Dead Man’s Blues


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First off! I was scared when I saw this book was longer than the first and I remembered the pacing issue I had with it at times.

Bottom line on pacing? I had nothing to worry about.

I also was a bit timid, wondering if this was going to be very formulaic in the end, and of course, there should be something consistent in mysteries/crime, but I pretty much had nothing to worry about. I would say this work was the perfecting of his first book in this quartet and I CANNOT wait to read the third one now.

I was on the edge of my seat the last 75 pages or so, and I was actually super mad and was going to give a piece of my mind over something that crushed my soul that happened in the book [no spoilers so you’ll have to read and guess what part it was] but he just did right by the readers and everything fell into place and instead of getting mad I was doing some odd jazz hands because I was too tired to let out a fangirl squeal.

Pros:
– Pacing is so much better, that the 475 pages did not feel sluggish or unnecessary
– We get to grow closer to Ida as readers, you really start rooting for her even more as the first novel was more like root for Michael (and Ida).
– Louis Armstrong returns though not as much, BUT, when he does appear it doesn’t feel like he was detracting from the story at all
– Al Capone is in this
– Cute scrappy Doggo
– Celestin has found his groove and this novel is better than Axeman’s Jazz not only in pacing but in the investigative bits, the first novel felt like maybe he was taking too long to set up, this time he hit the ground running and you weren’t waiting around for something to happen.
– The minor characters served a much greater purpose and tied in with the main characters brilliantly

Cons:
– If you don’t like the ‘gimmick’ of having Louis Armstrong or Al Capone in a book, you’ll hate this lol
– There’s less Michael and he seems to fade into the background a little
– It was intense at times
– He takes a few small liberties with history but he does correctly tell you the layout of events at the back of the book, which didn’t bother me, but could bother some (nothing crazily drastic mind you)
– He trips your heart out, stuffs it in a bag with some rocks and throws it over the Hoover Dam

I can’t really find too many faults with this one, I’ve given it five stars on GoodReads and added it to my favorites shelf, I thought he fixed every problem I had with The Axeman’s Jazz and I can’t wait until my library gets the third book of the City Blues Quartet; The Mobster’s Lament, coming out March 21 in the UK, it’s set in New York this time and we’ll be dealing with Castello and having Ida and Michael continue on as the two main protagonists. (The 3rd Skull in the featured image is the one that will be on the cover of The Mobster’s Lament)