by Joe Ide

When someone tries to assassinate rapper Black the Knife with a vicious 130-pound dog, it’s time to bring in an expert.

Meet Isaiah Quintabe — IQ, to his friends and clients — a genius, high school dropout and former burglar.

The people who work for Black the Knife (born Calvin Wright) go through Juanell Dodson, a sometime drug dealer and self-promoting wheeler-dealer.

IQ normally wouldn’t take a call from Dodson, his former burglary partner, but he needs the promised $50,000 for a charitable project he has running.

IQ and Dodson, mismatched as they are, are a modern day Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. IQ has the keen powers of observation and reasoning to work the mystery; Dodson has the spin and glad-hand to balance IQ’s austerity.

Author Joe Ide tells this story in chapters that alternate in IQ’s life from May 2005, when his beloved brother and mentor, was killed by a hit-and-run driver, to July 2013, when IQ seeks to learn who Calvin’s would-be assassin is — and who hired him and why. By the end of the book, the two story lines come together in a marvelous way with the mystery solved and your understanding of how ideally suited IQ is as a private investigator complete.

Plus, Ide has set the bait for the next book in the series.

Published in 2016, IQ captured a 2017 Edgar Award for best first novel, the Private Eye Writers of America’s Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel and the Macavity Award for Best first Novel, as well as being shortlisted for the Edgar Award, Barry Award and the Strand Critics Award.

IQ is a fresh, likable addition to L.A.’s pantheon of fictional sleuths.  It was listed among Notable Selections in an article on on the 10 best crime novels of the last decade.
The sequel to IQ is Righteous (2017). It is followed by Wrecked (2018).

About the Author: Joe Ide (1958 – )

Of Japanese American descent, Joe Ide grew up in South Central Los Angeles, where his Isaiah Quintabe novels are set. He came of age after the Watts riots in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His older brother Jack joined a local gang and became a drug dealer.
At home, his grandfather collected samurai swords and spoke no English. Away from home, Ide mostly had black friends. Not fitting well in either world, he learned to observe and blend in.
“I always felt something of an outsider. I wasn’t black. I wasn’t white. I was way far from being Japanese. So I was a lot on the fringe. And I was a watcher. I would listen to people. Listen to the way they talk and imagine what was going on in their heads,” Ide told New York Times reporter Gal Beckerman.

Ide earned a master’s degree in education, planning to become a teacher, but quickly learned he didn’t like children. He then turned to screenwriting. Although he sold one script to Disney, none of his scripts ever made it to the screen.

In Isaiah Quintabe, Ide has blended his background in South Central L.A. with his love of Sherlock Holmes and his powers of observation and reasoning.

He is a cousin of Yoshihiro Fukuyama, a political economist and author. Fukuyama fell in love with IQ after reading the manuscript and helped Ide get an agent.


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