The Best Bad Things

The Best Bad Things

Book - 2018
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**Finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the Lambda Award in Bisexual Fiction**

"Sexy, fun, serious and unputdownable." --Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post

"Brazen, brawny, sexy . . . full of unforgettable characters and insatiable appetites. I was riveted. Painstakingly researched and pulsing with adrenaline, Carrasco's debut will leave you thirsty for more." --Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham

A vivid, sexy barn burner of a historical crime novel, The Best Bad Things introduces readers to the fiery Alma Rosales--detective, smuggler, spy

It is 1887, and Alma Rosales is on the hunt for stolen opium. Trained in espionage by the Pinkerton Detective Agency--but dismissed for bad behavior and a penchant for going undercover as a man--Alma now works for Delphine Beaumond, the seductive mastermind of a West Coast smuggling ring.

When product goes missing at their Washington Territory outpost, Alma is tasked with tracking the thief and recovering the drugs. In disguise as the scrappy dockworker Jack Camp, this should be easy--once she muscles her way into the local organization, wins the trust of the magnetic local boss and his boys, discovers the turncoat, and keeps them all from uncovering her secrets. All this, while sending coded dispatches to the circling Pinkerton agents to keep them from closing in.

Alma's enjoying her dangerous game of shifting identities and double crosses as she fights for a promotion and an invitation back into Delphine's bed. But it's getting harder and harder to keep her cover stories straight and to know whom to trust. One wrong move and she could be unmasked: as a woman, as a traitor, or as a spy.

A propulsive, sensual tour de force, The Best Bad Things introduces Katrina Carrasco, a bold new voice in crime fiction.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780374123697
Characteristics: 386 pages ;,25 cm

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NedSu
Jan 12, 2021

Sadly, this book did not captivate me, although it had several good points throughout. The protagonist was an interesting charactor, but I found it more than a little off putting in terms of trying to keep her identity straight. It interrupted, for me, at least, the flow as I tried to reconcile the pronouns with the role of her characters. The details of the history were largely interesting to a Pacific Northwesterner, but the too many dreary details of the scenes were offputting. Finally, the moral ambiguity of the character was almost as confusing as the identity of the protagonist Rosales/Camp.

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Lirael
Feb 20, 2019

Loved the historical detail and setting of Port Townsend, WA, as well as Alma Rosales, the main character. Their switch between female and male personas and how they use this talent to survive in a town booming with shipping and the opium trade kept me reading late into the night.

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