Herren, Greg. “Who Dat Whodunnit (Scotty Bradley Adventures)”, Bold Strokes Books, 2011.
Floating High and Landing Hard
Every time I read a book about New Orleans, I expect to look up from the page and see Bourbon Street but instead I see Markham in Little Rock and I quickly return to reality. This is a problem—either I can stop reading about New Orleans or I can move back. Since moving back does not even come into the picture, not reading would be the likely choice but if I do that that I will be forced to miss Greg Herren’s (among others) writing.
In his new book he takes us to New Orleans after the Saints won the Super Bowl and the Carnival/Mardi Gras season is growing nigh (love that word). Our detective, Scotty Bradley is not looking forward to the festivities—he has more important matters to deal with. His cousin Jared, a player for the Saints is suspected of murdering his girlfriend, former Miss Louisiana, Tara Bourgeois. Scotty is not exactly convinced that Jared is innocent and when he starts looking into Tara’s life, he finds that there were several people who wanted her dead. She may have been a queen but her life was sordid and she represented homophobia. The more he digs the more sordid a life was found and it seems that Tara had several sexy secrets that someone wants to make sure are not let out.
Tara spent a lot of time promoting herself and she was perhaps most famous for her Anita Bryant like homophobic ranting against gay marriage while the pageant was going on. She dated Scotty/s cousin Jared who was a member of the Saints football squad. However once the investigation began, Tara was not looking to good and even in death there was plenty to talk about. What we have is blackmail, sex tapes, hired assassins, mental illness and a dead beauty queen.
There are twists and turns all along the way especially when you think you have the whole thing figured out. Herren’s writing is polished and slick and he even manages to bring a bit of the history of New Orleans. Religious bigotry and having fun seem to hold hands in the Queen City.