Julie Smith House of Blues

ISBN 13: 9780449909362

House of Blues

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9780449909362: House of Blues
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Julie Smith's claim to the New Orleans crime scene is indisputable. In House of Blues, she stretches her net of suspense and danger over the whole bewitching city, and her New Orleans beat goes on, ever stronger.
Crime is Topic A across America. Even New Orleans, the most gracious American city, has hundreds of homicides each year, and sufficient random violence to keep the city's police force working overtime. So what's one more fatal shooting? When the victim is prominent restaurateur Arthur Hebert, whose distinguished restaurant of the same name attracts both knowledgeable visitors and natives, it's what the cops call a heater case, and the heat is on Homicide Detective Skip Langdon.
During the family's Monday night supper, Hebert is murdered in his beautiful Garden District home. At the same time, several other family members vanish: Hebert's daughter, who was soon to have taken over the management of the restaurant, his ex-addict son-in-law, and his small granddaughter--all missing without a trace.
A kidnapping gone wrong? Skip thinks it's possible, but why should the kidnappers have taken three hostages when one would have been enough?
Skip's hunt for a murderer and the missing Hebert heirs embraces worlds within worlds--the elegant, dangerous Garden District, the French Quarter, the seedy Treme, broken-down projects, exclusive mansions, and lowdown bars. It takes her into places where the city's dirty business is transacted, and those where life is mostly madness, sadness, and badness. It may even take her to her death. (

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From Publishers Weekly:

In her latest adventure, which manages to be both wickedly paced and haunting, New Orleans police detective Skip Langdon (last seen in New Orleans Beat) faces some of her darkest hours and comes of age. Arthur Hebert, a prominent restaurateur and domineering patriarch hated by his children, doesn't attend the opening of his restaurant in New Orleans' first casino?because he's been gunned down at home while enjoying his usual Monday evening meal of red beans and rice. Hebert's daughter, his son-in-law and his baby granddaughter have vanished. In the race to find the killer and the missing family, Skip calls on the denizens of the New Orleans underworld: prostitutes who are good mothers; graduates of exclusive high schools who have hit rock bottom; ministers with no souls; yuppie heroin addicts; and a memorably chilling villain in the person of the drop-dead evil gangster, Delavon. Smith carries off a tricky balancing act, rendering Skip heroic while imbuing her with a credibly textured emotional life. But the real star of this superb effort is New Orleans, which has never seemed more dangerous or alluring?or less easy.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

New Orleans serves as a backdrop for Smith’s probe of a violent city’s dual charm. Here Detective Skip Langdon is assigned to the murder of a famous restaurateur and the disappearance of his heirs: a convoluted plot emerges which leads Langdon on the investigation of his life, revealing all the undercurrents of New Orleans’ darker side. House of Blues is a tightly crafted, page-gripping read and one of the best of the season. Grave Doubt Michael Allegretto Carroll & Graf 0-7867-0186-2 $19. -- Midwest Book Review

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