Chasing the Devil's Tail by David Fulmer
(Valentin St. Cyr Mysteries)

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Synopsis

Storyville, 1907: In this raucous, bloody, red-light district, where two thousand scarlet women ply their trade in grand mansions and filthy dime-a-trick cribs, where cocaine and opium are sold over the counter, and where rye whiskey flows like an amber river, there's a killer loose. Someone is murdering Storyville prostitutes and marking each killing with a black rose. As Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr begins to unravel the murder against this extraordinary backdrop, he encounters a cast of characters drawn from history: Tom Anderson, the political boss who runs Storyville like a private kingdom; Lulu White, the district's most notorious madam; a young piano player who would come to be known as Jelly Roll Morton; and finally, Buddy Bolden, the man who all but invented jazz and is now losing his mind.
No ordinary mystery, Chasing the Devil's Tail is a chilling portrait of musical genius and self-destruction, set at the very moment when jazz was born.
 

About David Fulmer

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DAVID FULMER's first novel, Chasing the Devil's Tail, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Mystery/Thriller Book Prize and the winner of the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel. Fulmer lives in Atlanta.
 
Published July 1, 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 351 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Chasing the Devil's Tail

Kirkus Reviews

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Brimming with backstories and historical tidbits, Fulmer's debut works better as period evocation than as mystery.

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Kirkus Reviews

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As the death toll rises, police step up their investigation, and Valentin finds himself regularly butting heads with racist police lieutenant Picot.

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Publishers Weekly

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Storyville, New Orleans, the most historic red-light district in the United States, where the music of Jelly Roll Morton and "King" Buddy Bolden is ushering in the jazz age, provides the stage for this riveting and provocative debut mystery of sex, alcohol, drugs, insanity and murder.

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Reviewing the Evidence

This is a story of a time in America when we had lost our way, when world wars that helped to raise America to it's bold world-power status were still in the distant future, a time when racial and gender relations were still sunk in the residue of the Civil and Spanish American Wars This is a sto...

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Reviewing the Evidence

he's a former police officer who left the force after witnessing - and stopping - vicious abuse by a cop, who would appear to be typical of the force at the time - drunk, violent, power-mad and not above taking any form of bribe.

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Mysterious Reviews

This atmospheric mystery has all the elements of a great book: memorable characters, a terrific plot, conflict and resolution, and a unique time and locale for detective fiction, New Orleans early in the 20th century.

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Reader Rating for Chasing the Devil's Tail
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