Dead Man’s Blues by Ray Celestin #Historical Fiction set in 1920s Chicago #TuesdayBookBlog @cgragland

Dead Man’s Blues is a gripping historical crime novel from Ray Celestin, the author of The Axeman’s Jazz, winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Novel 2014.

Chicago, 1928. In the stifling summer heat three disturbing events take place. A clique of city leaders is poisoned in a fancy hotel. A white gangster is found mutilated in an alleyway in the Blackbelt. And a famous heiress vanishes without a trace.

Following of from The Axeman’s Jazz, Dead Man’s Blues opens in 1922 with Louis Armstrong moving to Chicago to join Joe ‘King’ Oliver’s band as the new cornet player. Although I wasn’t sure about Louis Armstrong in the first book, he and his music fit into the background of this story perfectly. And there are lots more cameo appearances adding authenticity to the story. The timeline of one or two events are altered to fit, without taking anything away from the narrative. Continue reading

The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin #Historical Fiction based in New Orleans #TuesdayBookBlog #Thriller

  • 51OOu6GdfXLAudiobook Review
  • Author: Ray Celestin
  • Performed by Christopher Ragland
  • Released in January 2015 and Published by Whole Story Audiobooks
  • Category: Historical Fiction based on fact, Mystery, Thriller
  • four-stars

New Orleans, 1919. As a dark serial killer – The Axeman – stalks the city, three individuals set out to unmask him…

Though every citizen of the ‘Big Easy’ thinks they know who could be behind the terrifying murders, Detective Lieutenant Michael Talbot, heading up the official investigation, is struggling to find leads. But Michael has a grave secret – and if he doesn’t find himself on the right track fast – it could be exposed…

The story is woven round true events that took place in the segregated New Orleans of 1918/19. A serial killer is on the loose and Detective Lieutenant Michael Talbot is in charge of the investigation. The story opens with a letter to the editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune found in the in-tray by reporter John Riley. Since the Axeman started his killing spree letters had been flooding in to the paper, but this one caught Riley’s eye. The envelope was unusual and the address was written in what Riley hoped was rust coloured ink. The letter claimed to be from the Axeman and in it he declared his fondness for jazz with a promise that any house playing such music need not fear a visit from him. Undecided if the letter was authentic, Riley decides to print it anyway. Continue reading