Mean Woman Blues by Julie Smith

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Mean Woman Blues is the NINTH book in Edgar-winner Julie Smith’s Skip Langdon mystery series.

"Mean Woman Blues is Julie Smith at her most fun and lethal." -The Clarion-Ledger

“One of the best police procedurals of the year." –Midwest Book Review


That would be the Rev. Errol Jacomine, crazy as a fox that just ate a loon, and more dangerous than a cell full of serial killers. She’s Detective Skip Langdon, the New Orleans cop who’s twice smashed his criminal endeavors, yet each time he’s managed to slip away. Now he’s mad. In both senses of the word. And he has the connections to have her killed—or worse, those she loves.

After one near-miss and several nasty threats, Skip is driven by fear that she’ll lose the people dearest to her. Despite finding herself disgraced in her own home town (seems Jacomine knows how to frame as well as kill), she goes on the hunt for the kind of maniac with a gift for conning people and the extreme makeover to make it work.


But by now Jacomine’s madness has escalated to the point that he’s finally gone too far with too many people. Before it's over, more than one person’s stalking him, and some are women feeling as mean as their quarry. If Langdon doesn't get there first, there’ll be a bloodbath. If she does, only one person will walk away—and Jacomine’s as lucky as he’s ruthless.

"Smith combines a powerful heroine, creepily believable villain, and rich New Orleans setting." -Booklist

Fans of Nevada Barr, Ace Atkins, Laura Lippman, and Karin Slaughter will love Detective Skip Langdon’s pluck and charm in this action-packed psychological thriller.

AUTHOR'S WARNING: To my chagrin, I see that one reader was offended by a particular very short and, honestly, not particularly graphic scene in this book and has (rather rightly, I think) talked a number of others out of buying it. Many people who don't flinch at terrible violence against humans are extremely sensitive at the thought of something bad happening to an animal. Even if the meaner-than-Satan animal-murderer gets much worse treatment than the animal! (Well, so am I, but this is fiction.) If you are one of those people, DON'T download this book--instead write me at for a different free book. I want you to be happy! Julie smith

Nearly two years ago, Errol Jacomine had disappeared, but he would not stay gone. She knew this; she had destroyed two of his careers, twice thwarted his attempts to win control over his fellow human beings, to gain a following, and to dominate. He would be back, and he would try to kill her. To forget it for a day in the woods, for an evening in her courtyard, for a moment, for a millisecond, was dangerous and possibly deadly.

Jacomine's son, Daniel, had been arrested, charged with half a dozen crimes, and eventually convicted of murder as the result of one of Jacomine's schemes. He was due to be sentenced in a couple of days.

How that would affect his father Skip couldn't know, but it had probably precipitated the dream. Jacomine might not even notice, perhaps having written Daniel off.

She left for work feeling hunted and resentful of her psyche for rubbing her nose in it. She knew all that, and what could she do about it? Exactly what? she asked herself angrily. Later, the dream seemed more a premonition than a warning.

* * *

That morning, as always, she walked the few blocks to the garage where she kept her car, pointed the remote at the automatic door (a process that never failed to give her childlike pleasure), and waited for the door to raise itself high enough to allow her ingress. Instead of the familiar rumble, an explosion ripped through the quiet morning, followed by a loud ping, like a beer can hitting a metal drum

About Julie Smith

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Julie Smith currently lives and writes in the Faubourg Marigny district of New Orleans, a neighborhood of nightclubs, restaurants and coffee shops where shady characters mix with artists. The author of nineteen novels, she was born and raised in Savannah before escaping to the University of Mississippi. After graduation, Smith became a reporter, first for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and later the San Francisco Chronicle. She lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years before returning to New Orleans. Smith abandoned reporting for writing mysteries in the early 1980s, writing a series featuring attorney Rebecca Schwartz and a second series starring Paul McDonald, a reporter turned mystery writer whose fate you wouldn't wish on a dog. A few years later, she launched a third series featuring New Orleans police detective Skip Langdon with New Orleans Mourning, which won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel in 1991. She currently alternates between writing about Skip Langdon and Talba Wallis, an African-American poet/private eye who debuted in "Louisiana Hotshot."
Published November 10, 2013 by booksBnimble. 308 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mean Woman Blues

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Smith, best known for her moody, ambitious novels about New Orleans cop Skip Langdon (82 Desire, 1998, etc.), reminds fans how far she’s traveled in this collection of 16 stories stretching back to the agreeably foolish banter of “Grief Counselor” (1978), the lightweight regional comedy of “Crime...

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Kirkus Reviews

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New Orleans Detective Skip Langton (Crescent City Kill, 1997, etc.), is targeted by a sniper, assigned to head up the task force looking into cemetery-statue theft, and still determined to catch her old nemesis, master criminal Earl Jacomine.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Mean Woman Blues

Reviewing the Evidence

The New Orleans police department have no more than the usual number of crimes to handle, so Skip doesn't feel overworked, so except for the Asian water hyacinths choking the bayou and the Formosan flying termites, things seem to be better than usual.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Jacomine's first wife, his second wife, various business associates, Skip Langdon and so on.

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Reviewing the Evidence

New Orleans detective Skip Langdon is forced to confront the master criminal of her nightmares Errol Jacomine once again.

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