"A Carrion Death," Michael Stanley's debut, resembles its protagonist, Detective Kubu. Sensory overload, but in a good way.

Speaking of... I just had one of those marvelous moments that you writers will recognize. Partly, it's that I was coming back from the gym and the blood was flowing. Partly it's the combination of listening to vintage disco/'80s rock/New Orleans funk on my iPod (Poison to the Hot 8 to Chic) and reading Ned Sublette's wonderful "The World That Made New Orleans" at the same time, a heady combination. Partly it's because I have been wondering for some time, just why does my heroine suddenly see the killer for who (s)he is? And it hit me: another character, who has gone missing, calls her and casually mentions a discarded shirt and, well, it all falls into place. I've now made notes to work on the conversation tomorrow. To me it makes sense. I hope it will to you all, too. Time to shower.

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