Herren, Greg. “Murder in the Rue St. Ann”, Alyson, 2004.
Chanse MacLeod, Detective
Following “Bourbon Street Blues” and “Jackson Square Jazz”. Greg Herren gives us one more of his Chanse MacLeod mysteries. This one takes us behind the usual French Quarter of New Orleans that tourists see and into the total gay subculture. Making New Orleans look like a place that has not much more than gay bars, it is a nice look at the way gay New Orleanians live.
Chanse MacLeod is once again faced with a situation that is loaded with intrigue. We see that Chanse has been asked to solve what seems at first to be a simple case of economic harassment soon becomes a domestic confrontation between him and his partner, Paul. Family histories that had never been discussed suddenly come to light and add tension and soon murder rears its head. A nightclub owner hires Chanse to learn who has been sabotaging her business and as Chanse begins to delve into the case, he discovers that Paul is somehow involved with one of the suspects.
It seems that Paul has a past as an erotic wrestler in gay videos and Chanse begins to wonder how much he really knows his boyfriend. When Paul is ultimately arrested, Chanse finds himself in an inner battle between his feelings for his boyfriend and his career as an investigator and this is never resolved even when Paul s cleared of the charge.
We get obsession, jealousy, intrigue, duplicity, duality, kink, loyalty and so on all in one book and believe it or not, it is easy to follow.
Unlike the other two Chanse MacLeod books, this one is somewhat dark and depressing but the descriptions of New Orleans are vivid and wonderfully drawn. The characters are drawn well and the mystery is constructed so that you will not want to stop reading until you have to close the covers.