Get ready for these fresh and fast paced, gently funny and often touching, mysteries by author Julie Smith. The the Edgar Award-winning author with her well defined characters and always entertaining writing have made her a fan favorite. Enjoy!

Jazz Funeral: An Action-Packed New Orleans Mystery (Skip Langdon #3) (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
4.2 Stars (104 Reviews)
Genre: Women’s Fiction | Mystery, Thriller & Suspense | Teen & Young Adult

The THIRD book in the Edgar Award-winning Skip Langdon mystery series by Julie Smith.


New Orleans Homicide Detective Skip Langdon just happens to be on hand when Ham’s body is discovered in the middle of his own party the evening before the Fest. To complicate the already murky case, the victim’s sixteen-year-old blues musician sister has disappeared, and Skip suspects that if the young woman isn’t the murderer, she’s in mortal danger from the person who is. So Task One is finding Melody, ambitious, unhappy at home, and determined to break from her family.

As she probes the victim’s tangled relationships, Skip finds a Southern family to rival any in Tennessee Williams, including Ham’s live-in lover, feisty and swiftly rising star Ti-Belle Thiebaud; his father George, enmeshed with family members in a bitter disagreement over the family’s lucrative Po’ Boy chain; and Patty, his distraught stepmother.

In this tale of southern kinships gone awry, she’s assisted by her long-distance love, Steve Steinman, and her gay landlord, Jimmy Dee. Meanwhile, Melody’s dangerous yet exhilarating journey tugs at the heart and raises the pulse rate.


“At $250 a pop,” fumed a red-faced man, “you’d think we’d at least get a drink.”

The shrill, uncertain buzz they’d noticed was developing a hysterical note. This was a party that wasn’t fun. Bemused, Skip and Steve worked their way back around to the front.

“Ham I could see,” said Skip. “He could have had to work late—it’s his busiest time. But where’s Ti-Belle?”

“Oh, ‘bout two houses away, I’d say. Approaching at a dead run, having just parked a Thunderbird with a squeal of wheels.”

Skip had heard the squeal, but had paid it no mind. Now she saw a very thin woman coming towards them, hair flying, long legs shining brown, sticking out from a white silk shorts suit. Over one shoulder she carried a lightweight flight bag. Golden-throated Ti-Belle Thiebaud, the fastest-rising star on the New Orleans music scene.

Steve said, “I’d know those legs anywhere.”

She never performed in any garment that wasn’t short, split, slit, or halfway missing. Some said the whole country would know those legs soon. They said she was going to be bigger than large, larger than huge.

Thiebaud was approaching at a dead trot, fast giving way to a gallop. She was wearing huge hoop earrings. She had giant black eyes and shining olive skin, flyaway blond hair that looked utterly smashing with her dark complexion. Her skin clung to her bones, hanging gently, as naturally as hide on a horse.

“How’d Ham get her?” she blurted.

A black man waved at the singer, tried to slow her progress, pretend it was a party: “Hey, Ti-Belle.”

Thiebaud paid him no mind but cast a look at the crowd in general. Skip saw twin wrinkles at the sides of her nose—one day they’d be there permanently if she worried a lot in the meantime.

“Hi, y’all.” She was trying to smile, but it wasn’t working. “Excuse me a minute.” She let herself in and closed the door behind her.

Almost immediately, a scream that could have come from anyone—the hottest Cajun R&B singer in America or any terrified woman—ripped through the nervous buzz.

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82 Desire (Skip Langdon #8) (Skip Langdon Mystery) (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
3.8 Stars (54 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

82 Desire is the EIGHTH book in the Edgar Award-winning Skip Langdon mystery series by Julie Smith.


At the airport, the husband says, “I’ll get the car, dear. You wait with the bags.” And she waits till doomsday. Turns out the car’s still there. But hubby’s not.

