Noir is to Literature what the Blues is to Music: MysteryPeople Q&A with Bill Loehfelm

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

In The Devil’s Muse, Bill Loehfelm puts his New Orleans patrol woman Maureen Coughlin into a mystery that takes place over one long night when a shooter cuts loose during the Mardi Gras parade. A great take on the procedural, The Devil’s Muse has a strong sense of immediacy and presents an insider’s look at New Orleans.

Bill will be returning to BookPeople for our New Voices In Noir Panel, this upcoming Wednesday, July 26th, at 7 PM, but we were able to get some questions to Bill before the event. He’ll be joined by Rob Hart and Jordan Harper for the panel discussion. 

MysteryPeople Scott: I know you said you were wary about doing a story set around Mardi Gras since it’s a cliched backdrop for authors to use when writing about new Orleans. What did you see as the in to making the story fresh?

Bill Loehfelm: A couple of years ago, a friend and I were discussing writing about New Orleans, talking about avoiding clichés and the postcard version of New Orleans that we’re constantly selling. I told him I had a list of rules, of things I’d never write about, and one of them was Mardi Gras. But instead of agreeing with me, he challenged me, pointed out I had a lot of experience as a waiter and a bartender, a lot of inside experience with Mardi Gras that others didn’t have. That comment put the idea in my head of a Mardi Gras story told from the inside out, a story from the point of view of someone inside the infrastructure of the holiday. It gave me a fresh take on the subject.

When the opportunity for a Maureen Coughlin one-off came, it seemed to perfect time to take up that challenge.

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Three Picks for July

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

July will see new books from from some of this decade’s best series.

The Devil’s Muse by Bill Loehfelm9780374279776

The latest featuring New Orleans patrolwoman Maureen Coughlin has her trying to solve a shooting during the Mardi Gras parade. Loehfelm brings immediacy through use of procedure, place, and character. Bill will be here July 26th for our New Voices In Noir panel with Jordan Harper and Rob Hart. The Devil’s Muse comes out July 11 – pre-order now!

The Woman From Prague by Rob Hart9781943818471

Ash McKenna’s fourth outing has him in the Czech city blackmailed by a shadowy figure who works for the government to intercept a package before it is handed off from the lady in the title to another woman. Spoiler alert, things go wrong and violent. A well crafted thriller that skimps on neither action or character. Rob will be here July 26th for our New Voices In Noir panel with Jordan Harper and Bill Loehfelm. The Woman From Prague comes out July 11 pre-order now!

9780062567383Every Day Above Ground by Glen Erik Hamilton

Former crook and army ranger Van Shaw is back on the streets pulled back into a life of crime, ripping a dead drug dealers gold. Things are not what they appear when he finds himself set up. Few balance hard boiled crime and humanism as well as Glen Erik Hamilton. Every Day Above Ground comes out July 26 – pre-order now!