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.
With a heroine hailed as "a charmer" (New York Times Book Review), from an author who "reminds me why I fell in love with the genre" (Laura Lippman), this is an addictive new adventure for an irresistible detective.
©2013 Sara Gran (P)2013 HighBridge Company
"As written by Gran, Claire is as much mystical seeker as investigator, a disciple of a mysterious master detective whose book, "Détection," has a tendency to appear in strange places at key moments. But Claire is also as hardboiled as they come, and no one could deliver her unconventional first person narration better than Monda, who can be tough, melancholy and tender all at the same time." (Laura Miller, Salon)
“Narrator Carol Monda is terrific in this second Claire DeWitt detective story. Her deep voice manages the detached, no-nonsense affect of Jack Webb in the old "Dragnet" TV series while still making the listener care about Claire…Monda does everything right. Her men sound masculine. Women sound like women. And when she quotes Jacques Silette, Claire's detecting mentor, Monda's French accent is convincing.” (AudioFile)
"In her second outing, tattooed cokehead Claire DeWitt puzzles over the murder of an ex-boyfriend. There's absolutely nothing predictable about either the multilayered investigation—cloaked in references to Indian scriptures, Thomas Merton, and cheesy 1980s TV mysteries—or DeWitt herself, who charms despite her fraying life. A" (Entertainment Weekly)
"The high-stepping, coke-snorting, Zen-loving heroine of Sara Gran's new novel is something of a mess, but she's also the most interesting private eye I've encountered since Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander. . . .She mostly follows her intuition, along with the precepts laid down by the great (and fictional) French detective Jacques Silette, who said things like, 'Solutions wait for you, trembling, pulling you to them, calling your name, even if you cannot hear.'" (Washington Post)
* Hated it! **Endured it, hoping it would redeem itself; *** Okay; **** Great listen! ***** Outstanding! I'll be listening to it again!
I can’t say I’m a big fan of gumshoe novels, but I could spend a lot of time with Claire DeWitt, the “world’s greatest detective” and not afraid to tell you so. Sara Gran breaks the mold and creates a fresh new voice for the Claire DeWitt novels and the Audible versions narrated by Carol Monda are most certainly worth a listen.
If you're not already familiar with Claire DeWitt, I would strongly suggest reading or listening to “Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead” first. I revisited it after finishing “Bohemian Highway” and, not only is it a better story, you have the pleasure of being introduced to Jaques Silette, master detective, and his master treatise “Detection” that guides the work of his Silettian disciples. Silette and his teachings feature heavily in this latest book also.
Bohemian Highway jumps back and forth between two stories, one based in San Francisco, the other in Brooklyn, NY. The NY story centers on Claire’s teen years and recounts how her life and that of her friend Tracy was ruining by stumbling across a copy of Detection. The west-coast thread revolves around the murder of one of Claire’s exes, Paul Casablancas, and her attempts to nail the killer even as she struggles to come to terms with the depth of her feelings for her former lover. Transitions between the two storylines are somewhat disruptive but both are solid, even though the book had a much woollier overall feel than City of the Dead.
Dear Claire already had a serious drug habit in the previous book but in this one she’s routinely snorting enough cocaine to fell a bull elephant. The reader ends up feeling somewhat disgusted by her excesses, but that’s rather the point. Regardless, she’s a compelling character that seeks clues in dreams, charms, and Buddhist teachings, and it’s hard to stop listening once you hit the Play button.
Carol Monda is once again excellent as the voice of Claire and I hope we hear more from all three.
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A journalist and a screenwriter for 20 years, now a playwright and a reader. I am an audible activist. I try to "enable" new listeners.
Sara Gran is my new fave detective author. Claire DeWitt seems to have grown up on hard-boiled dicks & Gran has invented the perfect "best friend" to share insights and prod action: an old French how-to detective book. Carol Monda is a superb reader--just a great combo. I loved Claire D-W & the City of the Dead. This one is great too. We need more, more more!
Boring. Silly whine of a drug addict.
Less drugs more action.
The story is boring and depressing.
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