O’NEIL DE NOUX “The Heart Has Reasons.” PI Lucien Caye. Novelette. First published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, September 2006. Collected in New Orleans Confidential (Create Space, 2010).

   Besides the list below of short stories that New Orleans-based PI Lucien Caye has been featured in, there are five novels, with a sixth promised as coming soon. I doubt that the list of short stories is complete,. The author is nothing but prolific, with perhaps over 40 books and 400 short stories to his credit. Nor is Lucien Caye De Noux’s only recurring series character; others are Dino Francis LaStanza, John Raven Beau, Jacques Dugas, and Joseph Savary (also probably not a complete list). Some (or none) of these gentlemen may also be PI’s.

   There is not too much to learn about Lucien Caye in “The Heart Has Reasons.” The year is 1948, the city is New Orleans, and Caye has an office on the ground floor of the house he lives in, not far from (or in) the French Quarter; his living quarters are on the second. He was wounded in the war; and at the time this story takes place, he is independently wealthy, thanks to a grateful client who has recently died and remembered him in his will.

   Which is why he is able to show his softer side in this tale. He takes in a young girl and her baby from a torrential rainstorm and learns that the father is in trouble with a local loan shark. He is in fact in the hospital with a broken arm, incurred when he couldn’t pay what he owes. Choosing to play the role of The Equalizer, long before The Equalizer came along, Caye decides that the young couple, as yet not married, need someone on their side for a change.

   Which he does, most efficiently. The time and the locale also add greatly to the tale. Nicely done.


      Magazine appearances –

The Heart Has Reasons (nv) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Sep 2006
Too Wise (nv) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Nov 2008
They Called Her the Gungirl (ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Jul/Aug 2010
The Marriage Swindler (ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Mar 2013
The Magnolia Murders (ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Jul/Aug 2017
The Peeschwet (ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Mar/Apr 2019

   Taken from the Thrilling Detective website:

      Non-magazine appearances:

“Erotophopia” (1997, Kiss and Kill: Hot Blood 8)
“Hard Rain” (1999, Pontalba Press Presents Short Stories: Volume 1)
“Friscoville” (April 1999, Hemispheres; 2001, The Thrilling Detective Web Site; aka “The Problem on Friscoville Avenue”)
“Lair of the Red Witch” (2000, The Mammoth Book of Erotic Short Stories)
“St. Expedite” (September 2001, Hemispheres)
“Bluegums” (February 2003, City Slab)
“The Iberville Mistress” (2003, Flesh & Blood: Guilty As Sin)
“Expect Consequences” (2003, Fedora II)
“Guilty of Dust and Sin” (2009, New Orleans Mysteries)
“Tenderless Night” (October 2010)
“She Gleeked Me” (August, 2011)
“Christmas Weather”
“Kissable Cleavage”


New Orleans Confidential (2006; revised 2010).


Enamored (2012)
Rapacious (2014)
Hold Me, Babe (2016)
Dame Money (2018)
Walkin’ the Blues (2020)