Book Review – Dead Man’s Blues (Ray Celestin)

Dead Man’s Blues

Ray Celestin


Creeping out rather inconspicuously in August 2016, Dead Man’s Blues is Ray Celestin’s first sequel, in a planned series of four novels, to his 2014 debut The Axeman’s Jazz (reviewed here).  It seems to have made its way into publication rather quietly, which is somewhat surprising given the success of his debut. Only a recent cursory glance online led me to discover its release – lucky timing, too, as less than a week later I was fortunate to attend an ‘evening with’ event with the author in Waterstone’s Nottingham.

Quiet entry into the world or not, Dead Man’s Blues is a strong sequel. Picking up nine years after the events of the former novel, the book again revolves around the characters of Michael Talbot and Ida Davis (now both private detectives working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency) as well as the character of Louis Armstrong. The setting now is 1928 Chicago – a city at the very heart of the roaring twenties, with mob violence and bootlegging running the show.    Continue reading


Film Review – The Killing


The Killing


Director: Stanley Kubrick

“You like money. You’ve got a great big dollar sign there where most women have a heart.”

Known for over-the-top, extravagant (yet inherently brilliant) films such as A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey, it seems strange to think that Stanley Kubrick started out in the world of film noir. Yet that is indeed what he did, and his main contribution, 1956’s The Killing, is one of the highlights of noir’s later years. Continue reading