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Crime mystery set in New Orleans – the perils of the American pageant

28th November 2017

Delaney and so it began by Owen Mullen, crime mystery set in New Orleans, Louisiana

A series debut!

PI Vince Delaney has had to forge a new future for himself after an encounter with heinous fellon Julian Boutte 6 years ago, which left his professional and personal life in tatters. At that period in his life, he was with the NOPD (New Orleans Police Department).

And now Boutte doesn’t really seem to have disappeared, which is an extremely worrying aspect in his life.

Crime mystery set in New Orleans

The new and current cover is on the left. Our copy on the right

Delaney is now tasked with finding the killer behind a series of child murders at Pageants, the popular events at which children take part dressed in exotic gear, heavy makeup, luscious wigs and are trained to perform for the gathered audience (an uncomfortable phenomenon for many non-Americans). As he embarks on his investigations, there have been 5 murders across 5 States and there is no sign the perpetrator is stopping any time soon. How can he – or she – pass unnoticed within the milling groups of excitable parents at the thousands of pageant that take place across the country each weekend? Does he perhaps disguise himself as a woman? The appeal of the Pageant phenomenon is exceptionally strong and families are still choosing to attend despite the increasing number of deaths of young children.

How can a stranger come and go without attracting attention?”  There are just no clues to further inform the investigations, and Delaney subjects his sister and her family (with small pageant-partaker small daughter) to danger, using them as cover for his investigations.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, shop keepers have no choice but to succumb to an increasingly threatening protection racket.

How do all these threads come together? At the heart of solving the crimes is Delaney, with his dog Lowell in tow, which is a nice touch.

The book has a good pace. For me I would have liked to see a little more depth to the characters and smoother elision between the chapters featuring the various storylines. New Orleans as the main backdrop certainly comes through quite clearly.

New Orleans is a new setting for the author, hitherto his PI Charlie Cameron books have been set in Glasgow. Owen recently shared his thoughts on Scotland with us

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