Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Summer and Smoke and Murder by Nevada Barr

Title: "Summer and Smoke and Murder"
Author: Nevada Barr 
Format: eBook
Genre: Short story, humorous mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased at Barnes and Noble

First Line: I know he did it.

Somehow it's rather appropriate that the first thing I read on my new Nook was a short story by Nevada Barr-- and if my reading experience is any indication, I have a lot of pleasure ahead of me with my new gizmo.

In this short story, a woman living in New Orleans sees a serial killer claim another victim. Making the decision that the tainted and bumbling police force will be of no use, she plans to use the city's high crime rate as a resource to bring the killer to justice.

Sounds high octane good, doesn't it? You don't know the half of it. The title of the story itself evokes memories of Tennessee Williams' play Summer and Smoke as well as a line of the poem "Emblems of Conduct" by Hart Crane. Don't let the smoke of the title get in your eyes. Things aren't exactly as they appear to be in my little synopsis. I think Barr was channeling some grief and anger in this story-- one of the many benefits of the writing process. That, in the end, she could have so much fun doing it and make me laugh so much is another of the many benefits of writing and of reading. If you get a chance to read this gem of a short story, don't pass it by... especially if you're a pet lover!


  1. I like Barr's work -- I'll have to see if I can find this story -- I have an older Nook I hardly ever use.

  2. Cathy - I'm glad you liked this one! I like Nevada Barr's work quite a lot, although I confess I haven't read this one. I should...

  3. Candace-- There may just be a way you can get a copy of this story....

    Margot-- I really think you would enjoy it!


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