent to Reno, Nevada, by Worldwide Investigations, her new employer, to investigate an insurance claim. Along with hotshot ex-cop Denny Wickerstaff, Cal is assigned to investigate the strangulation of a four-year-old boy on a casino escalator. The death is ruled accidental, but when Cal learns that a new dealer was robbed and murdered on the same day, she suspects foul play. After seeing the surveillance camera video, she is sure of it, but her suspicions put her in danger. At the same time, Cal is trying to locate Tony Lasio, an old boyfriend, who has decided to commit suicide in Nevada. Cal narrates her story with a mix of wisecracks and poetic observations, a combination that, according to a Thrilling Detective contributor, shows her to be "a real person, living in the real world, but strong enough to tell it like it is." Mystery Reader critic Jennifer Monahan Winberry also appreciated Cal's voice; she deemed The Losers' Club "a strong first novel with a well-developed protagonist that readers will definitely want to welcome back in a sequel."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2000, review of TheLosers' Club, p. 210.

Publishers Weekly, March 20, 2000, review of TheLosers' Club, p. 74.

ONLINE

Eisenhower Public Library Web site,http://www.eisenhowerlibrary.org/ (June, 2002), review of The Losers' Club.

Mystery Reader,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (October 21, 2004), Jennifer Monahan Winberry, review of The Losers' Club.

Mystery Writers of America, Northern CaliforniaChapter Web site,http://www.interbridge.com/ (October 21, 2004).

Thrilling Detective,http://www.thrillingdetective.com/ (October 21, 2004), "Cal Brantley."

Whitestone Books Web site,http://www.whitestone.com/ (August 2, 2001), Harriet Klausner, review of The Losers' Club.*