(Reviewed by JD Jung)
“The morning sun transformed into a rainbow as it passed through beveled-glass panes and formed a halo around Coco’s tousled black hair Her olive features and brown saucer eyes never looked more vibrant. I melted like white chocolate on a wrought iron bench on a summer day.”
But New Orleans P.I. Burleigh Drummond didn’t know what was good for him until it was gone, as the saying goes. Trying to get over his ex-girlfriend’s murder, he immersed himself into his work. This included investigating the suspicious comings and goings of a husband, as well as an ongoing assignment of keeping a grown grandson of a wealthy client out of trouble.
However, through all of this Drummond comes into contact with some precarious people. Evan Charbonnet serves as the Gay/Lesbian liaison to the mayor but also maintains his position as a French Quarter crime lord. He and the former chief of police use blackmail to try and gain influence over the mayor-elect . In other words, “corruption never sleeps”.
Could all of this be related on some level? Luckily Drummond has some indispensable allies– among them a paranoid, socially inept hacker, and Morgan, a mercenary/ hit man-type friend. Since Drummond doesn’t use a gun or have a killer instinct, Morgan’s friendship is essential.
I discovered this “gem” by accident. When I last visited New Orleans I realized that I forgot my Kindle at home. All of the bookstores were closed , but as I was wandering down Frenchman Street I found a shop with used books. I grabbed Baronne Street and was so glad I did! This page-turner was difficult to put down. Even though it isn’t as gritty as other NOLA crime novels that I have read, my only real complaint is that it got too melodramatic near the middle of the book. It didn’t sit well with my cynical nature.
That said, I would still highly recommend Baronne Street for those who enjoy crime fiction that’s a little off the beaten path.