Friday, November 8, 2019

New Orleans Nightmare (Roxy Reinhardt #2), by Alison Golden

Alison Golden, December 2019

"Evangeline's Guest House" is now "The Funky Cat Inn," co-owned by Sam, the mysteriously wealthy laundryman, and Roxy Reinhardt. Sam is the money; Roxy is the manager. Nat remains as the general help as well as gradually learning and taking over the cooking from Evangeline. Sage is doing their website and social media presence--rather more adventurously than for Evangeline, for whom this was all weird "kids these days" stuff.

Roxy, with help from Nat and Sam, have redone the Funky Cat inside and out, making its beautiful architecture stand out again, and the inside luxurious and comfortable. They're aiming for a higher-end market now.

Elijah is continuing to supply heavenly pastries from his bakery across the street.

Now Roxy has Instagram "influencers" coming to stay for a few days, to experience the new Funky Cat, and broadcast it to the world and all their followers.

It's too bad one of them dies of poison after going to bed on their first night at the inn.

The previously shy, retiring, "play everything safe" Roxy has been growing in confidence and daring, but a second murder associated with the inn, especially while her travel Instagrammer guests are posting everything to their Instagram accounts. And, really,she and all her crew could have done without meeting Detective Johnson ever again.

The dead guest is Dash, of Michael & Dash. Dash's mother Kathy, and brother Derek, descend on tthe Funky Cat faster than seems possible. Dash's mother thinks Michael was a horrible influence on her son, leading him astray, solely responsible for the fact that Dash didn't come home to their small town, and settle down. Ada Okafor, another influencer, was really angry at dinner the first night when Dash accidentally spilled red wine on her white Versace dress. Lily was in competition with Michael & Dash for a Hilton endorsement deal. Someone slips a note under Roxy's office door telling her that Sylvia, one of the older influencers, a nice, middle-aged lady, isn't who she claims to be, but has a dark history and a different name. Derek seems a nonentity, quiet, shy, and completely under his mother's thumb.

Meanwhile, Roxy is doing her best to continue to show her guests the best of her inn and the city of New Orleans, while they're all required not to leave the city anyway. All the regulars, but especially Roxy and Nat, continue to grow and develop as characters. We even get a possible glimpse of Sage's private life. It's all a lot of fun, and Roxy actually doesn't do lots of potentially dangerous investigation on her own--but neither does she ignore information that comes to her just by paying attention and not being blind to the people around her.

Lots of fun. Recommended.

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

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