This was my first introduction to this mystery series, and I was not disappointed. Claire DeWitt is an honest talking, pessimistic soul with good intentions and a penchant for escapism in the form of various substances. Far from being clichéd however, the feel of this book was very much a Bogart as Sam Spade feel, and quite different from others in the genre. Her dedication to the ‘art’ of detection is frequently referred to, as she is often quoting from Jaques Silette’s book Detection – and she doesn’t hunt for clues, rather she waits for them to arrive, usually in dreams or brainstorms as she mulls over the facts already in place.
This time around, her ex-boyfriend and new friend’s lover, Paul, is found dead: a musician with a massive magpie habit, much of his expensive sound equipment and instruments are missing as well. When she decides that his death is a murder, and not simply a robbery gone wrong, she then has to face her conflicted feelings about Paul, their relationship and deal with a missing colleague from years earlier. This is a dark and often gritty story that will not be for every reader: but those who appreciate the clever characters, the unique perspectives and some interjections of a fictional how-to book written years before, this is a book that is hard to put down.
Narration of this story is provided by Carol Monda: and the casting here is perfection. Her slightly low-toned raspier voice is reminiscent of Suzanne Pleshette, and the rasp and crisp delivery, combined with subtle nuances of pitch, pace and tone help to delineate the characters while keeping the story firmly narrated. Her performance enhanced the noir feel of the story, and was a delightful listening experience.
If you are a fan of the darker toned mysteries, with plenty of personal asides from the PI, clever twists and are not scared off by a protagonist who seems to want to keep all people at arm’s length – this is the book for you.
I received an AudioCD copy of the book from the producers via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Title: Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway
Author: Sara Gran
Narrator: Carol Monda
Format: Paperback, eBook, AudioCD, Audiobook
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Audio Producer: HighBridge Audio
Length: 9 Hours: 2 minutes
Source: AudioProducer via AudioBook Jukebox
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Series: Claire DeWitt Mysteries # 2
Best Read in Order: Not Required
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story: 4
Purchase Now: Amazon § Audible § Barnes & Noble § BooksAMillion § eBooks.com
About the Book:
When Paul Casablancas, Claire DeWitt’s ex-boyfriend and a popular musician in the Bay Area scene, is found dead in his apartment, his cherished guitars missing, the police are convinced it’s a simple robbery. But Claire knows that nothing is ever simple. With the help of her new assistant, Claude, Claire follows the clues; finding hints to Paul’s fate in her other cases – especially a long-ago missing girl in New York’s gritty East Village and a modern-day miniature-horse theft in Marin.
As visions of the past reveal the secrets of the present, Claire begins to understand the words of the enigmatic French detective Jacques Silette: “The detective won’t know what he is capable of until he encounters a mystery that pierces his own heart.” And love, in all its forms, is the greatest mystery of all – at least to the world’s greatest P.I.
About the Author:
Sara Gran is the author of the novels Dope, Come Closer, Saturn’s Return to New York, and the forthcoming Claire DeWitt series. Her work has been published in over a dozen countries and as many languages. She also writes for TV and film. Born in Brooklyn in 1971, Ms. Gran has traveled widely and lived throughout the US including Miami, New Orleans, and Northern Califoria. She now resides in the hot part of California. Before making a living as a writer, Ms. Gran had many jobs, primarily with books, working at Manhattan bookstores like Shakespeare & Co, The Strand, and Housing Works, and selling used & rare books on her own.