While reading longer novels, I like to take breaks and refresh thinking with some shorter works, like this one I chose today. Not only is it on Kindle Unlimited, as of the day of this post it is on sale for FREE, easily my favorite choice when it comes to price.
This is a short, short mystery with lots and lots of characters. You might want to use a highlight pen or marker as you read this one, especially in the first few pages. In a story of this length there can’t be character development in depth. The life of New Orleans street people, which naturally includes jazz musicians, but also mimes and druggies, is described in detail. Julie Smith writes about the importance of developing relationships between private eye (PI) Talba Wallis and those she interviews while at the same time observing complex and convoluted social conventions unique to New Orleans.
Queenie (so called because of queen size, the other Queen is an honorific) wants to know who killed her former husband. Ex-husband Dupree rented one-half of a duplex from Queenie, so there was a loss of income issue. And Dupree could change lightbulbs (not a euphemism, he was useless for anything else). Talba and Queenie believe Dupree was killed because of a story he was writing about Tyrone Falgout (aka Kid Trombone, note the title). Smith describes the Falgout family as “jazz royalty” a term which requires some explanation. And author Smith gives us the explanation which dwarfs the investigation in the amount of pages used to explain the term.
This is my first read of anything by Julie Smith. I will read more just to see if I can find a developed character Talba Willis (the PI). In this short story, she demonstrates a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor, such as when she describes her computer geek skills. I would give specific examples but in a story described as 27 pages on Amazon and with a price of FREE, I recommend you download and read it for yourself. Her kind of humor is much better than me describing her kind of humor.