The Axeman's Jazz by Ray CelestinThe Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin

The Axeman's Jazz

byRay Celestin

Paperback | May 8, 2014

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A stunning atmospheric crime thriller set in New Orleans, 1919 and inspired by a real life serial killerWINNER of the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger for Best Debut Crime Novel of the Year.As recommended on the Radio 2 Arts Show with Claudia WinklemanNew Orleans, 1919. As music fills the city, a serial killer strikes . . . New Orleans, 1919. As a dark serial killer - The Axeman - stalks the city, three individuals set out to unmask him . . . Though every citizen of the 'Big Easy' thinks they know who could be behind the terrifying murders, Detective Lieutenant Michael Talbot, heading up the official investigation, is struggling to find leads. But Michael has a grave secret, and if he doesn't get himself on the right track fast, it could be exposed . . . Former detective Luca d'Andrea has spent the last six years in Angola state penitentiary, after Michael, his protégée, blew the whistle on his corrupt behaviour. Now a newly freed man, Luca is back 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 is a secretary at the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and dreaming of a better life, Ida 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. And as the case builds to its crescendo, the sky will darken and a great storm will loom over the city . . . Inspired by a true story, THE AXEMAN'S JAZZ, set against the heady backdrop of jazz-filled, mob-ruled New Orleans, is an ambitious, gripping thriller announcing a major new talent in historical crime fiction.
Ray Celestin lives in London. He studied Asian art and languages at university and is a script writer for film and TV, as well as publishing several short stories. The Axeman's Jazz, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award, is his first novel.
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Title:The Axeman's JazzFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.2 × 6.16 × 1.31 inPublished:May 8, 2014Publisher:Pan MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1447258894

ISBN - 13:9781447258896

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from History meets Jazz meets a great Crime Writer Received this book as a gift recently, and loved everything about it right from the cover design on down the line. A beautiful looking book and a fantastic read. The setting, New Orleans Louisiana in the early 20th century, is a character in and of itself, looming large over the story and the players in it. Magical, hot, sweaty, dangerous, just like jazz itself. Highly recommend and I am just starting Dead Man's Blues hoping for more from this exciting voice in crime fiction.
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Experience the Jazz music of New Orleans, mob rule and a serial killer Based upon a real unsolved crime – when a killer dubbed, “the New Orleans Axeman” murdered several people between 1918-1919. The fear of the people who live through the Axeman era is palpable as is the fear of a man released from prison and who is still under the control of the mafia. The gem of this book is the true facts and background knowledge which came through such as the character of Ida who works for a detective agency but decides to branch out on her own in the hunt for the killer and the friendship she has with a certain Louis Armstrong. Apart from the murder and crime elements the city is painted as THE jazz capital which of course it still is to a large extent. You can hear the music and the cheers as you enter the club scenes and even when you don’t – the bourbon and the music are infused on every page. The jazz music sets the scene for the murders and for the spirit of the city at large – “I am very fond of jazz music. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of your people who do not jazz it on Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe.” Mixed in with the racial tension and the burgeoning unease amongst the many ethnic groups in the city and you have some explosive ingredients for a city on the edge. Blimey! I haven’t been as scandalised as this for a long time. This was a true story! Having always loved Jazz and been to New Orleans to see the greats play, this is one story which really chilled. The infamous letter supposedly from the Axman saying that he is to pass through the city but will spare anyone playing jazz music. Now back to a few months prior to the letter being sent, with the murders having already started –many victims have already been found butchered, many of the Sicilian grocery store owners. The doors always seemed to be locked from the inside proving mad theories to emerge as to who this axeman was – some kind of phantom? Everyone wants to find out who this Axeman is and what exactly he wants. A lovely dual story was added by Ida who works at Pinkerton’s Detective Agency but barred by her gender and her race from joining the police. I really loved her character and her friendship with the late great Louis Armstrong added a unique dimension evoking the essence and music of the time. But the focus of the novel is of course the fear, the overriding sense that a real life Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is roaming the streets of New Orleans. Based on real events and so all the more scary for it. A real booktrail around the city and its history of intrigue and jazz music.
Date published: 2016-01-18