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New Orleans Mourning (Skip Langdon #1)

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  1,118 ratings  ·  116 reviews
When the smiling King of Carnival is killed at Mardi Gras, policewoman Skip Langdon is on the case. She knows the upper-crust family of the victim and that it hides more than its share of glittering skeletons. But nothing could prepare her for the tangled web of clues and ancient secrets that would mean danger for her--and doom for the St. Amants....
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 25th 1990 by Fawcett
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonOne for the Money by Janet EvanovichA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonDéjà Dead by Kathy ReichsThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Fearless Females
95th out of 409 books — 489 voters
Interview with the Vampire by Anne RiceA Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee WilliamsA Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy TooleAll the King's Men by Robert Penn WarrenNew Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
Louisiana Fiction
5th out of 97 books — 56 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,266)
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Joyce
Mar 07, 2009 Joyce added it
Shelves: librarybook
Re-reading this Edgar Award winner made me nostalgic for the 1990's. As part of the cultural ascendency of my own grumpy, surly, suspicious Gen X -- along with grunge and Riot Grrls -- there was a boom in mysteries with strong, independent, not particularly feminine female protagonists. Nowadays every new series written by a woman seems to feature a young, beautiful vampire... but 20 years ago, it was all about the lone female protagonist who worried about whether having any kind of human relati ...more
Nikki
New Orleans Mourning is one of the relatively rare Edgar Best Novel winners that I had already read, shortly after its publication. I've gone on to read all Smith's New Orleans books; for some reason, I didn't get into her earlier San Francisco-based series.

Rereading the first book in a long-running series is a bit like reconnecting with an old friend, but it's also a bit like time travel. In this first book, Skip Langdon, Smith's protagonist, is still feeling her way as a police officer and as
...more
Elizabeth
Apr 25, 2014 Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in New Orleans social culture
Shelves: women
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denise Link
It may not be fair for me to rate this book, because I didn't get very far into it before I gave it up. By a few chapters in, I didn't care about any of the characters and actively disliked most of them. I didn't care at all who killed the guy. The roving first-person POV was not done well, so instead of being interested enough to sort out whose head I was in, I was just confused. PERHAPS if one was from NOLA or really a cultural insider, one might enjoy being part of the "in group" and understa ...more
Jon
I like the author. I like the lead character Skip Langdon. And, of course, I love NOLA. So I'm a happy camper. This was #1 in the series, so I went back to the beginning. I'm now reading book #2.
Judy Hall
Skip Langdon is a rookie cop in New Orleans. She grew up mingling with the movers and shakers and now she's an embarrassment to her family for protecting and serving. She is working crowd control on Mardi Gras when Rex (the King of Carnival) is shot right in front of her. Because of her connections she becomes part of the investigation.

Skip is a slightly messed up young woman still trying to find her place in the world. The book was written in the late 80s and set down south, so sexism is even
...more
WK
I was expecting more from this book because I knew it had won the Edgar Award. I gave it 4 stars just in case the 3 I wanted to give it was misguided by over expectations. It a good mystery, but I was hoping for Great and didn't get it. But don't let my judgment prevent you from trying it, I also don't agree with 8 out of 10 Pulitzer Prise winning selections.
Marilyn Groves
I'm not rating this one because it wouldn't be fair. I made it less than 10% into the book.

Perhaps I don't have enough interest about New Orleans, or care enough about the Mardi Gras history or events, but not even the characters introduced captured my attention enough to continue.

