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on January 20, 2014
Interesting characters, but way too many undeveloped story lines that detracted from the main plot. Vampires, crooked politicians, dysfunctional families, unresolved romantic relationships, drug addicts, jazz clubs, homosexuality - this book had it all - and had little to do with the murder/kidnapping case Skip was assigned to work. Poor editing, with many typos, and a pretentious vocabulary that lent nothing to the story. The ending brought very little closure, and I was sorry I had wasted the time reading this nonsense.
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VINE VOICEon September 28, 2002
I have read most of Julie Smith's Skip Langdon novels, and enjoyed some of them. Her later ones are starting to bother me. There are way too many subplots going on, at the middle of this book I had forgotten all about the main thread of the story until the author suddenly brought it up again. She also uses multiple points of view, which works in some books, usually long epic stories, but in a short mystery it is jarring and distracting. I see some reviewers of 82 Desire questioned whether she was also doing racial stereotyping or at least not portraying black characters realistically. To be honest, I wondered about that also, both in that book and House of Blues. I am white and have only had two brief visits to New Orleans, one in 1969 and one in 1995, so I don't have personal experience to draw on. However, it seems to me that if anyone is going to write about something they dont know, or that they themselves are not, they should at least run it by people who do know to make sure the story has some credibility. Based solely on my reading, I also felt many of her black characters appeared stereotyped and two-dimensional. She seems to be trying to draw an all-inclusive portrait of the city and its population, but it would be good to know that readers were getting an accurate picture.
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on February 3, 2013
Quote from House of Blues, 34% of the way through: "She spent the next hour on the phone, calling everyone she knew who knew who anyone else was who might know anything about Dennis, or drugs, or even Reed. It was a highly tedious and unproductive exercise, but it had to be done."
At this point I knew that while the book had been a tedious and unproductive read, it did not "have to be done". I stopped reading this waste of time. At least it was only 99 cents.
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on November 14, 2013
Confusing at best. I love NOLA & have enjoyed reading the Skip Langdon series but this one just doesn't cut it. Way too many subplots that don't have anything to do with the main story. The author wastes many pages talking about a puppy when it has no bearing on anything. I even forgot about the main story line. Not a good read at all. I do not recommend this book
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on April 9, 1998
... always make for the best mysteries. None of the characters are dull, Skip, the Hebert family and the always irrepressible Jimmie Dee keep you turning the pages. While the ending may not be a surprise to some readers, you'll have fun getting there. As an added bonus, Julie Smith's passages about New Orleans make you want to hop on the next fight.
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on November 16, 2012
Julie Smith's mysteries are all page turners, but Skip Langdon is my favorite character. New Orleans is so well drawn, I can smell the river and taste the gumbo. I'm glad the series is available in Kindle format now. I heartily recommend this novel.
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on December 5, 2012
I love this series with Skip Langdon! With the description of New Orleans that Smith offers reminds me how much I miss New Orleans! Every installment in the series has been good and hard to put down! I could tell you more about the story, but I won't! I hate when reviewers tell you so much about the book and even put in inserts from the book. Just read and enjoy it!
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on February 2, 1999
I am not yet to the end of this book and I have already ordered two more books by Julie Smith. Her writing is excellent. I am at the edge of my seat and I can't wait to see how this turns out. I love a great murder mystery and Skip Langdon is a great character. Keep up the excellent work.
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on September 12, 2013
I have read several of the books in this series and have found them to be okay. Her characters are often a bit stereotyped but the mysteries have been somewhat interesting. HOWEVER, DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS BOOK!! The story will take you several different directions (that's somewhat okay as Skip is searching for clues), but then the author gives up - leaves you with no resolution/solution for anything - it all just hangs there and she exits with Skip brooding. Now I have the next book in the series to read and if it doesn't pick up where this one left off, I'm through with Julie Smith! I can see a writer leaving a tidbit to be resolved in the next book so the reader will be anxious to buy, but this lack of any conclusion to a fictional mystery is plainly not completing the job and conning readers into buying. To sum it up, Ms. Smith got herself into a complicated mess and couldn't figure out a solution. AND, from what description I have read of the next book she doesn't clean up this mess she created, but, instead picks a side character from the book and makes him into the ultimate evil doer for the next three books. I don't care for soap operas and I don't like to read a mystery series that has a continuing story and the protagonist battling the same obnoxious bad guy over and over. I'll see where the next book take us, but I don't have high hopes.
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on October 16, 2013
This one moved a little slow to start. It took me almost a week to finish it. Was disappointed at the ending, feeling it left totally unfinished and very unhappy with the way it ended so fast without winding down. Lots of unnecessary characters, killings.
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