Those of us who are avid mystery readers are familiar with the tropes of the genre. We’ve got the anti-heroes who aren’t above breaking the law in the pursuit of justice, we’ve got the fluffy heroines who get themselves in and out of danger with ridiculous regularity. We’ve got the cozy cottage mysteries and the hard-boiled detectives. I do not believe, though, that we’ve ever met a heroine quite like Claire DeWitt.
She follows an unusual detection manual called Detection which she found during her teenage years. A book that began an obsession with solving mysteries that she is well aware is ruining her life. She uses her dreams, believes in omens, and is not adverse to using mind-expanding chemicals (both of the legal and illegal variety).
In this first entry into the series Claire returns to New Orleans less than two years after Katrina. She’s been hired to solve the murder of a prosecutor. And solve it she does, but not before digging her way into and out of some dangerous and strange situations.
One of the most compelling things about this series is that the books jump back and forth from her teen years and the disappearance of her best friend Tracy to present day. The books are quirky and hip while at the same time grounded with a gritty, dirty realism. All the while the reader is submersed in the voice of Claire; which is at turns drugged, desperate, and depressed, but always gripping and propelling us along in the mystery.
These books are not to be missed.