Sorry........
Jan C
This was an enjoyable book. Matter of fact, this was one I read twice. It wasn't until I was halfway in that I remembered that I had read it before. i knew I liked the character of Skip Langdon but had forgotten the title.
Douglas Castagna
I love New Orleans and thought I would love this book. I did not. What I did love was the backdrop of a wonderful city and when the author wrote about it, her love shone through. That being said, the book was overlong and the mystery aspect was overly convoluted, mired in detail and flashback and the intermingling voice did not make it so much confusing as tedious. I was hoping to love this book and series. I collected if before I began, and do intend to tackle the next one. Skip Landon is a dec ...more
Rosie Guidry
I would have given it 2 1/2 stars but that wasn't an option. I think the title of this book is misleading. The title suggests that New Orleans is in mourning after one of the leading business men, Chauncey St. Amants, is killed while riding on a Mardi Gras float as King Rex. But, in reality the book is really about how his wife, son, daughter and best friend has flash backs of their lives while living with Chauncey. Were they mourning his death or their lives with him? At the end of the book I g ...more
Randee Baty
New Orleans has always seemed to me to have an atmosphere all its own that feels foreign and exotic even though it’s part of the United States. Julie Smith does a good job of recreating that atmosphere in New Orleans Mourning, the first book in the Skip Langdon series and the 1991 Edgar Award Winner.

Skip Langdon grew up among the upper classes of New Orleans though she wasn’t exactly one of them. Her parents were social climbers, her father being doctor to most of the New Orleans aristocracy. Sk
...more
Sandra
I found some of the books of this series at a sale. I couldn't find the first two so I got them from the library. New Orleans Mourning is the first book in this series and I'm torn between really liking it and hating it! Sounds stupid I know.
I had a hard time following the clues because the author stuck so many "what if's" in there, I kept having to think back whether it was an actual thing that happened or something she thought might have happened??? Also, the way the lead character, cop, Skip
...more
Donna McBroom-Theriot
The author began the book with a prologue about the history of Carnival, which I thought was quite interesting. Having been raised just outside of the city, and living in Southern Louisiana my entire life, I have to confess to never having studied or researched the beginning of a tradition so large, that the entire Southern half of the state declares it a holiday. Some even think Carnival – known as Mardi Gras – to be bigger than Christmas.

I have included some of the history on my blog where
...more
Natalie
The French Quarter during Mardi Gras is chaos. The streets are a sensory assault of sounds of music and revelers and colors of garish costumes. So who would notice a man dressed like Dolly Parton in the midst of all the bedlam? No one, unless Dolly decides to shoot and kill the Rex, King of Carnival, from a balcony while he rides by on the parade float.

Enter Skip Langdon. Born and raised in Uptown New Orleans, she got out as soon as she legally could, but for some reason the Quarter called her h
...more
Julie
This is the first in the Skip Langdon series. This first book was published in 1990. So, there is no modern technology involved in solving the case, just good old fashioned leg work.
Chauncey St. Amants, the King of the Carnival, is killed during the Mardi Gras parade by someone dressed as Dolly Parton.
Having grown up in the same circles as the upper-crust family , the St. Amants, Skip Langdon is assigned to homicide for a little while so she can get a little insider gossip.
Skip has gone against
...more
Debbi Mack
For readers who enjoy tough female detectives, Skip Langdon fits the bill. She's the protagonist in NEW ORLEANS MOURNING, born to a couple on the Crescent City's social register, though she's rejected their ways in favor of becoming a cop. Not at all your conventional Southern Belle, Skip's a tall and large-boned woman and a mass of neuroses, who just doesn't fit into the whole New Orleans society mileau.

Although Skip's just a city beat cop when the story opens, she has ambitions of making detec
...more
Tracy
A wonderful mystery that left you guessing until the end. Set in a town we have all heard about, the FrenchQuarter, Bourbon St., Mardi Gras with its traditions, parades, and balls. We also goy to see the underbelly of the city that is rarely spoken of, including the racism that is not well hidden, and the shantys and shacks the black and other less than lily-white races are forced to live in. Mystery with history mixed in made for an entertaining and educational read.
Yt Maverick
Great Mystery, and Setting, Unappealing Central Character

