Reading Louisiana

green heronI was recently in Louisiana and it’s definitely a place with a lot of character.  We have lots of great books set in the state, so I though I’d share some with you.

Fiction Series

Hot Blooded by Lisa Jackson – The first book in Jackson’s New Orleans romantic suspense series featuring Detectives Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya.  The story follows Dr. Samantha Leeds, a popular late-night radio host who is being stalked by an enigmatic serial killer and haunted by a woman from her past, as she joins forces with Detective Rick Bentz to find the psychopath who is determined to make Samantha pay for her sins with her life.

The Exiles by Gilbert Morris – This book starts Morris’ Creoles series of romantic, historical, Christian fiction.  Having tragically lost her parents, Chantel Fontaine journeys through the streets and swamps of nineteenth-century Louisiana in search of love and her missing baby sister.

Maid for Murder by Barbara Colley – This title kicks off Colley’s cozy mystery series.  After Jackson Dubuisson, a client of her housecleaning service, is found murdered in his study, Charlotte LaRue finds herself unwillingly drawn into the mystery when those who knew the victim insist on confiding in her.

The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke – Burke’s long running series featuring New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux, begins when he becomes involved in the case of a young prostitute whose body is found in a bayou.  Thrust into the world of drug lords and arms smugglers, Robicheaux must face down a subterreanean criminal world and come to terms with his own bruised heart in order to survive.

Chasing the Devil’s Tail by David Fulmer – This historical mystery series, with a heavy emphasis on music, is set in New Orleans’ Storyville.  Politician Tom Anderson hires Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr to investigate the deaths of several prostitutes, each of whom is found with a black rose.

French Quarter by Stella Cameron – Cameron’s steamy bayou romantic suspense series begins as Celina Payne is plunged into a nightmarish world when her boss, Errol Petrie, dies in a scandalous situation and Petrie’s business partner, Jack Charbonnet, is convinced that she is hiding something.  As they search for the truth, passion flares between them and an unimaginable evil threatens to destroy them both.

Phantom Evil by Heather Graham – Graham’s new Krew of Hunters paranormal series in set in New Orleans.  Heading a group of paranormal investigators for the government, Jackson Crow, part English, part Cheyenne, uses his link to the realm of spirits to help solve the mysterious death of a senator’s wife with the help of Angela Hawkins, a police officer with paranormal intuition.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris – Thanks to HBO’s True Blood, Harris’ southern vampire series is probably the best known on this list.  Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn’t date much because of her “disability” to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s the type of guy she’s waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too–he’s a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next.

Nonfiction

Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum – The book explores New Orleans through the lives of nine characters over 40 years, bracketed by two epic hurricanes. It brings back to life the doomed city, its wondrous subcultures, and the rich and colorful lives that played themselves out within its borders.

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers – In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, longtime New Orleans residents Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun are cast into an unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water. In the days after the storm, Abdulrahman traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared– arrested and accused of being an agent of al Qaeda.

Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life by Sean Payton – Details the author’s decision to become head coach for the devastated New Orleans Saints in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and how he led the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2009 and helped revitalize the city’s spirit.

 

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