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This ambitious, vivid novel by writer, New Orleans resident and jazz record shop owner Maistros starts out in the Big Easy of 1891. Noonday Morningstar, an African-American Baptist preacher, is summoned to pray over a dying one-year-old boy whose supposed illness is actually demonic possession. Aided by Dr. Jack, an abortionist and witch doctor; Beauregard Church, a veteran prison guard; and Buddy Bolden, a cornet player specializing in the new jazz sound, Noonday performs a voodoo exorcism. Fifteen years later, Noonday is dead, and his youngest son, the diminutive and gifted Typhus, has developed an odd love for Lily, a girl he knows only through a photograph. Following Typhus and those connected to the exorcism through New Orleans' vibrant underbelly, Maistros develops a rich, dangerous world of musicians, mob justice and magic. Stylistic flourishes, lush descriptions (especially of the voodoo practices), and dialect-heavy narration sometimes jar the story's flow, but the plot's insistent pace builds to a satisfying though familiar storm-buffeted climax. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.