Herren, Greg. “Bourbon Street Blues”. Kensington Books, 2003.
A Steamy New Orleans Mystery
Greg Herren has written three mysteries about New Orleans and “Bourbon Street Blues” is the first. It is quite a read, full of the steamy, erotic adventure that is New Orleans. As the first book of a his new series of novels featuring amateur sleuth Scotty Bradley, Herren hooks you, There is little question that you will continue to read his entire series Aside from a great gay noir, it gives a glimpse of what makes New Orleans such a sexy city.
Scotty is a personal trainer and on occasion a dancer at the gay bars. He rents an apartment from his lesbian aunts and his parents are proud of their gay son. The action takes place during the craziest time of the New Orleans year—Southern Decadence (oh the memories!!!!!!!). Scotty is out having a great time until one of his former clients who disappeared a year before suddenly reappears and asks Scott if he can use his apartment to hide in. He feels that someone is after him. Scott, thinking the guy is on drugs, ignores him but when he returns home that night, he sees that a mysterious disk has been slipped into his boot with his tips. He does not have a computer and goes over to a friend’s who is not home and when he finally returns to his own apartment, he finds someone he knows lying dead on his doorstep.
As time passes, Scott discovers that he is involved in a plan to destroy New Orleans which has been labeled sinful by a man who is running for governor and an extreme right-winger. Scott realizes that he must stop the murderer from killing thousands.
Here is a fast paced novel charged with erotica that captures the reader from the very start. Scotty is the personification of gay New Orleans. Herren has created likeable and real characters and Scotty is one of those characters that you can’t help but like. He is both human and a very good person. In fact Herren knows very well how to write interesting characters. They may not all be likeable but they are interesting
Southern Decadence is a great setting—everything can and usually does happen that weekend. In the novel, like in New Orleans, one event happens after another. Like Southern Decadence the novel has its share of camp and humor and if you ever been to Decadence, you know what I am talking about. Herren’s sexy novel is full of coincidences and the outrageous behavior that characterizes “The Big Easy” (before Katrina). The book is a love song to “The City That Care Forgot” and Herren’s love for New Orleans shines through every line of the novel.