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Louisiana Fever (An Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn Mystery)

Louisiana Fever is my first introduction to the writings of D.J. Donaldson and itís an enjoyable thriller without an overdose of violence or sex. Thereís gore, mind you, but itís more of a clinical variety. The book focuses on the team of Orleans Parish Chief Medical Examiner Andy Broussard and one of his employees, Kit Franklyn, his partner in crime.. solving, that is. Although they are a terrific team, the pair couldnít be more different. Kit is slim and beautiful, while Broussard Ė well, he loves his Southern Louisiana food and it shows. What can I say?

When Kit gets an invite to one of her favorite restaurants from someone who has been sending her yellow roses, she canít resist finding out the identity of her secret admirer. When she spies the older gentleman from across the room and greets him, he begins to speak, only to collapse at her feet, dying a short time thereafter, leaving her to wonder who he could be. A mysterious childhood picture of Kit with her parents is found in his pocket and only makes things more mysterious. Just who is this John Doe?

Meanwhile, Andy is called to a gory scene where profuse amounts of blood cover the apartment floor and the body is found hidden in a closet. After completing the autopsy, he begins to suspect that something very sinister has killed the man and may kill again very soon. Before long, they determine that a virulent hemorrhagic fever may be infecting people in the city and as the bodies start piling up, theyíve got to get things under control. Andy needs Kitís help, but now she has disappeared following some footwork she and her boyfriend, Teddy Labiche, did in an attempt to come up with an origin for some peculiar material found on Kitís mystery man.

As Andy comes to realize that Kitís disappearance may very well be tied to the origin of this dangerous fever, he realizes that many of those he cares for could be at risk from the disease, including himself. Will Andy be able to solve the mystery before it is too late for Kit and the others? Only time will tell.

I enjoyed Louisiana Fever and its gruesome subject matter didnít put me off at all. I really enjoy mysteries and thrillers with a medical background to them and the way the "killer" is described in Louisiana Fever really hooked me. Itís well written and interesting and has a satisfying conclusion. Now, I do have to point out a few things that bothered me, especially since this is an older book that has recently been reprinted. First off, D.J. Donaldson - I have to call you out on this one. I know you arenít a Louisiana native, but you spent enough years in New Orleans to know that in calling it a "crayfish" instead of a crawfish will cause you to immediately lose any sort of Louisiana cred. Calling it anything otherwise tells a reader from Louisiana that you arenít from around here. Just sayiní. The other thing that upset me was the fact that in the book, Kit regularly feeds her dog grapes, which can be poisonous to dogs. Hopefully, no one reading decides to give this a try. One more thing Ė any local will realize the book dates itself by referring to the now (sadly) defunct K&B Store, but thatís ok. It was nicely nostalgic to see the name in print again.

Aside from those minor quibbles, