Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mardi Gras Madness (Roxy Reinhardt #1), by Alison Golden

Alison Golden, September 2019

Roxy is living a safe, no-risks life in Cleveland, working a dull but reliable call center job, and living with her boyfriend. Or so she thinks.

But she feels bullied by her co-workers, and one day, after a really difficult customer complains to her boss, she gets indefinitely suspended from it. Then she arrives home to find that her boyfriend has moved out, leaving her for another woman. While reeling from the cumulative events, she sees an ad on tv touting the pleasures of going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

Never-impulsive Roxy has reached her breaking point. In short order, she and her cat Nefertiti, are on their way to New Orleans, to stay in a guesthouse called Evangeline's. 

It's not long before Evangeline and the regulars at her guesthouse--Nat, the young woman who helps with the cooking, cleaning, and general care of the guests; Elijah, who runs the bakery across the street; Sage, who does the guesthouse's website; Sam, who runs the laundry that handle the guesthouse's laundry as well as providing handyman services. There's also another guest, Louise, who seems nice enough, but also hung up on Sam to a degree that Sam clearly finds unwelcome and embarrassing.

Roxy is enjoying the New Orleans cuisine, her new friends, and her first-ever New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, and is thinking about how she can stay in the city. What reason does she have to go back to Cleveland?

Then the body of a real estate developer who has been pushing Evangeline to sell her, after all, barely profitable, guesthouse, is found shot dead in the cemetery not far from the guesthouse. And the police detective on the case has had run-ins with Evangeline before. Will he find the real killer? Or will he find a way to pin it on Evangeline?

Roxy can't let that happen. And New Orleans is bringing out a side of her she's kept buried for a long time.

This is a light, fun, engaging story, and Roxy and her new friends are a delight. Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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