What I enjoyed the most about this book was the level of character development. Each character not only has their own unique voice, but mannerisms, way of talking, and dressing. This level of detail gives the reader lots of indirect insights into who these characters are and what they care about. Anyone who enjoys mysteries, stories about strong female characters, or stories with lots of drama this is a book you really need to check out!
Much like the city of New Orleans, with it’s mix of merriment and menace, ’That Old Devil Sin’ delivers an authentic immersion into mystery and intrigue. It’s clear that the writer W.E. Devore lived there and got the city embedded under her fingernails. She deftly imbues the characters with a kind of lyrical humor that I instantly recognize having lived there myself for six years. All of a sudden I was homesick for my former home. It’s clear I have to go back to that soulful place and dip into the colorful pool of decadence again!
Clementine “Q” Toledano is my new favorite accidental detective. When her childhood friend, and current member of her band The Beasts, Pete “The Pocket” Fontain is accused of murder during Mardi Gras week, it’s up to Q and her ragtag band of colorful acquaintances to prove Pete’s innocence. This book rings all of my bells - rock and roll, New Orleans, murder and mystery, damaged characters who come to life on the page. The author hails from Baton Rouge and really brings that area to life on the page. From smoky clubs to beignets, and from Sazeracs to the French Quarter, you can almost feel the breezes coming off of Lake Pontchartrain. Smart, sexy, and sassy, this book is also hilarious and at times emotional, as the characters deal with friendship, love, grief and forgiveness. And just when you think you’ve got the mystery solved, the author throws in a plot twist that turns everything upside down. I found myself racing to the finish, hoping that these characters who I had come to know and love, would find peace and resolution.This is the kind of mystery that I love - fast paced, and the suspense kept building through the entire story. You were never quite sure who to trust - each character, however secondary, had a moment where their personality was fleshed out on the page, and you had to decide if they had Q’s back, or if you hoped they would crawl back under the rock they came from.I am so excited that this is just the first in a series. I look forward to having more adventures with Q and her boys. W.E. DeVore did an amazing job with this debut effort, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good old fashioned “who-dun-it”.
As someone who has spent a lot of my life in the music biz, I loved That Old Devil Sin; it accurately captures the energy of the New Orleans Club scene and the chaos that is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The language is honest, the violence and sex are realistically portrayed as opposed to sanitized or idealized situations.Its a fun read with a couple of great surprising plot twists.This a great intro to Clementine Toledano; I look forward to more of her adventures!
Devore has written another great crime adventure. I waited so anxiously for book two in the Clementine Toledano series. These books are everything I love in a good story - characters to fall in love (or hate!) with, sounds and scents and flavors that leap off the page, and never knowing until the very last moment “who dun it?” Just when I was sure I’d solved the mystery - and was screaming at the characters to “just listen to me!”, the real culprit comes out of left field and surprises me.Clementine “Q” Toledano is the heroine we need - tough as nails, yet soft and vulnerable. Fun, sassy, take-no-mess. She surrounds herself with the most interesting, rag-tag bunch of characters, whose stories alone could fill their own books.This time around it seems as though it’s The World-1, Clementine-0. Around every turn there is another obstacle, another “frenemy”, another wily character hellbent on ruining Q’s happiness. And yet.....out of nowhere, she finds safety in the most unlikely places. Dirty cops, egomaniacal frontmen, smooth talking underworld kingpins. Each plays their part as Q and her fiancé, “Big Ben” Bordelon, navigate the dangerous waters of murder, sex, and money, in the wee hours of Crescent City mornings.I’ve always been intrigued by New Orleans - the history, the music, the food - and Devore knows how to reel you in and make you feel like you are party to a guided tour. I’m actually planing a trip to New Orleans- in part because, why wouldn’t you? But also to experience the real New Orleans of Clementine. Now, I hope not to get murdered, or framed for murder, and I most certainly will be in bed at a reasonable hour, but I can’t wait to experience this city and its magic.I know book 3 is on the horizon, and I can hardly wait. Q Toledano and her boys have become my favorite underdogs, and anyone who likes strong characters, witty banter, page after page of edge-of-your-seat suspense (and let’s not forget, rock-and-roll!) is going to love this series.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and also the first book (“That Old Devil Sin”) in this series, which you don’t have to read first to fully enjoy this one but I am glad I did. The author is a musician who knows and loves the New Orleans scene and has been there and done that, and it shows. You get a great feel for band life and for the city. The characters are fun and memorable, and the author handles them with a light touch and loving humor. The “good” people have plenty of flaws, as we all do, and we see and like them for all of that. And although you might be able to guess whodunnit, it took me quite awhile; I had the wrong character pegged until late in the book. It’s an easy read, and I must admit I finished it in a day, which means I was reading when I should have been working - and I’m okay with that. I understand there will be more books in this series, and I’ll be at the head of the line to buy them as they come out.