From the Publisher:
In her sixth spellbinding adventure, Carlotta Carlyle, the 6'1" redheaded P.I. from Boston, takes on a case that draws her into the mysterious shadova and of computer technology, where information is cheap, and privacy may be a thing of the past. Part-time cabbie Carlotta is entering the modern age of investigation. With the help of her sometime lover, mafioso, and computer-hobbyist Sam Gianelli, she invests in her first "hardware," a cheap personal computer. And at the urging of her ex-boss, Boston Police Lt. Mooney, who decries the stopping power of her .38 S&W, she decides to upgrade her arsenal. Both types of hardware come in handy when Carlotta is hired by Gloria, owner of G&W Cab, to investigate the brutal robberies that are causing her cabbies to quit in record numbers, and the violence and unanswered questions escalate. An explosion rocks G&W, killing Gloria's brother and seriously wounding co-owner Sam Gianelli. Is someone out to bankrupt G&W to acquire its invaluable cab medallions? Is the company a pawn in a Mafia vendetta, with Sam, the underboss's son, the target? And who put that tiny microphone near G&W's bathroom? Aided by a mysterious databank expert, Carlotta learns far more than she thought possible about "private" transactions. And she finds herself digging into Sam's past, exposing secrets he's kept hidden for years -- secrets that begin to pull them further apart. As the investigation reaches its climax, Carlotta realizes, almost too late, that the mob may be just a fall guy in a very intimate crime.
Linda Barnes: Hardware. St. Martin's Press, ISBN: 0312932650 (August, 2005), 400 p., $6.99