JAZZ FUNERAL by Julie Smith

Julie Smith is a prolific writer, with several series going.  This one is a Skip Langdon story.  Skip is a homicide detective in New Orleans.  To read a bit more about Julie Smith  and some of her other offerings, just put in Julie Smith in the search window to your right, and you will get the four or five books of hers that I have read and commented on.

I seem to be reading the Skip Langdon series out of order, and this is I believe the third in the series.  This one was really all about the characters, and I truly enjoyed it.

The head of JazzFest is found stabbed to death in his kitchen days before the big bash is to start.  His extremely talented but troubled  16-year-old half sister disappears, and at first it is not clear whether she has been kidnapped and harmed as well, and it is all connected with the murder, or whether she has simply run away.  If so, why?  Well, she got dumped by her boyfriend,  her mother and father are cold and distant, and she wants a music career.

Each character, including the very popular singer Ti-Belle, the live in girlfriend of the dead guy, have their stories, and it is just a wonderful read.  Who done the dirty deed?  You might guess.  It wasn’t all that hard, but still a great story all around.

I am always struck by the comparison between today’s mysteries, which have a lot of character development in them, and the mysteries of yore, where the puzzle was the principle interest.  In today’s mysteries, we often care about the deceased; in the older books, we don’t give a hoot about them.  They serve merely as a vehicle upon which to hang the mystery.



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