Claire Dewitt, a private investigator from Brooklyn, comes to post-Katrina New Orleans to look for an Assistant District Attorney who disappeared after the storm. She learned her trade by studying with her mentor Constance Darling and uses the 1959 French manual Detection by Jacques Silette as her bible. Her methods are unconventional to say the least. Rather than speak with his known enemies or interview his friends, Claire relies on dreams, drugs and the I Ching, among other things. As she catches up with old acquaintances and meets some shady characters of the New Orleans streets, we accompany her on a journey through a ravaged city and get a glimpse into the chaotic upbringing that brought her to where she is now – the self-designated world’s greatest PI. Her unusual style and her quirky search are engaging and leave the reader anxious for the next mystery into which Claire will be drawn.
A Hudson Booksellers Best Book of 2011
"Just when I begin to despair that the PI novel has worn out its welcome, a writer with a fresh take reminds me why I fell in love with the genre. Sara Gran has long specialized in shaking up and revitalizing other corners of the genre world, so it’s no surprise that she performs this same magic in Claire DeWitt.." --Laura Lippman “The book is beautifully written in a tight, quirky style that distinguishes Gran as one of the more original writers working today. -- Bruce DeSilva, Associated Press
“The hard-living, wisecracking titular detective bounces around post-Katrina New Orleans trying to track down a missing prosecutor in this auspicious debut of a new mystery series—and the Big Easy is every bit her equal in sass and flavor." --Elle “One of the genre’s most original characters in years, reads . . . as if David Lynch directed a Raymond Chandler novel." -- CNN
"Delicious and addictive." -- Salon.com
"The title character is the summer's most original new detective: part Lisbeth Salander, part Veronica Mars."--Hollywood Reporter "With Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, Gran elevates the detective story as literature and brings together a sophisticated mystery, a witty, antagonistic private eye, and a city she knows too well." - The Atlantic Monthly "Terrific. I love this book! Absolutely love it. This is the first fresh literary voice I've heard in years. Sara Gran recombines all the elements of good, solid story-telling and lifts something original from a well-loved form." --Sue Grafton "Critics are already labeling this one - the first of a projected series - a book 'not to be missed.' "--Christian Science Monitor "Claire is a charmer."- New York Times Book Review