Stella Cameron's French Quarter is an entertaining and suspenseful romantic thriller that offers something for everyone: murder, passion, lust, greed, organized crime, and political ambition, all skillfully blended and served up with a Cajun flair.
In contemporary New Orleans, beautiful and talented former Miss Louisiana Celena Payne is thrown into an uneasy partnership with Jack Charbonnet when a mutual friend, Errol Petrie, is killed. As the two slowly piece together a complex puzzle of murder and intrigue, Celena fears for her safety as enemies begin to emerge, including her own ne'er-do-well parents, an ambitious politician with his own plans for her, and the vicious gangsters linked to Jack through his parents' mob connections. Her growing feelings for Jack are mingled with a distrust that she must overcome, while Jack's own tormented past just may keep him from Celena's arms.
For readers who like their murder mysteries enlivened with a touch of steamy romance, French Quarter is a fast-paced and engaging choice. The perfect summer read. --Lisa Wanttaja
From Publishers Weekly
Mystery, more than romance, defines Cameron's (The Best Revenge) appealing if conventional first outing into hardback romantic suspense. Peopled by standard types?growling mob boss, simpering drag queen, pushy newspaper gossipmonger, unscrupulous evangelists, conscienceless politicos?in a cartoon New Orleans, the novel nonetheless succeeds in weaving a taut web of murder and sexual liaisons (the latter sometimes played out in dog-ear-worthy pages of steamy lust). Jack Charbonnet, part owner of a riverboat casino, is thrown together with a former Miss Louisiana, Celina Payne, when her boss, Errol Petrie, is murdered. Jack's wife died four years ago in murky circumstances; Celina is pregnant after a rape by a man whose identity she conceals. Their decision to marry, for respectability's sake, long precedes the predictable resolution of their mistrustful relationship and the more interesting exploration of the connections among Celina's parents, Errol's spiritual guides and Senate-hopeful Wilson Lamar. Cameron's exploration of family?from mob loyalty to parental betrayal?lends a certain thoughtfulness to the work.
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