Transitory is a murder mystery that begins all to familiarly for people in the queer community with the death of a black transwoman being ignored by the police after it is witnessed by private detective Micky Knight. The case leads her back into contact with an ex she hasn’t gotten over yet and neck deep into old New Orleans’ family and criminal drama as she attempts to solve the murder.
This was my first encounter with Micky Knight, the character created by J.M. Redmann. She has appeared in 10 other books, and I think one of the great things about the book was that while I could feel the history of what may have happened in those other novels, I never felt like I was missing anything. I could understand the main character and everything that was happening without any need for a backstory exposition. This is a rare thing in a book series, and I greatly appreciated it.
I am doubly glad of that because it let me slide into a masterfully told mystery that feel grounded in reality, from the nuts and bolts of how Micky does her job, to the relationships in the community she lives in , all the way to the heartache of a person you still love that keeps showing up in your life even though they are no longer with you. Then there is the city of New Orleans which feels like a character in the story unto itself. You feel like you are walking down the streets or having a beer with the inhabitants. You feel like it’s your home when you see it through the eyes of Micky Knight.
The case itself, well two cases that ended up interwoven, are both ones that are based on things that queer people encounter all too frequently. The book opens with the detective witnessing a hit and run that the police refuse to take seriously because they write it off as a transwomen sex worker being hit. The second case details Micky being hired by a grandmother to find a person that she kicked out of her home for being gay. It is a sad fact that most books that feel accurate to the queer experience, always have trauma and abuse but the subjects are handled well. I really loved this one and might have to go looking for some of the other Micky Knight books.