#TheAxemansJazz by Ray Celestin mini spoiler free review

The Axeman's Jazz is a murder mystery set in New Orleans just prior to prohibition, where segregation of races is prominent; mafia presence is the norm and the soundtrack is the ever evolving blues and jazz scene.

Everyone's out to gain something for nothing, and the cast of alcoholic investigators, drug addled journalists, cops in scandalous relationships and the Italian mob really add to Celestin's grimy portrayal of the deep south. Locations too, are vividly described, ranging from the seedy underbelly of Storyville with it's illicit prostitutes, to the crowded stereotypical police offices; the dusty fields of Agnola prison and the vile, murky swamps of the bayou.

What makes this story truly intriguing and difficult to put down is Celestin's excellent blend of history, music and fiction to create a truly absorbing and suitably realistic tale of crime, corruption, murder and music.

Multiple motifs rear their ugly heads as our different circles of characters find themselves intertwining in unforeseen ways. There are some appropriately violent sections, without the addition of gore for gores sake, and despite the range and quantity of excellent characters, I still found myself suitably invested in to many of the characters.

The range of elements here is such a success as to make this debut an excellent effort in crime story telling, and worth a go for fans of such fiction, gruesome murders and jazz music.

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