Review: The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin

I loved this book. I had been to New Orleans a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I loved it as it is today, and for all the history of the area. I have been fascinated by the Axeman since I began planning my trip and looking into the history of the city, so it was so cool to find a book written about the whole thing. Obviously this is fiction, so some facts were changed, ignored, and some were kept intact. Historical fiction with some pieces of the story rooted in fact has to be one of my favourite things to read about. I also love crime and have really been getting into mystery novels lately. All that being said, this book was really well-written and enjoyable. I couldn’t put it down for very long and kept thinking about it when I had to. It didn’t feel predictable and I didn’t know how it was going to end, or who was going to die in the pursuit of the truth about the Axeman. There were many different points of view and the chapters were very short as it jumped back and forth between the characters perspectives. There was the Irish-American detective, the African-American woman working for a PI with a young Lewis Armstrong as her friend and accomplice, an Italian-American ex-cop parolee with ties to the Mafia. All different backgrounds and different approaches to solving the mystery. I also loved all the detail about the city in 1919. New Orleans is an interesting city, with a rich history, unlike anywhere else. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries, historical fiction, or is curious about the Axeman murders in New Orleans in 1919.

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