Great Mystery, and Setting, Unappealing Central Character

I've typed before that 3 stars covers a wide range. the Only reason I don't rate this 4 stars is that most of the other characters don't like the series-title character. This needn't be a handicap in a one-off story, but the title promises more; I identified with the central character
Laura
Nov 24, 2013 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
New Orleans Mourning is the first in the Skip Langdon series and introduces the likeable and unusual character. Skip is the daughter of social-climbing parents; her father: doctor to the richest families in New Orleans. She’s is over six feet tall, described as large and with crazy hair, likes to drink and smokes the occasional joint.
Considered a black sheep by her family and people she grew up with for what she does for a living, Skip is looked at as an “uptown girl” and distrusted by other cop
...more
Louise Mitchell
I did like this book, but it is a rather dark view of humanity. All the family members and friends of the deceased lived depraved or stunted lives in one way or another with barely a glimmer of goodness or moral uprightness. I will probably try one more in the series, but if the characters seem stuck in immoral ruts I may not continue. It's just too depressing to dwell on sin when God is Good and created such a beautiful world and gave us such freedom to improve our lives and live good lives.
KB
Ok book. Good for waiting at Doc office. 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
L.T. Fawkes
Julie Smith, $4.99, **** 1st book in the Skip Langdon mystery series. During a Mardi Gras parade, the King of Carnival is shot from a balcony by a gunner dressed as Dolly Parton. When it becomes evident the suspects are nearly all from New Orleans' upper crust, rookie cop Skip Langdon is assigned to work with the two detectives on the case.

Skip, the daughter of social-climbing parents, has never fit into the upper crust where her parents have always tried to push her, and the detectives immediat
...more
Kim
The story took many twists and turns, and ended like a Agatha Christie novel in the way it all came together. Skip was an interesting character with her knowledge of the elite of New Orleans, and the way she was accepted, but didn't quite fit in. I wasn't overwhelmed by the story, but would like to read another Skip Langdon mystery to see how the character and stories are developing.

Kyrie
It's the first in a series of books about Skip Langdon, former Uptown girl, and now, much to her family's total dismay, a cop in New Orleans. I have a love/hate relationship with this book, kind of like I do with New Orleans, particularly New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I guess this book saves itself because it starts on Mardi Gras and moves promptly into Lent.
The NOPD is using Skip, a rookie, because she has connections to the upscale society of the murder victim. It's full of big city corrupti
...more
Shelly
The good: interesting mystery, vivid background with the NOLA setting. The bad: All the rich people were stereotypes from some liberal's fantasy - they were shallow, nasty, evil people and the closest we get to a "good" one was Marcella, an emotional train-wreck of an airhead. Skip also has a huge chip on her shoulder about wealthy people. The worse: The ending was very cliche (evil rich people get away with murder, literally) and Skip is now disillusioned about being a police officer because th ...more
Jimmy
Very good book

Very good book

this book was well written and I loved the descriptions of new Orleans. good character building and keeps you interested. I will read the next in the series to see if it measures up. if u like mystery novels, I recommend this book.
Beverly Mccollum
The French Quarter in New Orleans - Mardi Gras and police corruption offer reasons to read this first book in the Skip Langdon series of mysteries. The city itself plays a huge role in the novel and the protagonist is an unusual leading figure. An enjoyable read. Lots of twists and turns.
Jane Voytek
I wasn't thrilled with this book. I think I had read it before - that may be part of the reason it seemed somewhat trite to me. I liked the protagonist, but didn't find much new or exciting in this book. Wish I knew whether I've already read her other books as well!
Judith
Evil, egotistical, shallow characters make up the entire book. The mystery part is well written, but I skimmed over a lot of the book because the characters were so pathetic - all of them. And the ending, how cliched could that be. This book won an award? Amazing.
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99237
Author of 20 mystery novels and a YA paranormal adventure called BAD GIRL SCHOOL (formerly CURSEBUSTERS!). Nine of the mysteries are about a female New Orleans cop Skip Langdon, five about a San Francisco lawyer named Rebecca Schwartz,two about a struggling mystery writer named Paul Mcdonald (whose fate no one should suffer) and four teaming up Talba Wallis, a private eye with many names, a poetic ...more
More about Julie Smith...
The Axeman's Jazz (Skip Langdon, #2) Jazz Funeral (Skip Langdon, #3) New Orleans Beat (Skip Langdon, #4) House of Blues (Skip Langdon, #5) Death Turns a Trick (Rebecca Schwartz, #1)

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