If you haven’t discovered  Edgar-winner Julie Smith’s Skip Langdon Series, now is the time to do so. Meet our heroine Skip Langdon, with her weight worries, insecurities, and yet overall toughness, Skip has long been a favorite of those who like their female sleuths bold, smart, and refreshingly human. Enjoy!

New Orleans Mourning:#1, Skip Langdon Mystery Series (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
3.8 Stars (84 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense | Women’s Fiction

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.


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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Death Before Facebook (Skip Langdon #4) (Skip Langdon Mystery) (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
3.8 Stars (37 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Death Before Facebook, formerly entitled New Orleans Beat, is the FOURTH book in the Edgar Award-winning Skip Langdon series by Julie Smith.


It’s a chilly November in 1994, and thirty-one-year-old Geoff Kavanagh surreptitiously splits his time between science fiction novels and cyberspace in his parents’ dilapidated, overgrown, uptown New Orleans mansion. Until his mother finds him dead from a suspicious fall off a ladder. Maybe he should never have posted about seeing his father murdered … because way too many people on the TOWN, a pre-Facebook virtual community, knew things about his family he didn’t even suspect. Decades-old skeletons start falling out of closets after Geoff’s untimely death, thanks to New Orleans Detective Skip Langdon. Langdon finds Geoff’s gorgeous mom strangely uninterested in her son’s fatal fall, but Mom’s apparently the only one. It seems the post has gone viral. Suddenly all the TOWNSpeople have theories—and ambition as cyberdetectives. What’s a murderer to do but kill his way out?


“When Geoff was four years old, he and his mother came home one night to find his father dead on the bedroom floor. Shot with his own revolver—he was a cop.”

“A cop!”

“In your very own department. Geoff thought he could remember coming home—climbing the stairs with his mother, going into the bedroom, and finding the body. But once he’d asked her, and she said it wasn’t like that at all. She said Geoff ran right up the stairs and went to the bathroom; meanwhile Marguerite—that’s his mother—went into the bedroom and turned on the light. It was all she could do to keep from screaming, but she didn’t want little Geoffrey to know what was going on, so she turned out the light, closed the door, and went downstairs to call the cops.”

“Pretty damn cool.”

“Well, who knows what really happened? That’s just what she told Geoff. Anyway, it got him to thinking his own memory was bogus—or might be. And after he had that dream, he kept getting these weird flashbacks, if you want to call them that, like incest survivors are supposed to have—little half-memories. Like being in bed and hearing an argument. Running down the hall. His mother’s face. His dad on the floor… actually, he had that one all the time, from before his mother told him he’d never seen that. Do you see what I’m getting at?”

“He posted this stuff?’


“Under his own name?”

“You can’t hide your identity on the TOWN—you have a user ID, but anyone can check you out in about two seconds. Geoff was Vidkid.”

“So if it was true, if he really had witnessed the murder, or had even been in the house when one was committed, he was putting it out there for the world to know. Is that what you’re saying?”

“That was our reasoning, yes. When we found out about the ‘accident’.”

Skip could see why this was the talk of the TOWN.

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House of Blues: An Action-Packed New Orleans Thriller; Skip Langdon #5 (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
3.9 Stars (62 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

House of Blues is the FIFTH book in the Edgar Award-winning Skip Langdon Series by Julie Smith.

“…plenty of two-fisted action, tender romance, and nail-biting suspense…” -The Jackson Clarion Ledger

“One of the best of the Skip Langdon series. . . In the fast-growing field of fictional female police officers, New Orleans Homicide Detective Skip Langdon stands tall.” -St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Sugar Hebert arrives home from a ten-minute errand to find her husband shot to death and the rest of her family missing—including her daughter Reed, heir apparent to the Hebert restaurant dynasty, and Reed’s eleven-month-old daughter.

