The cases come quickly to New Orleans Private Eye Lucien Caye.
Catch a cat burglar too slick for the police to catch.
Look into the case of a dipso business man accused of murder.
Help a teary-eyed woman solve the murder of her uncle.
Take a pro-bono case of vandals terrorizing a nearby neighborhood.
All this while juggling a home life that includes raising an 8-year old daughter on his own and romancing an alluring, auburn-haired, doe-eyed beauty, with frequent interruptions from a rambunctious kitten.
“You brought a date?” the police lieutenant asks as Lucien is joined by his new operative, the same alluring beauty named Alizée – who uses her sharp mind to get the facts and wears a sexy sarong to get closed-mouth men to talk.
It’s not easy being Lucien Caye. Yet, if anyone can solve these mysteries, he’s the man. Threats, gunplay, police corruption, sex and violence – New Orleans style – inexorably draws Lucien to the chilling secret of Dame Money.
About Lucien Caye
Lucien Caye is a lone wolf private-eye living and working in the run-down New Orleans French Quarter of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Unlike most P.I.s, Caye rarely drinks, doesn’t smoke and rarely wears a hat (it messes up his hair). He’s six feet tall with wavy, dark brown hair and standard-issue Mediterranean-brown eyes, a sly smile and a clever mind that often gets him into trouble.
He has a weakness for women, children and fellow World War II veterans, down on their luck. He knows how to make a decent living but often finds himself working pro-bono — in one case working to find a little girl’s missing cat, in another searching for a boy’s runaway father and in yet another, canvassing the Quarter for the child who wrote a note to Santa Claus, asking Santa to take him to live with the angels so his mother and father didn’t have to buy food for him anymore. They don’t have much money.
Born in New Orleans of French and Spanish descent, Caye attended Holy Cross High School before working as a copy boy, then cub reporter for The New Orleans Item. A stint as a crime reporter drew Caye to law enforcement and he joined the New Orleans Police Department in 1939 where he was a patrol officer working uptown until December 7, 1941.
Caye joined the U.S. Army serving in North Africa, Sicily and the subsequent Italian campaign at Anzio and Salerno. At the Battle of Monte Cassino, Caye met and befriended journalist Ernie Pyle during the bitter stalemate. Leading an assault on the infamous monastery, Caye was seriously wounded by a German sniper and sent home with a Purple Heart medal and a Silver Star for bravery.
After the war, he returned to the police department, working the French Quarter beat until deciding he preferred working alone and set up shop in 1947 in an apartment building at the corner of Barracks and Dauphine Streets, not far from the fictional residence of Tennessee Williams’s Stanley Kowalski. Living upstairs, Caye’s office faces Barracks Street and the small Cabrini Playground Park across the narrow street.
Women float in and out of Caye’s life, like the alluring brunette who wants him to bodyguard her while she poses for sexy pictures and the long, tall blonde seeking to discover the secret of the “red witch” living down the street from Caye, a woman calling herself a love sorceress.
On a case in 1950 (see novel ENAMORED), Lucien falls in love three times as a seven year old girl changes his life. In 1951, an alluring, auburn-haired, doe-eyed beauty named Alizée enters Lucien’s life and things change again for this hardboiled private eye.
Murder is often the name of the game in post-war New Orleans, truth the most elusive goal. Unfortunately, the truth is often ugly, often dangerous and usually resides on the loneliest part of town.