Another solid anthology from Pro Se Press. The authors and their stories hit every beat (pun intended) needed to merge a love of jazz and the supernatural.
Each tale is quite good, but my favorite is probably ‘Jazz Juice’ by McCallum J. Morgan. He takes the idea of the Crossroads Demon and puts a ‘combo’ twist on it. If you don’t get that, consider it another reason to read the story. The protagonist ends up exactly where you expect, but Morgan still put a smile on my face.
The first story, ‘Trane Blue’, does the opposite. The supernatural creature is not one I have ever associated with Jazz prior, but I will certainly think about it from now on. A neat, little twist!
Next up is ‘Sounds and Sweet Airs’. The author has given us a tragic heroine, but not one that just accepts what her future might be. Dorothy doesn’t get exactly what she hoped for, but her visions led her to a piano player that let her see something better.
‘Ghost in the Jazz’ is the shortest tale, but it tugged at my heart the hardest. Sixie isn’t the typical, tragic heroine, but she is pretty tough, just the kind of gal (i.e. Stanwyck and Harlow) that belongs in a tale like this.
‘Django in Paris’ could easily be made into a Twilight Zone episode. Davide Mana has his characters dialed in that well. Many years ago, I had the chance to patron a Paris jazz club and it felt much like Davide’s story. On top of that, a bunch of Nazis get it in the neck. What more could you ask for?!
‘Siren Song’ is a time travel story that could have easily folded itself into a corner, but the author did a nice, little side step to avoid the problem. The main character also found himself with a little redemption and resurrection before the final page.
‘Dark Magus’ takes place in Ethiopia. It is a cracking good monster story that locks down a demon on the downbeat. Pun definitely intended that time. Our trumpeter has a familiar name, so I just added (to me) the appropriate last name whenever I read it. You probably will too.
Our last tale is ‘Sunshine in Storyville’. Perhaps not the best in the series, but the author certainly knows how to keep your attention and race you through New Orleans until you are out of breath by the end, and that is always a good talent to have.
Not a dud in the bunch, but I’ve come to expect that from Tommy Hancock and Company. Great book boys and girls!
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If you enjoyed Kevin Findley’s review check out his other reviews by licking the link at the top of the page.
Thank you for reading,