Detective Skip Langdon’s hunt for a murderer and the missing Hebert heirs embraces worlds within worlds—splendid but dangerous Garden District digs, Faubourg Marigny drug dens, broken-down projects, lowdown bars, an elegant hangout for crooked politicos, and a dealer’s crib masquerading as a sultan’s palace, harem and all. A palm reader warns Langdon of danger, but it comes when she’s least prepared for it. Before long, the mob’s involved (maybe there’s a reason Hebert’s Restaurant won the lucrative casino contract), and so are family secrets so ugly they’d make Tennessee Williams wince. Everyone has them—the Heberts, the mob princess, even the crooked cop.

And Langdon finds she should have listened to the damned palm reader.


Finally, arriving slightly out of breath, she remembered she hadn’t brought her purse, had simply picked up Reed’s key and hurried out.

Feeling silly, she rang her own doorbell and waited. It was probably a full two minutes before she realized no one was coming. Glancing around for Reed’s car, she didn’t notice it at first, wondered if Dennis and Reed had gotten so mad they’d stalked out.

But in that case why hadn’t they come home?

She marched to the side of the house and turned over the rock under which she kept an extra key. Letting herself in, she felt for the first time a slight sense of foreboding; the lock didn’t give at first, not until she’d turned the key a few times. Could it be the door hadn’t been locked? Had she unwittingly locked it herself, then had to fiddle to unlock it?

“Arthur?” she called. Getting no answer, she turned from the hall into the dining room, where her family should have been.

Instead there was blood.

Red on the cream walls, splashed as if a kid had filled a balloon with blood and fanned his arm in a great and joyous arc to empty it. But it was as if he’d done it sitting on the floor. The blood was low on the wall, and above the splashes, there was a bloody handprint. Blood was also pooled on the floor.

Blood. Like something in a movie. Or on television; an event in someone else’s life.

The heavy mahogany table had been upended. China, silver, and beans had spilled every which way, and chairs were overturned, though not Sally’s high chair, which was empty.

Arthur lay on the floor, face-up, eyes open, white shirt soaked red. There was blood on his pants too, at the groin.

The house was so still Sugar’s breath sounded like screaming.


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Kindness of Strangers (Skip Langdon Mystery #6) (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
4.2 Stars (32 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Kindness of Strangers is the SIXTH book in the Edgar Award-winning Skip Langdon mystery series Julie Smith.

“A breathless thriller … Smith pushes her protagonist to the breaking point and the series to a new high water mark of suspense.” -Los Angeles Times

“Skip’s grittiest, most disturbing adventure yet … like a good Grisham: taut, fast, and thrilling. But with a lot more heart and soul.” -The Clarion-Ledger


Politics makes the strangest bedfellows of all and in New Orleans, a psychopath’s running for mayor. Not just the usual harmless megalomaniac—a murderer and a monster. His supporters and a good proportion of would-be voters think he’s just a kindly preacher-man and handily crucify anyone who says otherwise. Enter Detective Skip Langdon, who met the Rev. Errol Jacomine on a case, finds him pretty much the personification of evil, and can point to a pile of corpses to prove it.

But Langdon’s fresh out of street cred. On administrative leave after shooting someone, she’s become the Cassandra of the police department—everything she says gets put down to paranoia. So finding the proof to discredit Jacomine becomes her obsession until he kidnaps a couple of kids she cares about—and then it turns into a mission from hell.

Langdon has to bull her way through a hurricane to find the small army of Jacomine’s thugs who’ve got 15-year-old Sheila, the closest thing she has to a niece, and Sheila’s friend, who’s having the mother of inappropriate love affairs—with someone dangerously close to Jacomine.


Skip tried to keep it light, obediently telling war stories until her mother called them to dinner.

Ted Gilkerson, who’d now had a couple of martinis in addition to whatever he’d swizzled earlier, wouldn’t leave her alone. “It’s the mayor who appoints the superintendent, right? If we had a decent mayor, we might get a decent chief.”

“I like the mayor,” said Camille, but he bulled on ahead.

“Only reason we got the kind of police we do is, the powers that be want it that way. Right, Skip?”

“I don’t know, Ted. I think the problems are ingrained over generations.”

“Good mayor could stop ‘em. We gotta get that asshole outta there.”

“Well, since he’s not running for reelection, I don’t think it’ll be a problem.”

