“Deja Vieux: A Michel Doucette & Sassy Jones Mystery” by David Lennon— Returning to New Orleans

Lennon, David. “Deja Vieux: A Michel Doucette & Sassy Jones Mystery”, Blue Spike Publishing, 2020.

Returning to New Orleans

Amos Lassen

I always look forward to a new book by David Lennon for two reasons— he is a fine writer who keeps me guessing (and I am not a mystery reader) and he captures my home town of New Orleans beautifully (often making me homesick). His descriptions of the city jump off the page and I begin to dream of beignets and po’boys, the French Quarter and carnival season.

Seven years ago, Michel Doucette left his career in public investigating and began a life of comfort (or so he thought). But then Sassy Jones, his good friend and former partner asked him to take a look into possible thefts at the nursing home where she is a volunteer. He agrees to do so albeit with reluctance and soon learns that what seemed to be an easy case, is not so. Attempted murder is involved.

On a trip to visit his father down in the Bayou, Michel finds himself in the middle of a gun battle between a drug lord and those who were protecting drug operations in the swamps near New Orleans.

To say any more about the plot would ruin a wonderful read and it is never too late to begin Lennon’s seven book series about Doucette and Jones. I can almost promise you that once you read one of the books in the series, you will then want to read them all. Each is a treasure and “Deja Vieux” is a treasure of treasures.

I sensed Lennon developing his plot as he wrote. We are pulled into the story on the first page and we are held captive by it. I devoured it in one sitting, mesmerized by what I was reading.

Doucette has matured and he seems to be different than the man we met in the other books. Retirement can do that especially after a career filled with action. His relationship with his partner, Chance, is not what it was so working on this new case gives the two men a chance to be on their own and perhaps rekindle what was lost.

What we love about mysteries is here— shootings and attempted murder, drugs and controllers of drugs along with Jonesy, an alligator (we are in the Louisiana swamps, after all). Lennon beautifully captures the dialogue of the Bayou and New Orleans and we also get the idea that with a little bit of work, Michel and Chance will work through their problems.

I am not alone in my high regard for Lennon’s writing and plots. He has been a Lambda Literary finalist five times and  won the award with “Echoes”, the second book in the series.

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