Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An interesting beginning to a new mystery series. Claire DeWitt has had her share of problems in the past, including once being declared legally insane by the state of Utah. She also has a tendency to inhale any drug that is passed her way on the off chance that the experience may reveal a clue. In Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead the title character boasts of being the world's greatest detective. She is also okay with the fact that she is not very well liked. No one likes their mysteries revealed no matter how much they may think they do.
In this debut mystery Claire is trying to solve the disappearance of an Assistant District Attorney, who disappeared shortly after Katrina struck New Orleans. It has been a year since his disappearance, and his nephew, who is about to inherit the missing uncle's estate, wants the case solved before he reaps the benefits of the suspected death. Claire is does not actively investigate her cases as much as she opens herself up to any clues that may present themselves to her, whether they arrive through dreams, or revealed by the tattoo of a busboy in a local restaurant.
This mystery moved along at a quick pace, and Claire DeWitt has enough quirks to fill a few more novels. I think the sales would be better if this had been released as a paperback original. It's tough enough to sell hardcover mysteries, but trying to get a reader to shell out $24 on an author they have never tried before is tough.
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