“There’s always a machine guy. Jackson’s it this time.” Jackson had been accused of taking kickbacks when he served on the city council. In fact, he’d resigned over it.

“Know who I like?” said Camille. “I just love Errol Jacomine. Now he talks sense.”

Skip felt her stomach turn over.

Her mother said, “At least he’s not a racist. Perretti might be.”

“My man!” said Conrad, raising a clenched fist. Skip couldn’t conceive how the two of them could be made of the same genetic material.

“I agree with you, honey.” Their father addressed himself to Camille. “I really think he’s got something to offer.”

Skip said, “I know him. There’s something wrong with him. He’s a very, very bad man. And I don’t think Perretti’s really a racist.” She shrugged. “Just another Louisiana opportunist.”

“I think he believes what he says, and I think he’s going to kick ass,” said Conrad. “I’m voting for him.”

“Sweetheart, you can be so heartless sometimes,” said Camille. “Jacomine’s done stuff the others only talk about. He’s gotten people off drugs, he’s cleaned up neighborhoods, he’s worked for good candidates …”

Skip noticed everyone was nodding except Conrad. “I’m voting for him,” said her father.

She was losing her appetite fast.

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Mean Woman Blues: An Action-Packed New Orleans Thriller; Skip Langdon Mystery #9 (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
4.5 Stars (35 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Mean Woman Blues is the NINTH book in Edgar-winner Julie Smith’s Skip Langdon mystery series.


That would be the Rev. Errol Jacomine, crazy as a fox that just ate a loon, and more dangerous than a cell full of serial killers. She’s Detective Skip Langdon, the New Orleans cop who’s twice smashed his criminal endeavors, yet each time he’s managed to slip away. Now he’s mad. In both senses of the word. And he has the connections to have her killed—or worse, those she loves.

After one near-miss and several nasty threats, Skip is driven by fear that she’ll lose the people dearest to her. Despite finding herself disgraced in her own home town (seems Jacomine knows how to frame as well as kill), she goes on the hunt for the kind of maniac with a gift for conning people and the extreme makeover to make it work.


But by now Jacomine’s madness has escalated to the point that he’s finally gone too far with too many people. Before it’s over, more than one person’s stalking him, and some are women feeling as mean as their quarry. If Langdon doesn’t get there first, there’ll be a bloodbath. If she does, only one person will walk away—and Jacomine’s as lucky as he’s ruthless.


Nearly two years ago, Errol Jacomine had disappeared, but he would not stay gone. She knew this; she had destroyed two of his careers, twice thwarted his attempts to win control over his fellow human beings, to gain a following, and to dominate. He would be back, and he would try to kill her sooner rather than later. To forget it for a day in the woods, for an evening in her courtyard, for a moment, for a millisecond, was dangerous and possibly deadly.

Jacomine’s son, Daniel, had been arrested, charged with half a dozen crimes, and eventually convicted of murder as the result of one of Jacomine’s schemes. He was due to be sentenced in a couple of days.

How that would affect his father Skip couldn’t know, but it had probably precipitated the dream. Jacomine might not even notice, perhaps having written Daniel off. He could do this; he seemed sometimes to have no feelings.

On the other hand, he perceived himself to be at the center of the universe. He might feel proprietary toward Daniel, no matter how unlikely he was to have true paternal feelings. And if he did, he might… what?


Treat it as an occasion to make himself known. Trade an eye for an eye: kidnap Steve and demand Daniel.


That was what the dream was about.

She left for work feeling hunted and resentful of her psyche for rubbing her nose in it. She knew all that, and what could she do about it? Exactly what? she asked herself angrily. Later, the dream seemed more a premonition than a warning.

* * *

That morning, as always, she walked the few blocks to the garage where she kept her car, pointed the remote at the automatic door (a process that never failed to give her childlike pleasure), and waited for the door to raise itself high enough to allow her ingress. Instead of the familiar rumble, an explosion ripped through the quiet morning, followed by a loud ping, like a beer can hitting a metal drum.

She was aware of an arm around her waist, another at her back, and then she felt herself falling, a great weight upon her. She tried to fight it, but it was too heavy. She was helpless. Her head h

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