Tuesday, June 29, 2021

New Review! Death Southern Style by Beverley Bateman 3.5 Cranky Stars


Death Southern StyleDeath Southern Style by Beverley Bateman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 Cranky Stars

Julie Ann Dupre is an up and coming Interior Designer working in NYC when her beloved mother, Perrine, is murdered in her hometown of New Orleans. The police on the case, headed by Sheriff Tozer, insist that Perrine was killed in a robbery gone bad. But, Deputy Sheriff Connor O'Reilly, doesn't believe that is what happened. Connor is still trying to find out what got his father, who was also a cop, killed a decade earlier.

Julie Ann feels guilty for staying away from New Orleans for so long. "She'd let New York infect her when really everything important in life was here." She had forgotten how much she loved the music, the food, the town and the people. Maybe she should give up her life in NYC and move back home. But first, she has to find out the truth about her mother's murder.

Perrine had adopted Julie Ann when she was a baby after her birth mother died in an accident. Julie Ann decides that she needs to find out more about her birth parents in order to, hopefully, solve Perrine's murder. As she and Connor dig deeper, they find that several other witnesses to her birth have died in mysterious accidents over the years. What could be so important that people were killed to hide the truth of her birth?

As Connor works to get at the truth, Julie Ann constantly puts herself in danger, following up on leads by herself. After several close calls, she still insists on getting at the truth. "You sound like one of those too stupid to live heroines in some of the books I read."

Connor and Julie Ann begin to feel an attraction for each other, but both are determined to remain single. As they get closer to solving the mysteries of Julie Ann's past and her mother's murder, the dangers surrounding the case might keep them from ever growing closer.

Police corruption, rackeering, and voodoo play a part in this mystery, as well as otherworldy visits (maybe) from Perrine and a stray dog that might possibly be protecting Julie Ann. I especially enjoyed the many references to life in New Orleans, with local landmarks, traditions, music and food that were mentioned throughout the book.

However, the writing was a little choppy and made the book difficult to read. It really didn't flow well with so many short sentences in many places. Also, there were a lot of repetitions of clues and facts; several times, something was discovered and discussed, then it was mentioned again as if it was new several chapters later. At times, the story dragged because of this repetition.

The heroine, Julie Ann, was written as being young and naive instead of a young supposedly worldly woman with a budding career in NYC. The fact that she was adopted yet had never tried to find out more about her birth parents in her 28 years of life was a little unbelievable, in my opinion.

All in all, not a bad book, but it could have been much better. After all of the buildup to the solving of the mystery, it ended rather abruptly.

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