Not your typical Big Easy, jazz and gumbo thriller

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran is one of the most original and fascinating books I have read in along time. Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, this is not your typical Big Easy, jazz and gumbo thriller. But then, the sardonic, cynical and mystical Claire Dewitt is not your average PI either. We learn that Clair has brilliant deductive skills, but is damaged. She is the survivor of a harsh and damaging childhood.

 
Claire uses dreams and omens in a quest for the truth. She also relies on a strange and mysterious book called Détection by the mysterious French detective Jacques Silette. 
 
In City of the Dead, Clair reluctantly returns to New Orleans to solve the mystery of   a murdered city prosecutor, at the request of his heir. The man was found murdered in his French Quarter apartment after Katrina. Clair’s investigation takes her through the many worlds that exist side by side in New Orleans, from poor street kids to posh secret societies.
 
Gran captures the cadence and nuances of New Orleans life perfectly, although she often shows a seedier and scarier face of city than many tourists ever see. Nevertheless, this tale charms. I cannot wait for the next quirky Clair DeWitt mystery.
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