Herren, Greg. “Murder in the Rue Chartres”, Alyson, 2007.
Gay New Orleans, Post Katrina
As a New Orleanian by birth and having experiences Hurricane Katrina first-hand, I was anxious to read Greg Herren’s “Murder in the Rue Chartres”. I have always enjoyed Herren work and I did once again. It just hurts to read about my hometown while I am located somewhere else. Herren gives us a view of New Orleans that is amazing, deep and sensuous and this novel is fast moving as it shows the French Quarter in all of its gay glory. It’s good to have Greg Herren back writing about the Big Easy.
Herren has introduced us to his gay detective, Chanse MacLeod, in other books—“Murder in the Rue Dauphine” and “Murder in the Rue St. Ann. After Katrina, MacLeod returns to a different New Orleans. The city and the man have both been shattered and in need of rebuilding. Chanse has come home to rebuild himself but he soon discovers that Iris Verlaine who had been his last client before the hurricane was murdered the same night that she had hired him to locate her father who had been missing for quite a long time. Chanse feels both compelled and obligated to solve the murder and he soon finds himself completely taken in by the Verlaine family and a web of intrigue and secrets. It seems everything in the family is tainted with blood.
With the city of New Orleans as a backdrop to the story the book gives us a wonderful mystery as well as an in-depth look at one of America’s most famous cities. We see a different New Orleans than most of us have known and it is a sad but vibrant picture that Herren provides. He tells it like it is in the way we like to read. Here is another wonderful mystery that will keep you guessing as well as providing an inside look at the damage that occurs because of a natural disaster.