OK, stop what you’re doing. Check this here out. Music and Malice in Hurricane Town just hit the top bar of entertainment factor which I muchly enjoyed and I really want more. Alex Bell, tell me there will be more!?

mmihtJude Lomax scrapes a living playing the trumpet on the neon streets of Baton Noir. Then she is invited to play at the funeral of the infamous cajou queen, Ivory Monette. Passing through the cemetery gates, Jude finds herself possessed by the murdered queen’s spirit. And Ivory won’t rest until she’s found the person responsible for her death.

If Jude wants to be rid of the vengeful spirit, she must take a journey deep into the dangerous underbelly of the city, from the swampy depths of the Black Bayou to the velvet opulence of the vampires’ secret jazz clubs. But as Jude untangles Ivory’s web of secrets, she is confronted with a few dark truths from her own past…

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Netgalley eARC 384 Stripes Publishing Fantasy/YA April 4th, 2019

Music and Malice in Hurricane Town… Picture this:
New Orleans. The vibe is, well, vibrant. There’s jazz and parades and magic and paranormal undertones.
Jude, a young woman, is working hard to earn some cash to pay the rent. In addition to playing in the Done and Dusted Brass Band, she accepts a job playing her trumpet in the Moonfleet Manor which is owned by the Phantom. The estate of Moonfleet Manor and the owner Phantom are each as shady as the other and with a background and past that is only spoken of with horror. It seems like every where Jude goes, or anything she does, is potentially dangerous for her. A human. Classed as ‘scrap’ by the paranormal society.

Jude has a sad past herself and due to tragic accident in the past she is now the main caretaker of her father. A father who cannot survive without Jude’s assistance, but is also a proud man and thus does not make Jude’s task any easier.

But if joining forces with the devils was what it took to save her pa then Jude would damn well march straight into the fiery hells in her swamp boots.

Music and Malice in Hurricane Town – Alex Bell

Jude- I really started to like this girl. She does NOT have it easy but she’s a great example of how to act when things are already tough… Know the saying ‘when you’re already deep in shit, keep your chin up‘? Yeah, Jude just keeps trucking on. In a way, in certain scenes I felt like she had simply submitted to her fate but even if this resonated through, she still acted. She didn’t complain, whine or throw a tantrum and instead she constantly oozes strength to deal with the situation she finds herself in.

And the Phantom! Man, oh man alive! Did I try to be suspicious of him at the start? Hell yes! Did I succeed? Hell no. I knew that even if he turned out to be bad to the bone, he had already, in some measures earned my admiration. So, I bet you’re wondering- did I have to accept defeat and admit that even though an intriguing character he was not worth the admiration? Weeelll… One for you to find out and decide for yourself 😉

So, yeah, totally loved the characters in this story. The legbas, the vampire presence (not sparkly ones, by the way!^^ I know that stuff is still important piece of information when reading books that have vamps), the witches, the humans. There was so much interesting detail to each and every one of them without making me glaze over at the infodump. Bravo!

The core of this story is a murder mystery- murder of the cajou queen. The death of the very dangerous and vindictive queen would be cause for celebration for many. Alas, her death is where this story truly begins. Pffffft, I really want to say more but that would just be me telling too bloody much. Please, believe me, this story is worth the read. Actually, If I was to pull a comparison, then think in the vibes of The Vampire Diaries or The Originals (the TV show) except with a lot less direct angst in regards to love.

The pace of the story was bang on perfect- I started the book, I finished it in record time and I enjoyed it so much I immediately wished there was
a sequel.. hells, I might even reread this one again because that’s how much I liked it. There are scenes in this book that are wonderfully paranormal- there are legbas and trippy nightmare thingies in the swamp and witchy magic and trickery. The story mesmerised me with the whole of its essence which was dark and thrilling at once.

Anyway, whatever compelled me to request this book on the Netgalley, it must have been fate because please dear swamp-devils, let there be a sequel! Please? *goes off to DM the author*