You'll Be Transfixed Reading 7 Books That Take Place In New Orleans
Books set in the Big Easy!
New Orleans Books
Between the history of voodoo, witchcraft, and crime, and the tales of ghosts, vampires, and zombies, New Orleans is a city known for being other worldly or what most would consider everyday life. That's what makes books about New Orleans so compelling! Who wouldn't want to read about what they know little about?
New Orleans is one of the older modern cities in the United States - by that I mean cities "established" after colonization - giving it more history than most in the country. With its rich history, it's a great setting for books whether they're contemporary fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, mysteries or any other genre. There are even plenty of incredible historical figures to base books off of, like you'll find with Jewell Parker Rhodes' books on this list!
Check out the books on this list and have fun reading? Also, let us know which books set in New Orleans you'd add!
1. A Dark Horse by Blayne Cooper
From a dysfunctional family, a college professor living in the Midwest is estranged from her family in Blaynde Cooper's A Dark Horse. So close to getting the job of her dreams, Natalie Abbott is forced to head down to New Orleans in the search for her runaway teenage brother Joshua. With few clues to go on, she's glad for the help of NOPD Detective Adele Lejeune.
It isn't long before Adele's work on Joshua's case shifts from "professional to intensely personal" as her feelings for Natalie grow. Venturing into New Orlean's underbelly, it becomes apparent this mystery is likely to "crush Natalie's heart and leave Adele's life in ruins."
2. Voodoo Dreams and the Marie Laveau Mystery series by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Jewell Parker Rhodes thrives on tales set in New Orleans. Her novel, Voodoo Dreams, is about the famed voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau. Set in the nineteenth century, Marie was raised in the bayou before leaving for New Orleans to look for her Maman and discover the cause of the dreams she gets. Along the way, she discovers not only "runs headlong into the brutality of slavery and oppression," but also meets a voodoo doctor named John, who brings her into a world she never could have imagined.
The Marie Laveau Mystery series is about a woman named Marie Levant, the great-great granddaughter of Marie Laveau. A doctor born living in Chicago, "unseen forces" cause her to relocate to her New Orleans, her family's home. Along the way, Marie Levant comes up against, murderers, zombies, vampires, and hurricanes as she continues her family's legacy.
3. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
The first novel in Anne Rice's enduring Vampire Chronicles series, Interview with the Vampire, spends much of the novel in the heart of Louisiana with protagonist Louis de Pointe du Lac, a man who wishes to die after the death of his brother. Instead, he finds a vampire named Lestat de Lioncourt, who turns him into a vampire.
In the novel, Louis shares his 200 year tale with a journalist. Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches series is also set in New Orleans an crosses over with the Vampire Chronicles down the line!
4. Michel Doucette & Sassy Jones Mystery series by David Lennon
David Lennon's six book series, the Michel Doucette & Sassy Jones Mystery, is about two homicide detectives and eventual private investigators, Michel Doucette and Sassy Jones. As partners, they attempt to solve often brutal murders, missing persons cases, and blackmail plots, all within the underbelly of New Orleans. The second novel in the series, Echoes, won the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Mystery because of its portrayal of Michel Doucette.
5. Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende takes readers from "the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlors of New Orleans." It is the story of Tété, a mulatta woman born a slave on Saint-Domingue to an African mother she never had the chance to know and a white slaver.
A childhood filled with "brutality and fear," Tété gets through it thanks to "the traditional rhythms of African drums" and her initiation into voodoo. She ultimately becomes the confidant to Toulouse Valmorain, who comes to run his father's plantation. In the end, Tété's determination is what allows her to gain control of her destiny, her identity, and even find love "under the cruelest of circumstances."
6. The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez
Jewelle Gomez's The Gilda Stories begins in the 1850s with Gilda, a woman who escape slavery and ends up getting rescued by a vampire. Gilda ends up working in the vampire's brothel New Orleans for a time.
Told in vignettes, Gilda is eventually turned into a vampire as well and ultimately leaves. Different vignettes take place in different cities during different times through the 2050s, and explore "blackness, radical ecology, re-definitions of family, and...the erotic potential of the vampire story." Gomez won two Lambda Literary Awards for The Gilda Stories.
7. Love in Disaster by Charlotte Greene
English professor Kit Kelly winds up in New Orleans for a conference in Love in Disaster by Charlotte Greene. Tired of her job, tired of the nameless and faceless people she beds, and completely exhausted with her life, Kit has been going through the motions for a long time now.
Then she meets the beautiful Teddy, a chef who brings something out in her she hasn't felt in ages. However, a hurricane is coming, possibly destroying their love before it ever even had a chance.
Let's Keep the Conversation Going...
Have you ever read a book that took place in New Orleans? What was it?