This week we read and discussed The Eye of Jade (see my archive) and Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead. Both were part of the class’s discussion of female P.I. novels. In all, we talked about Cordelia Gray, Kinsey Milhone, V. I. Warshawski, Sharon McCone, Mei and Claire.
As was true for The Eye of Jade, setting for me was a critical part of this novel. The story takes place in post Katrina New Orleans, a city of many neighborhoods and much destruction. Vividly portrayed characters range from street kids, to do gooders, to lawyers and everyone in between. Claire, herself, is a complex protagonist. She had a difficult upbringing with neglectful parents. She teamed with a New Orleans detective who saw something in her but Constance died. Claire is deeply influenced by the mystic and prophetic, including a book by a famous detective that is full of deep and meaningful statements. I enjoyed the excerpts from Silette’s book.
Claire’s case involves the disappearance of a prosecutor. The what happened and why affect the reader.
Claire is a unique detective and this book may not be for everyone. I am glad to have read it though. If you do, or if you have, please let me know your thoughts.
“Reminds me why I fell in love with the genre.”—Laura Lippman
“I love this book!” — Sue Grafton