Saturday, October 21, 2006

"The Iberville Mistress" by O'Neil De Noux

From: Flesh and Blood: Guilty as Sin Anthology, Mysterious Press (2003)

Lucien Caye is a post-WWII New Orleans PI created by former NOPD detective De Noux. In "The Iberville Mistress," Caye is hired by the striking Catherine LaVanchy to collect evidence of her husband's affair.

I enjoy many period stories. It's an extra challenge for a writer to re-create a time and place he can't have lived in himself, but we've also had more time to come to terms with the past, allowing the writer to step back and see the larger context more objectively.

Caye's present tense narration made me wary at first, but De Noux's way with words was smooth enough to carry it. Ultimately, I thought the choice of P.O.V. added to the story's suspense and surprise.

"The Iberville Mistress" can also be found in De Noux's collection New Orleans Confidental from PointBlank Press. Those curious about De Noux's writing process may read the transcript of his October 15th chat with members of DetecToday.

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