Review: Jana DeLeon – Louisiana Longshot

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

Review: Charlaine Harris – Deadlocked

charlaine-harris-deadlockedI’d somehow managed to convince myself that I’d already read this book, so every time I’ve seen it in Waterstones I’ve just ignored it. But last week I realised that I’d not actually read it yet, so I had to buy it and read it straight away – the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series is my favourite set of books.

Once again, Harris has written a book that keeps you enthralled from beginning to end, I just couldn’t put it down. Like all books by Charlaine Harris, there’s a bit of repetition at the start of the book as she re-introduces the main characters and gets you up to speed on what has already happened in the past 12 books(!). It would be good if you’d picked up this book without reading any of the others, but it does get a tad annoying when you just want to dive straight in to the story.

Speaking of stories, this one packed a punch! There’s trouble all around for Sookie, with her vampire husband Eric supposedly now betrothed to another (very powerful) vampire as the last wish of his now-deceased maker, with no apparent way of getting out of it. Then Sookie is summoned to Eric’s house to meet the vampire King Felipe of Nevada and his entourage, expecting punishment for killing Victor, regent of Louisiana. But Sookie is (without her knowledge) told to arrive late to the party, and turns up just in time to see Eric feeding off another two-natured woman, who has apparently used fairy blood to make herself irresistible. And when this woman turns up dead on Eric’s lawn a short while later, there are no shortage of suspects.

Add into this the fact that Sookie is now part owner of Merlotte’s grill, dealing with her fairy relatives living in her house, and also trying to conceal the presence of the magical Cluviel d’Or that she was left by her grandmother and she’s not having an easy time. And it all takes a big twist when she realises that her fairy cousin Claude may not be quite as loving as he may seem.

As with all of Harris’ books, the drama starts about 3 pages into the book and builds up and up and up until it finally explodes with a bang in a dramatic finale. The Cluviel d’Or (a magical object that grants the owner one wish) is used in the most unexpected way, which saves one of Sookie’s loved ones but also creates a new worry for another, who was maybe expecting that Sookie would use it for him. So the book (as usual) ends up on a bit of a cliffhanger, which is quite frustrating as the next one doesn’t come out for another 6 months!

If you like True Blood or any kind of supernatural/fantasy, then I’d really recommend this series of books – but if you’re expecting sparkly vampires like Twilight, you’ll be disappointed (or enlightened).

5-5