So this week I’m reading Jazz Funeral, by Julie Smith, a murder mystery set in New Orleans. This is book #3 in a series featuring detective Skip Langdon. Since I got it for free off the BookBub mailing list, I didn’t have the luxury of going back and starting at book #1, but so far that doesn’t seem like a big deal.
I have to keep reminding myself that Skip is female. It doesn’t help that her boyfriend’s name is Steve; I keep getting their names mixed up. I didn’t have this problem with other books I’ve read where the main female character has a male-sounding name, e.g., J.A. Konrath’s books featuring Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels. This may be because whenever I hear the name Skip I immediately think of this character, a monster from the old Buffy spinoff “Angel”. No, not Cordelia, the other monster.
Stay classy, Skip. Anyway, apparently Jazz Funeral originally came out 1993-1994ish, which you can tell by the fact that (1) the first thing the investigator does when the murder is discovered is go to the victim’s answering machine and “rewind the tape” to see who’s been leaving messages and (2) none of the party-goers at the murder site are taking pictures with their smartphones and posting them to Instagram. Also, just look at that hair.
Short and slightly plump, with the big-hair look, ill-considered atop such a small body. It was very pretty hair, chestnut-colored and wavy, but if she wanted people to take her seriously, she should probably stop gelling it out a foot on all sides.
Hmm, hair sticking out a foot? Are we sure this isn’t the 1980s instead of the 1990s?
Oh, right. Sorry Julia. Anyway, since we’re talking about books from the early 90s and I already referenced “Angel”, I thought I would mix things up and dust off a couple of lines from my old horror novel Long Before Dawn, which was also written in the days before cell phones, then retrofitted for publication after the age of mobile in order to hand-wave away the fact that people are inconveniently unavailable when you need to call them and tell them that vampires are on the prowl. This bit below occurs shortly after the heroine, Roxanne Carmichael, has returned home, gone to the answering machine, and (*cough*) “rewound the tape” to see who’s been leaving messages while she was out.
Her next call was to Barry, but he wasn’t home. She tried his cell phone but he didn’t answer that either, and when she tried to leave voice mail, it told her his mailbox wasn’t initialized, so she hung up. “Join the twentieth century, Barry,” she told the uncooperative receiver.
Ha ha ha! Roxanne is using a landline with receiver! How cute.