#ThrowBookThursday – Murder in the Rue Dauphine, by Greg Herren

The idea of #ThrowBookThursday was a hashtag I bumped into on a virtual book club, and I love it. Instead of a Throwback Thursday photograph, you post a book you loved from back when. You all know how I feel about book reviews and bringing attention to missed gems, so…

Murder in the Rue Dauphine, by Greg Herren

Read in April, 2006:

Murderin the Rue DauphineI read this in the space of a day. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty—writers work for months or years on a novel and then I tear through it—but when the book is good, the mystery catches me, and I’m intrigued… sorry, it won’t make it through the day.

Chanse MacLeod is a PI living in New Orleans, and he gets a pretty straightforward case: someone blackmailing a closeted fella for a lot of cash on the threat of outing him to his very rich family. The fella’s boyfriend hires Chanse, and turns up dead shortly thereafter, with a hate-crime slur written in the victim’s blood.

While the city simmers toward a boiling point as activists clamour for action against the hate crimes, Chanse keeps getting brushes with bullets and hate-mongers. But something doesn’t feel right, and Chanse is pretty sure things aren’t as they seem.

The mystery to the tale was solid—I had a good time figuring it out, and the characters (especially the supporting cast around Chanse: his cop friend, his reporter friend) weren’t just two dimensional add-ons: it was nice to meet a crime reporter who railed against her fear of crime, and a gay cop being frustrated for being thought of as gay first, and a cop second. Chanse’s predilection for guys in shirts “one size too small” and his vague unease at the thought that maybe—just maybe—he’s falling in love with his current three-month lover gave me a few wry smiles.

Having since had a chance to go to New Orleans a few times (and even meet the author!) I can say this book quite literally “brought me there.”


What about you? Got a book you read years ago you always hand to friends? Tell me about it here (or, if you’d like, I’d be happy to host some guest blogs for #ThrowBookThursday posts in the future.)

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