As the end of 2019 is almost upon us, it’s favourite books of the year time!
It’s always a difficult choice to narrow the list down to twenty, but I do enjoy looking back at the books I’ve read during the year.
So, in no particular order…
Author: Ray Celestin
Performed by Christopher Ragland
Published: March 2019 by Whole Story Audiobooks
Category: Historical Fiction, Crime, Suspense, Thriller, Private Detective, Audiobook, Book Review
Fall, 1947. New York City.
Private Investigator Ida Davis has been called to New York by her old partner, Michael Talbot, to investigate a brutal killing spree in a Harlem flophouse that has left four people dead. But as they delve deeper into the case, Ida and Michael realize the murders are part of a larger conspiracy that stretches further than they ever could have imagined.
I really enjoyed the first two books in the series—The Axeman’s Jazz & Dead Man’s Blues—and The Mobster’s Lament was no exception. Set in post war New York where private investigator Ida Davies arrives to help her old friend and mentor, ex Pinkerton Michael Talbot.
Ahead of my review for the third book in the City Blues Quartet, The Mobster’s Lament, I’m revisiting the second instalment, Dead Man’s Blues, a historical novel based on fact. It was released in audio format in August 2016 by Wholestory Audiobooks and narrated superbly by Christopher Ragland.
In no particular order, these are some of the opening lines from books I’ve read over the last twelve months that drew me in.
In the summer of 1886 I went down South to find and kill a man. It’s not what I would have chosen, and when I first arrived in the territory, I didn’t want to admit that’s what I was about. Nevertheless, I was well suited to the task – by my past and the shadows it cast in my soul.
As soon as she awakened, MacKenzie knew he meant to kill her. There was no confused, fumbling recollection of what had happened. On the contrary, she remembered everything with horrifying clarity.
It’s that time again! This year has gone so quickly and it’s been filled with really great reads. Narrowing down favourites is a difficult task but here they are. As always, they’ll be either 4.5* or 5* and clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon UK.
Private investigator Jack Bertolino, previously an inspector with the NYPD, is employed as technical advisor, consulting on a movie being made of his last case. His job includes protection for the female star, who is being targeted by a disturbed, out of control stalker. Susan Blake is beautiful, haunted by a past that she can’t lay to rest.
During filming there’s an actual shooting several blocks away, which results in the accidental and tragic death of little Maria Sanchez and also that of known drug dealer, Tomas Vegas. Cruz Feinberg, the technical wizard in Jack’s company, knows the Sanchez family and asks Jack to make some enquiries. As Jack’s investigation progresses the Dirk brothers’ names pop up too often for Jack’s liking and his ingrained cop’s instinct is on high alert. Continue reading
- Author: Ray Celestin
- Performed by Christopher Ragland
- Released: August 2016 by Wholestory Audiobooks
- Category: Historical Fiction
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
#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson.
With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share meme to help search for that ideal read.
Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading (or listening to, in my case) or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72) Continue reading
- Audiobook 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
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