Monday, December 12, 2022

A Streetcar Named Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: A Streetcar Named Murder (A New Orleans Mystery #1) by T.G. Herren

Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  When the mysterious letter arrives by courier, Valerie Cooper doesn’t know what to make of it. She’s become the beneficiary of her late husband’s estranged uncle’s will—a man she never knew—and inherited a majority partnership in the family’s company, New Orleans Fine Antiques. Valerie knows nothing about antiques, but she decides to learn the business and become an active partner. She’s also got her hands full fending off Collette, a woman who wants to sell the huge old house in the Irish Channel neighborhood Valerie and her husband painstakingly renovated.

Valerie isn’t interested in selling—but when her best friend Lauren, drags her to a costume party for the women’s Mardi Gras club, the Krewe of Athena, she stumbles over Collette’s body, a jeweled dagger sticking out of her chest. In a rush of panic, Valerie recognizes the dagger from her shop—and before she knows it, she’s become murder suspect number one.

Egged on by Lauren, she starts digging into Collette’s business dealings, and the deeper she digs, the dirtier it gets. Now all fingers are pointing at Valerie. In a desperate bid to clear her name, Valerie frantically tries to find who could have gotten hold of the dagger. But among a cadre of guests in full costume, it could be impossible to find the thief—and unmask the real killer.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I love antiques, cozy mysteries, and New Orleans so how could I resist!

My Impression: I've been missing New Orleans a lot lately and I really loved that this book felt like an armchair visit with all my familiar places and street names mentioned.  The New Orleans setting isn't just window dressing.  The author is clearly very familiar with the city and has had the joy of trying to find street parking in the CBD!  The setting was so well done that this biased my opinion of the story itself a bit.

I liked Valerie and could identify with her struggle to tentatively start finding her identity after years of being a mom and school volunteer.  I liked that she had healthy relationships with her boys, her friends and her in-laws as well as being a capable adult - and a bit older then the usual cozy mystery heroine.

What kept this book from being a complete winner was the pacing and the repetition.  At first the pacing was great and I was pulled into the book but it definitely lagged a bit about halfway through and took a bit to get going again - even after the murder occurred.  As well, there is a lot of repetition.  I can definitely understand Valerie's hurt and confusion about Tony never sharing his relationship with his uncle with her but that being regularly repeated with no real answer took up more page time then I would have preferred.  This also happened with Valerie's friend use of her British accent and several other small issues.  Since this is the first in the series and these are relatively small issues I'm hoping the second book is stronger but still keeps all the New Orleans feels!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would!  I enjoyed the author's ability to really make the setting come to life and I'm excited to see how the series develops.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Maybe?  If you love and are familiar with New Orleans I think you'll enjoy this as much as I did.  However, if you aren't I can see this feeling a bit tedious.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I just finished reading this one and have to write my reviews. Basically, I felt as you did about it.

  2. I love books set in New Orleans, but I have never been there. this sounds good!

  3. Someday I would like to visit New Orleans. I've never been outside of books and TV/movies. I do love the title of the book. :-)

  4. So it had some good points to it but pity about the pacing in the middle and the repetition, that can kill a good read.

  5. It sounds like this book did a lot of things really well. Too bad that it became repetitive.

  6. Love the New Orleans setting, but too bad about the repetition.

  7. Despite the repetition, it sounds good and I like the setting.

  8. I can definitely understand why you enjoyed this book more than I did. I'll be watching to see if you feel like it improves with the next in the series or not.