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Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead


Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead Cover

ISBN13: 9780547747613
ISBN10: 0547747616
All Product Details




1 "Its my uncle," the man said on the phone. "Hes lost. We lost him in the storm." "Lost?" I said. "You mean, he drowned?" "No," the man said, distressed. "Lost. I mean, yeah, he probably drowned. Probably dead. I havent heard from him or anything. I cant imagine how he could still be alive." "So whats the mystery?" I said. A crow flew overhead as we talked. I was in Northern California, near Santa Rosa. I sat at a picnic table by a clump of redwoods. A blue jay squawked nearby. Crows used to be bad omens, but now they were so common that it was hard to say. Omens change. Signs shifts. Nothing is permanent. That night I dreamed I was back in New Orleans. I hadnt been there in ten years. But now, in my dream, it was during the flood. I sat on a rooftop in the cool, dark night. Moonlight reflected off the water around me. It was quiet. Everyone was gone. Across the street a man sat on another rooftop in a straight-backed chair. The man flickered in and out of focus like an old piece of film, burned through in spots from light. He was fifty or sixty, white, pale, just on this side of short, with salt-and-pepper hair and bushy eyebrows. He wore a three-piece black suit with a high collar and a black tie. He scowled. The man looked at me sternly. "If I told you the truth plainly," the man said, "you would not understand." His voice was scratchy and warped, like an old record. But I could still make out the tinge of a French accent. "If life gave you answers outright, they would be meaningless. Each detective must take her clues and solve her mysteries for herself. No one can solve your mystery for you; a book cannot tell you the way." Now I recognized the man; it was, of course, Jacques Silette, the great French detective. The words were from his one and only book, Détection. I looked around and in the black night I saw a light shimmering in the distance. As the light got closer I saw that it was a rowboat with a lantern attached to the bow. I thought it had come to rescue us. But it was empty. "No one will save you," Silette said from his rooftop. "No one will come. You are alone in your search; no friend, no lover, no God from above will come to your aid. Your mysteries are yours alone." Silette faded in and out, flickering in the moonlight. "All I can do is leave you clues," he said. "And hope that you will not only solve your mysteries, but choose carefully the clues you leave behind. Make your choices wisely, mamoiselle. The mysteries you leave will last for lifetimes after you are gone. "Remember: you are the only hope for those that come after you." I woke up coughing, spitting water out of my mouth. That morning I talked to my doctor about the dream. Then I called the man back. I took the case.

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Dan Kelly, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Dan Kelly)
Best book of 2012, imho.
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Max, August 13, 2012 (view all comments by Max)
This book is equal parts mystery, novel, and paean to New Orleans. The main character is beyond quirky, moving through the mystery she hopes to solve by interpreting her dreams, feeling out the vibe of the missing man by lying in his bed, and convincing bullets that they want to hit their targets. She is a detective but only through completely reinterpreting the role of the detective and the genre of the mystery novel. The tone of the book is funny, weird, unsettling, and occasionally heart breaking, sometimes on the same page. And the quality of the writing is just lovely. Post-Katrina New Orleans is its own character in the novel, at once exposed and twisted and steeped in tragedies large and small. I would have given this novel a 5, but I think as the series goes on and the character continues to develop it is going to get even better. I highly recommend this novel if you want something engrossing but not total fluff, with a lyrical and totally unique voice.
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Sandra Kasturi, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by Sandra Kasturi)
Sara Gran's first "Claire DeWitt" novel is possibly one of the most gloriously strange noirish mysteries I've ever read; it's as if the love child of Hunter S. Thompson and Carlos Castaneda dropped acid and sat down at the ouija board with David Lynch, channelling the ghosts of Hammett and Chandler.

Claire DeWitt is the "world's greatest private eye" and is an acolyte of the mysterious French detective, Jacques Silette,whose approach to solving crimes verges on the intuitive, esoteric, vaguely hypnotic and dreamily Freudian. Claire returns to New Orleans where she once lived with her mentor, Constance Darling, until Darling's murder. Claire isn't happy to be back in post-Katrina New Orleans--a kind of underworld city where even the living wander around as if they've drowned. Hired to find a missing man, Claire turns as always to Silette's book, Détection, for inspiration and guidance. While Silette's cryptic advice doesn't always seem useful, he is always right about one thing: "Believe nothing. Question everything." Claire's very nature and behaviour make her a thoroughly unreliable narrator, and yet we trust her completely to solve the mystery at hand, even as she doesn't make much headway in unravelling the tangles of her own storied past.

A highly recommended read--beautifully written and utterly compelling--and still a genuine whodunit. I look forward to Sara Gran's next Claire DeWitt novel with tremendous glee, and not a few hallucinatory and anticipatory dreams.
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Product Details

Gran, Sara
Mariner Books
Mystery & Detective - General
Mystery-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Featured Titles » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
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Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.98 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Mariner Books - English 9780547747613 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In the first of a new mystery series featuring quirky private investigator Claire DeWitt, Claire investigates the disappearance of a top prosecutor in post-Katrina New Orleans.
"Synopsis" by ,

Follow the clues. Believe nothing. Question everything.


“I love this book! Absolutely love it. This is the first fresh literary voice I’ve heard in years. Sara Gran recombines all the elements of good, solid storytelling and lifts something original from a well-loved form.”—Sue Grafton


“Not your mother’s girl detective, Claire DeWitt is a cool blend of Nancy Drew and Sid Vicious. Sara Gran has pulled the traditional female sleuth into the twenty-first century with a novel that’s smart and hip, dark and funny. I can’t wait for the next one.”—Alafair Burke, author of Long Gone


“This is deeply intelligent fiction that cuts deep and captures a city’s soul. Claire DeWitt’s power will sneak up on you.”—Attica Locke, author of Black Water Rising


“This is not just a mystery novel but also a novel about mysteries; Claire DeWitt is a detective less by choice than by calling. Sara Gran has written something truly splendid and unique, and if we’re all very lucky, there will be more.”

—Craig Clevenger, author of The Contortionist’s Handbook

"Synopsis" by ,

Claire DeWitt is the worlds greatest PI, a one-time teen detective in Brooklyn and follower of the enigmatic French detective Jacques Silette, whose mysterious handbook Détection has led Claire to use the I-Ching, omens, prophetic dreams, and mind-expanding drugs.

        Claire also has deep roots in New Orleans, where she was mentored by the brilliant Constance Darling—until Darling was murdered. When a respected New Orleans DA goes missing during Hurricane Katrina, she returns to her newly wrecked former city to find out why. The clues lead her to Andray Fairview, a young man who had nothing to lose before the storm and has less now. Finding old friends and making new enemies, Claire solves the case, but shes haunted by others gone missing: her best friend and partner in detection, who disappeared from a New York City subway station in 1986, and Jacques Silettes daughter, Belle, stolen from a hotel room and never heard from again.

        Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead is a knockout start to a bracingly original new series.

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