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Jambalaya Justice is the second in the Crescent City Mystery and picks up where Gumbo Justice left off.
New Orleans Prosecutor Rhan Murphy refuses to let the murder of a hooker in a crack house languish into another unsolved homicide. She has a connection to the woman and will do whatever it takes to make sure the killer is brought to justice-- even if it means doing dangerous undercover work and keeping it a secret for those closest to her.
She's also jugglng her other cases, including a 5-victim mob murder, a nasty domestic violence assault, and the robbery of a French Quarter strip club. Not to mention a sadistic home invader she prosecuted just got off of probation and might be after her.
Ryan just wants justice for her victims. By the time the weekend ends, she'll settle for staying alive.
Set against the backdrop of pre-Katrina new Orleans, Jambalaya Justice is the second in the Crescent City Mystery Series which will eventually follow Ryan through Hurricane Katrina and into the strange new world of Post-Katrina New Orleans.
Ryan could think of no other way to describe them. Except maybe dead eyes staring back, if something dead could stare. Did eyes actually die? Or did they just stop working when the heart stopped beating and the brain synapses stopped telling them to see? She should have paid more attention in biology. Or was it chemistry?
Assistant district attorney Ryan Murphy let the jumbled thoughts brew in her mind like the coffee and chicory that once percolated in the battered silver pot on the dead woman’s stove.
She fought the urge to close Cherry’s eyes. Regardless of whether the cause was biological or chemical, the woman couldn’t see anything now. She was smiling, though, or so it seemed, dying the way she lived, with a gold-capped grin spread across her ebony face.
Ryan remembered that smile and the way Cherry called everyone baby. She also remembered Cherry’s help, which had saved Ryan’s ass on more than one occasion.
And now Cherry was dead, her pit-stained tank pushed up to reveal a bloody, makeshift tattoo. If anything would salve Ryan’s conscience, it was that crude smiley face, cut just above Cherry’s right breast. The bodies of two other prostitutes had recently been found bearing the same mark, making Cherry’s lifestyle the more likely reason for her untimely death than Ryan’s tenuous connection to her.
Either way, Ryan doubted she would get much sleep tonight.
Murders were common in New Orleans, and homicides occurred for a multitude of reasons–drug deals gone wrong, gang and turf wars, or in the case of a working girl, sexual deviance carried too far.
But this was different. Whatever his motivation, this killer wanted the world to know he thought the murders were funny.
“Friend of yours?”
Ryan jumped at the sound of the detective’s gravelly voice.
If the rotting carpet in the decaying house had muffled the sound of his holey tennis shoes, the stench that accompanied death and crackhouses had also masked his odor. Up close, Detective Octavio Christakos–Tave–looked as if he had just rolled out of bed and smelled like he had recently stumbled from one of the nearby bars.