|In the red-light district New Orleans, players of the new music they call "jass"
have been turning up dead.
To Storyville detective Valentin St. Cyr, it's no surprise. These characters,
mostly lowdown "rounders," walk on the wild side, working their rowdy music
through the night and spending their days in excess that sets the tone for a
hundred years of American musical mayhem to follow.
Anyway, the Creole detective has his own problems. With his woman Justine
drifting back to the life of a sporting girl, the last thing he needs is some tawdry
But this is Storyville, and nothing is ever quite as it seems. Once Valentin is
persuaded to investigate, he discovers that the deaths are not random at all,
because every one of the victims once played in the same band. Four are dead,
and the only one left alive has gone into hiding.
As he digs deeper, Valentin becomes convinced that a certain mysterious
woman is the key to the mystery. He's digging too deep, though, and soon Tom
Anderson, "The King of Storyville," police lieutenant J. Picot, and even the
Chief of Police want him off the case. It's all the proof he needs that there is
something larger and darker at the heart of this sordid business.
Indeed, this is a tale of dark secrets that lurk in the shadows of the New
Orleans nights, under the painted faces of the sporting girls, and especially
behind the loud, wild music that echoes up the scarlet streets.
"Jass" is a compelling sequel to David Fulmer's award-winning and
critically-acclaimed "Chasing the Devil's Tail" - an even deeper and darker
journey into the bloody and raucous miasma called Storyville.
“Best of 2005 List” “Best of 2005 List” "Best of 2005" List
─ The St. Louis Post- Dispatch ─ Library Journal ─ Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine
"Music is the pulsating idiom of David Fulmer's hot-blooded ‘Jass,’ the sequel to "Chasing the Devil's Tail" and another
voyeuristic tour of Storyville, New Orleans's red-light district during its heyday at the turn of the 20th century. Fulmer's dialogue
adds its lyric voice to the gut-bucket sounds and ragtime rhythms pouring out of the bars and up from the streets."
─ Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
"I have read few books of intrigue and action - that genre defining the term page-turner -- as richly written as David Fulmer's
‘Jass.’ This tale of murder is populated with some of the most perfectly defined characters any writer could hope to create. Fulmer is
a story-teller, yes, but he is also a gifted word-maker and that matters."
─ Terry Kay, author of “To Dance with the White Dog”
“Fulmer cares about jazz and shows its birth in a corrupt, violent, bigoted world, but music is only one element in a broad canvas
that includes politics, poverty, prejudice, crime, drugs, voodoo and the interaction between the city's rich and the women of color
who became their mistresses.”
─ The Washington Post
“Shamus-winner Fulmer's moody follow-up to Chasing the Devil's Tail uses spare but evocative prose to create an atmosphere
steeped in ragtime, bourbon and the institutional corruption for which the Big Easy is notorious. The author skillfully builds on
the emotional aftermath of the first novel, providing plenty of demons to wrestle.”
─ Publishers Weekly
“Again vividly evoking the early days of jazz in turn-of-the-century New Orleans. The palpable ambience develops naturally out of
the very real interaction between character and place.”
“In his second outing, author Fulmer is in fine form. The city and culture he portrays are as rich and dark as its coffee. With
language that can get as rough as his characters, he paints a realistic picture of one of this country's most famous underworlds --
and the beginnings of its greatest indigenous art.”
─ The Boston Globe
“In his absorbing "Jass,’ David Fulmer skillfully tells a memorable tale while creating a fascinating, three-dimensional portrait
of the New Orleans demimonde of almost a century ago, just after the birth of the music first called jass."
─ The St. Louis Post- Dispatch
" Jass is a fascinating and authentic account of Storyville: its mystery and misery; its danger and decadence; and that sinful new
music finding its roots. This is a murder mystery with history at its heart--as heady a New Orleans mix as a pitcher of absinthe.
Drink it in."
─ Christine Wiltz, author of “The Last Madam”
"Think Jelly-Roll Morton meets Edgar Allan Poe. Think a 1900's New Orleans so drenched in atmosphere you can feel the thick
air and smell the French moss hanging from the tall oak trees. Think jass bands, voodoo and bloody murder. Finally, think
-- Lawrence Cohn, Grammy-award winner and author of "Nothin' but the Blues."