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Jambalaya Justice (Crescent City Mystery) Paperback – June 6, 2011
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"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. See more
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"No one does New Orleans like Holli Castillo! Reading Jambalaya Justice is like poking your nose into places you'd never find as a tourist and meeting some of the real people who live, work and die in the Crescent City." -F.M. Meredith, author of Angel Lost
From the Author
Jambalaya Justice flowed quite naturally from Gumbo Justice, with many of the same characters and some ideas that were originally planned for Gumbo Justice but had to be saved for later due to space constraints.
The most important thing I wanted to accomplish in Jambalaya Justice was to answer the questions left open by Gumbo Justice. I also wanted to show a more independent and less selfish side of Ryan. Everybody grows, and my goal is to show Ryan's growth throughout the series.
Two things about this novel- Big Who is back with a slightly larger role at the insistence of my husband. Big Who is based upon my husband, again, at his insistence. Second, the deaf cat in the novel is based upon my own deaf cat, Deaf Kitty, who helped me plug a hole I couldn't figure out without him.
The third in the series, Chocolate City Justice, will again feature Deaf Kitty, and will follow Ryan and the rest of her NOPD family through Hurricane Katrina.
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Top Customer Reviews
Our heroine, Ryan Murphy, is a New Orleans prosecutor whose father is a police captain and her four brothers are all members of the New Orleans Police Department. Her boyfriend Shep is a member of NOPD as well. Ryan has deep roots and many connections in New Orleans. She is feisty and brave and sometimes a little naive. And she is working hard at funneling a love of alcohol into a love of shoes....Jimmy Choo's of course. This novel is set in pre-Katrina New Orleans. I have only seen New Orleans post Katrina so it is good to be able to feel the pulse of the city through these pages.
Ryan has a heavy caseload and the story kicks off with the murder of a prostitute who had been an informer of Ryan's. She becomes personally involved in the case and puts herself in danger as she strives to find the prostitute Cherry's murderer. She also is haunted by the loss of a dear friend, Edie, whose story unfolds throughout the book. I love the setting of New Orleans...I have always found that city incredibly fascinating. There are great characters in this book who are completely fleshed out by the author. Ryan's relationships are very realistic. Twists and turns in the book kept the killer a mystery to me until close to the end. In total, a very enjoyable read.
I am looking forward to reading more of the Ryan Murphy adventures. The author is planning to follow Ryan through Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath in upcoming volumes of the series. Definitely looking forward to that.
There's also a side story where Shep, Ryan's cop boyfriend, is also hiding a case he's working on from Ryan, which eventually causes problems with both of them lying about what they're doing. Shep always has Ryan's best interest in mind, but Ryan doesn't always see it that way. And Ryan, well, she's Ryan, and she also always has her own best interest in mind. She can be a little self-centered and selfish, but you still can't help but like her, because underneath it all she's a good person, even if she manages to hide it well a lot of the time.
I liked that there were a lot of clues to point to the killer, but there were also clues to lead in another direction. I didn't figure out the killer's identity until a few seconds before Ryan did, although looking back I could have figured it out.
I also liked that there was more New Orleans in this one, and I think it made the book better. All in all I also think this was better written than the writer's first book, Gumbo Justice.
This novel has some dark moments, just like the first one, and is definitely NOT a cozy, but nothing in it was offensive to me. It answered all of the questions left open by the first book, and also had another great twist at the end. I'm looking forward to the next in the series to come out to see what happens to Ryan next.
What really bothered me in both books is that the editing is so bad - there are so many mistakes (e.g., "feat " for "feet", "there" for "their") that I wanted to get out my red pen, correct them all and send both books back to the publisher. My favorite mistake came in "Gumbo", when Ryan wanted to call in the Calvary. Really? No one picked up on that one?
I thought that Ryan Murphy was an unsympathetic character. She truly is a spoiled brat, and everyone treats her with kid gloves. Granted, she is the Chief's daughter, and the cops tip toe around her, but I would think an attorney, even a young one, would behave more like an adult than Ryan does.
I too am a child of New Orleans, and I really enjoy reading about my home especially since I no longer live there. I will probably read the further adventures of Ryan Murphy - I just hope she matures a bit.
The supporting characters are varied and plentiful. You aren't apt to guess the conclusion till the end - a sure sign of a good mystery.
The author is a lawyer in the Louisiana legal system and it shows. The court room scenes and the reactions of Ryan Murphy to legal issues ring true. There's nothing glamorous about her job as an assistant district attorney in New Orleans. It's hard, often thankless work. This is a nice contrast to the lawyers on most "legal" dramas on TV.