If you loved the film Florence! Foster!! Jenkins!!! staring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant or if you seek out self-assured, slightly out-of-step characters, you must read Florence Foster Jenkins’ eponymously named biography to revel in the heiress turned opera diva who astounded and delighted New York musical audiences in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
If time is short, start with my review of her biography by Darryl W. Bullock in the Historical Novel Society’s quarterly journal.
Brava, Madame Foster Jenkins! Brava!!!!
The Axeman is based on an intriguing historical fact…a jazz-loving serial murderer was afoot in 1918-1919 New Orleans. The novel follows fictional former friends, a detective and and the mentor he sent to prison, as they compete to find the killer first.
Unfortunately, the author complicates an otherwise solid and colorful story by imaging New Orleans native Louis Armstrong as a part-time detective supporting his gal pal, a wannabe Pinkerton agent also in search of the Axeman.
My full review appears in the Historical Novel Society’s February 2016 update.