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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Review: Jana DeLeon – Trouble in Mudbug

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Jana DeLeon - Trouble in MudbugI’ve had this book on my kindle for absolutely ages, but for some reason it has never really caught my eye enough to read it. But since I read another Jana DeLeon book last month and quite liked it, I thought I might as well give this a try too.

Maryse is a scientist working out on the bayou, carrying out investigations into the plant-life on the bayou. But her life is turned upside down by two things, firstly her mother-in-law dies. Maryse was actually not too heart-broken at this, until she sees Helena rising up from her coffin at the funeral, and she realises that she is the only person who can see the ghost of her hateful mother-in-law, who apparently finds it quite fun to trail Maryse everywhere she goes.

Secondly, a ‘zoologist’ called Luc LeJuene turns up in Maryse’s office, claiming he has been sent by the state to work with her temporarily, but it looks like all may not be as it seems, and Maryse is very wary about letting him in on her (very secret) investigations.

We then end up on a slightly comedic journey with Maryse as she tries to figure out who killed Maryse and avoid getting killed herself, all while trying to avoid the attentions of Luc, until she can figure out what his game is.

I found the book quite fun, although many parts were pretty predictable. Saying that, Jana managed to slip in a few twists to keep things interesting. The character of Maryse’s mother-in-law Helena provided most of the fun for the story, trying to adjust to living in limbo, neither dead or alive. I liked Maryse’s character too, but just couldn’t get on with Luc until about three quarters of the way through the book, when more of his life is finally revealed to us.

I can see that this book is actually the first in a series, but I don’t know where the next books would go from here, with most parts of the plot tied up quite neatly, but some left wide open. I don’t think I liked the book enough to splash out on the next one just yet, especially with a ‘to-read’ pile high enough to take me to the moon!
3/5

Review: Jana DeLeon – Louisiana Longshot

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20140129-204559.jpgFortune Redding is for all intents and purposes an international super-spy, jetting off on missions all around the world. But when her cover is blown on a mission in the middle east, and it looks like the leak was from within her own office, she has to get way off the radar before she gets herself killed.

Luckily for her, her boss has a relative who has just passed away, with a niece about Fortune’s age. The niece was supposed to be spending the summer in the dead lady’s house, but is now whisked away for a holiday in Europe while Fortune takes her place. I mean, what could happen in a sleepy town like Sinful, Louisiana, right? And so Fortune Redding becomes Sandy Sue Morrow.

But you can probably tell that Sinful is not as quiet as ‘Sandy’ had hoped. When on her first day she manages to get the back up of the local Sheriff’s Deputy, and then have her newly inherited dog dig up a human bone from the bayou running through the backyard, having only just had time for a coffee, she realises that she’s going to find it hard staying out of trouble.

My favourite part of this book was that it wasn’t full of the usual characters, and didn’t follow the usual plot lines that you would expect. I mean, we get the tension between Sandy and the deputy throughout the book, but it doesn’t turn out how you would expect. And Sandy’s new friends are not the usual young ladies that you’d get in other books, in fact, they turn out to be two crazy old ladies, who may or may not know more than they are letting on, but they certainly appear to run the small town version of the mafia, aka the ‘Sinful Ladies’.

So who does the bone belong to, and why do Ida and Gertie seem so anxious to protect their friend Marie? And can Fortune stay under the radar when she seems to be attracting trouble like bees on honey?

I really loved this book, another good southern mystery with a kick-ass female lead. The only annoying thing is that this is another kindle book that I downloaded for free that turns out to be the first in a series, making me want to spend all my money on the rest. I’ll be restrained for now, but I can’t guarantee that it will last for long!

5/5