Anyone who enjoyed Batgirl’s adventures is going to love the Black Stiletto. A crusader for justice, she’s not always fearless, but she’s relentlessly driven to balance the scales. Benson’s series third is a compelling story that scans back and forth over the course of 40 years, showing how each character is affected by a past that none has any control over.

In 1960, in her undercover guise as the Black Stiletto, Judy Cooper haunts the rooftops and shadowy streets of New York, pursued by police and bad guys alike. She meets a teenage boy whose father was murdered and confronts Chinese tongs to protect him. As Judy, she handles the more mundane aspects of life, working on JFK’s presidential campaign, being on the scene of what could become a history-altering event and meeting a mysterious man who could be a Communist spy. Things are different in the present. Judy suffers from Alzheimer’s and her middle-age son Martin discovers her past secret life through her diaries. He wonders how many secrets he should share with the new woman in his life, who happens to be his mother’s doctor. Martin also worries about his teenage daughter Gina, whose recklessness and spirit are closer to her grandmother’s than he’d like. (OCEANVIEW, Apr., 325 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Pat Cooper