It seems Councilwoman Bebe Fortier has misplaced her equally prominent husband, United Oil VP Russell Fortier. Across town, part-time detective/poet Talba Wallis has a simple wish–to find out what Russell Fortier’s disappearance has to do with her. But the private investigator who hired her to spy on Fortier can’t help her out. He’s lying in his office with a bullet in his chest. Reporter Jane Storey is walking down the same mean, sultry street—she’s on the brink of the biggest story of her life. But she’s got a bad feeling she’s being played like a deck of cards by a tipster with a malevolent agenda.

Now Orleans Police Detective Skip Langdon soon senses something big starting to unfold, something a lot bigger than a missing husband. Something rooted in corruption, resulting in violence—and motivated by that old demon . . . desire.

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Dead In The Water: Murder at the Monterey Aquarium (Rebecca Schwartz #4) (The Rebecca Schwartz Series)
Julie Smith
3.8 Stars (32 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense | Romance

This is the FOURTH book in Edgar-winner Julie Smith’s Rebecca Schwartz series.

What’s the etiquette when your hostess is arrested for murder?

San Francisco lawyer Rebecca Schwartz has occasion to wonder when she and her weekend hostess, Marty Whitehead, find a body floating in the 30-foot kelp tower at the Monterey Aquarium, and Marty’s promptly dragged off to the slammer.

Rebecca quickly grasps the Emily Post solution—sign on as Marty’s lawyer, try to keep her client’s two young kids out of the deep end, and somehow avoid drowning in the sea of lies gushing from Marty’s mouth–and everyone else’s. There’s a lot of intrigue among the aquarium’s oceangoing primates, as well as rumors of a pearl beyond price.

For Rebecca, the sea and all its animals have always held a huge attraction, but now her attention turns to a particularly fine specimen of homo sapiens–hot marine biologist Julio Soto. As her investigation picks up speed, she finds she better act fast to keep Julio from sleeping with the fishes he collects. Because if she doesn’t, he could be next in line for the shark tank—along with Rebecca herself.



“What is it?”

“The lights are off.”

The kelp forest was dark.

“The lights are on the roof. They usually have them on for night parties,” said Marty. “I forgot they might be off. Tell you what we’ll do—we’ll call the control room and get them turned on. The surge machine, too.”

We walked down the stairs to the first floor, where there’s a little gallery in front of the kelp forest. Here the floor is carpeted, and there are a few stair-step benches where you can sit in case you become mesmerized and unable to move.

Marty left me and went to the information desk to use the phone. In a moment, the lights lit the tank, as if the house lights had gone up on a stage. A big gold garibaldi darted away, startled. A sea cucumber, spiny and, to tell you the truth, somewhat revolting, had pasted itself to the far wall. Leopard sharks glided by, and thin, black-tailed senoritas. A rockfish, looking baleful, flapped its pectoral fins like wings. I was staring back at it, wondering if it was trying to make friends (and knowing better), when the surge machine went on.

The kelp, twenty-eight feet tall, as impressive in its own way as a stand of redwoods, began to sway. Water swirled as if a wave had hit, which is what the surge simulates, and an object caught in the forest worked its way loose. It looked like a gray jacket, windbreaker-style, with a red splatter on it. Another foreign object floated gracefully toward the bottom—a woman’s high heel. Automatically, I looked up.

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True-Life Adventure(Paul Mcdonald mystery #1) (The Paul Mcdonald Series)
Julie Smith
4.1 Stars (18 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Things were going lousy for ex-reporter Paul Mcdonald: No money, no girl friend, no bright new career as a mystery novelist … and then along came PI Jack Birnbaum with an offer. He’d detect, and Paul would write the client reports. It wasn’t much, but it would keep Spot the cat in Kitty Queen tidbits. And then this:

“That stuff’ll kill you.”

“What? Your coffee?” Jack was just doctoring his second cup.

“No. All that sweetener. You’re poisoning yourself.”

“We’ve all gotta go sometime.”

Jack went right about then. His eyes rolled back and he let go of the cup. Coffee sloshed all over my rug. His big body fell forward in the chair.

