Ray Celestin – The Axeman’s Jazz

raycelestin-theaxemansjazzNew Orleans, 1919. As a dark serial killer – The Axeman – stalks the city, three individuals set out to unmask him.

Detective Lieutenant Michael Talbot, heading up the official investigation, and harbouring a grave secret, is struggling to find leads. Former detective Luca d’Andrea, working with the mafia, whose need to solve the mystery of the Axeman is every bit as urgent as that of the authorities. Meanwhile, Ida, a secretary at the Pinkerton Detective Agency, stumbles across a clue which lures her and her musician friend, Louis Armstrong, to the case and into terrible danger . . .

As Michael, Luca and Ida each draw closer to discovering the killer’s identity, the Axeman himself will issue a challenge to the people of New Orleans: play jazz or risk becoming the next victim.

The Axeman’s Jazz has been languishing on my TBR shelves for a year. I’d originally planned to read it for last year’s historical fiction month in conjunction with my interview with its author, Ray Celestin, but the best laid plans and all that. Thus I decided that The Axeman’s Jazz should be my first book read for this year’s historical fiction month. And it ended up making me kick myself for not reading it last year, because it was a fascinating read.  Read More …

Rebecca Whitney – The Liar’s Chair

rebeccawhitney-theliarschairRachel Teller and her husband David appear happy, prosperous and fulfilled. The big house, the successful business… They have everything.

However, control, not love, fuels their relationship and David has no idea his wife indulges in drunken indiscretions. When Rachel kills a man in a hit and run, the meticulously maintained veneer over their life begins to crack.

Destroying all evidence of the accident, David insists they continue as normal. Rachel though is racked with guilt and as her behaviour becomes increasingly self-destructive she not only inflames David’s darker side, but also uncovers her own long-suppressed memories of shame. Can Rachel confront her past and atone for her terrible crime? Not if her husband has anything to do with it…

A startling, dark and audacious novel set in and around the Brighton streets, The Liar’s Chair will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final page has been turned. A stunning psychological portrait of a woman in a toxic marriage, Rebecca Whitney’s debut will show that sometimes the darkest shadow holds the truth you have been hiding from…

The question “what if?” is one of the most powerful questions one can ask. It can spur exploration, invention, and new discoveries. But if “what if” is a stand-in for “if only” then it can become one of the most destructive questions a person can ask themselves, as it is often laced with guilt and regret. And in Rachel Teller’s case it seems as if her “if only” causes her entire life to unravel, but Rebecca Whitney’s debut The Liar’s Chair shows that even if you live in a house made mostly from glass, what goes on inside can be largely hidden and that Rachel’s life hangs together from “if only”s.  Read More …

Anticipated Books (Winter-Spring) 2015: Fiction & Thrillers

2015Welcome to the fourth post in my Anticipated Books series for the winter and spring of 2015. Today it’s time for my mainstream fiction and thriller picks. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!  Read More …

Author Query – Ray Celestin

raycelestin-theaxemansjazzRay Celestin is an international man of mystery. Well, in so much as Googling him only gives links to his publisher’s author pages and results for his debut novel The Axeman’s Jazz. I haven’t even been able to track down a picture. That, and he writes mystery/crime novels, so you know mystery man in more ways than one. The Axeman’s Jazz sounds fantastic and it’s my first back-up novel in my historical fiction month, so if I read faster than expected, I’ll review it near the end of the month and otherwise soon after. Today, I’m really pleased to be able to share the following interview with you and solve a bit of the mystery!  Read More …