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Led by a bodacious blonde, fourth generation New Orleans natives, The Vettes, are rocking the local scene with their take on 1980s new wave. Siblings Chad, Todd, Brian, Mitch, Jon and Rachel live with their parents in River Ridge, have a remarkable sound and an album bound to launch them into superstardom. “Animal” is a standout song about a bad boyfriend that packs a punch with its pounding beat, bass line and bravado. Their major label debut is pending but until then, their latest tracks are available via Internet (myspace.com/thevettes).

Fiction l Mutilated bodies of the aristocracy littered London’s streets throughout September 1811 in C.S. Harris’ latest mystery, Why Mermaids Sing. Each slain victim is a wealthy young son of a prominent family and has an object relating to a haunting John Donne poem lodged their mouth. In this installment, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, returns to guide readers through Regency England’s gentleman’s clubs, exclusive balls and underground world while deciphering cryptic clues and closing the case.

Non-fiction l Two months before his death in 1990, New Orleans native, esteemed literary critic and New York Times editor, Anatole Broyard, revealed a life-altering secret to his children – he was black. The disclosure inspired his daughter, Bliss, to uncover her father’s secret history and discover a new racial identity. Bliss Broyard’s latest book, One Drop: A true story of family, race & secrets recounts her remarkable journey into her family’s 250-year history that sent her to several cities across the country including pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans.

Cookbook l The legendary culinary history of Avery Island and more than 100 traditional Cajun dishes have been compiled by cook Eula Mae and veteran food writer, Marcelle R. Bienvenu in the new cookbook, Eula Mae’s Cajun Kitchen. Mae is a classic Acadian cook who has never used written recipes or had formal culinary training. Her experience comes from more than 50 years of cooking for the McIhenny Company and managing the Commissary, also known as the Tabasco deli, on Avery Island. The recipes are organized seasonally and include signature creations like Avery Island Crabmeat Casserole, Commissary Cole Slaw and Eula Mae’s Cloud Biscuits.

Art l Natural history photographer, C.C. Lockwood, first explored the 3.1 million acres of the Atchafalaya river basin 40 years ago. He published his first photography book on the basin in 1981 and has since returned to capture the color, wildlife and spirit of America’s largest swamp wilderness in south central Louisiana. His latest collection of photos are found in C.C. Lockwood’s Atchafalaya. Lockwood’s words and images about some of the world’s most exotic ecosystems have earned him international acclaim but despite his travels, Lockwood says Atchafalaya is incomparable. “No place in the world gives me such a feeling of peace as America’s largest river basin swamp.”

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