A day that begins with a body in your living room really ought to get better, but next comes burglary and after that, assault-by-cop. And Paul’s got a feeling that’s just the beginning. There must have been something someone didn’t want him to know in one of those client reports. But what?

These were the facts: I was thirty-eight. I’d spent fifteen years on one major metropolitan daily or another. I’d written six unpublished detective novels. Unpublished in spite of my name.

John D. MacDonald did it daily. Ross Macdonald did it deeper. Gregory Mcdonald did it with dash.

Wrote thrillers and got them published.

But not Paul Mcdonald.

I just wrote them, supporting my habit with clients like Jack.

I had about two hundred bucks to last me the rest of my life.

My only client was dead.

The market for mysteries was terrible.

I didn’t get out enough.

The only thing I’d ever done successfully was write newspaper stories.

And I was sitting on a great story.

A story he can sell, if he can catch the murderer before the murderer catches him.

Birnbaum’s last report concerned a kidnapped child, so Paul begins there. The trail leads him to the laboratory of a Nobel laureate geneticist, and then to City Hall, where an extremely nasty surprise awaits. But there’s an upside—lovely witness Sardis Kincannon. Nothing like falling in love while you’re running for your life!

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New Orleans Mourning:#1, Skip Langdon Mystery Series (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
3.9 Stars (135 Reviews)
Genre: Women’s Fiction | Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Winner of the 1991 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel and the FIRST mystery in the highly acclaimed Skip Langdon series, New Orleans Mourning falls deliciously between the psychological suspense of Laura Lippman and the delicate drama of Tennesse Williams.

It’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and civic leader and socialite Chauncy St. Amant has been crowned Rex, King of Carnival. But his day of glory comes to an abrupt and bloody end when a parade-goer dressed as Dolly Parton guns him down. Is the killer his aimless, promiscuous daughter Marcelle? Homosexual, mistreated son Henry? Helpless, alcoholic wife Bitty? Or some unknown player? Turns out the king had enemies…

Enter resourceful heroine Skip Langdon, a rookie police officer and former debutante turned cynic of the Uptown crowd. Scouring the streets for clues, interviewing revelers and street people with names like Jo Jo, Hinky, and Cookie, and using her white glove contacts, the post-deb rebel cop encounters a tangled web of brooding clues and ancient secrets that could mean danger for her—and doom for the St. Amants.

Langdon, with her weight worries, insecurities, and yet overall toughness has long been a favorite of those who like their female sleuths bold, smart, and refreshingly human.


There he was—the King of Carnival, Rex himself, the Monarch of Mirth, all in gold and positively exuding noblesse oblige. Despite all the fancy sobriquets, he was known to his intimates as plain Chauncey St. Amant. He was a well-padded gentleman, like most New Orleanians of a certain age, and he was in his element playing Old King Cole the merry old soul. Skip hoped his arm wouldn’t fall off from too much waving. She’d known him since her rubber pants days.

He looked up and waved at someone on one of the balconies. Automatically, Skip’s gaze followed his. The float was just parallel to the balcony, one she knew well. Today it was draped with Mardi Gras bunting—purple, green, and gold. The single occupant standing on it was dressed as Dolly Parton in cowgirl finery.

Dolly had on her trademark curly wig, a red satin sequined blouse, blue satin skirt, fawn gloves, balloons in her bodice, and two-gun holster. She had on a white mask with eye shadow in three colors and sequined rouge spots. As Chauncey waved, she drew one of her six-shooters. She twirled the gun, clowning, and pointed it, leaning on the balcony. Not very amusing to a cop, but Chauncey was appreciative enough to throw her a doubloon. And then he fell off his throne.

The band in front of the float was playing “When the Saints Go Marching In,” so Skip never heard the shot. All she knew was that one moment Chauncey was admiring Dolly and the next minute he was down on the floor of the float. Knowing instantly what had happened, Skip started to draw her own gun, but there wasn’t a chance.

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