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Author of the Month

Ray Celestin

Ray Celestin is a novelist and screenwriter based in London. His debut novel, The Axeman’s Jazz (2014), won the CWA New Blood Dagger for best debut crime novel of the year.

His follow-ups, Dead Man’s Blues and The Mobster’s Lament, were shortlisted respectively for the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, and the Capital Crime festival novel of the year. Both were featured on numerous ‘Books of the Year’ lists.

The last book in the series, Sunset Swing, won both the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year, and the CWA Historical Dagger for Historical Crime Novel of the Year. August 2022 sees its publication in paperback.

The novels are part of the City Blues Quartet, which charts the twin histories of jazz and the Mob through the middle fifty years of the twentieth century. The Times described the series as ‘a cause of celebration’, and The Daily Telegraph as ‘one of the finest achievements of recent crime fiction'.

As a screenwriter he’s sold feature film screenplays to independent producers in Europe and North America, and TV pilots in the UK. He’s also been commissioned to write screenplays for Sky Atlantic, ITV and the BBC

New from Ray Celestin

A reason to read...

Completing his American crime quartet, Ray Celestin's Sunset Swing is a stunning novel of conspiracy, murder and madness, an unforgettable portrait of a city on the edge.

Sunset Swing - Ray Celestin

Los Angeles. Christmas, 1967. A devil is loose in the City of Angels...

A young nurse, Kerry Gaudet, travels to the City of Angels desperate to find her missing brother, fearing that something terrible has happened to him: a serial killer is terrorising the city, picking victims at random, and Kerry has precious few leads.

Ida Young, recently retired Private Investigator, is dragged into helping the police when a young woman is discovered murdered in her motel room. Ida has never met the victim but her name has been found at the crime scene and the LAPD wants to know why...

Meanwhile mob fixer Dante Sanfelippo has put his life savings into purchasing a winery in Napa Valley but first he must do one final favour for the Mob before leaving town: find a bail jumper before the bond money falls due, and time is fast running out.

Ida’s friend, Louis Armstrong, flies into the city just as her investigations uncover mysterious clues to the killer’s identity. And Dante must tread a dangerous path to pay his dues, a path which will throw him headlong into a terrifying conspiracy and a secret that the conspirators will do anything to protect…



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