New Orleans in 1909 was all about decadence and debauchery, as sporting women plied their trade, musicians tried their hand at a new, radical style called "jass," and Tom Anderson, "The King of Storyville," oversaw everything and kept tabs on everyone. Too bad someone's spoiling all the fun by murdering musicians, leaving private detective Valentin St. Cyr (last seen in Chasing the Devil's Tail) to overcome his skepticism - and the trauma of his last major case - to determine who's doing so and why. More deaths, blackmail and skulduggery ensue as all efforts possible are made to ward the Creole detective away from the murders. But equal time is given to the disintegrating relationship between St. Cyr and his lady friend Justine, whose frustrating, sometimes unbelievable lack of communication rips apart the strong bond forged years earlier. Fulmer brings alive this earlier time with descriptions so lively one can hear the music's wildness and the crowd's bustle, but the detective story seems perfunctory and St. Cyr remains a maddening cipher from beginning to end. Still, Jelly Roll Morton's secondary role and allusions to jazzmen great and small give Jass well-needed authenticity and a strong entertainment value.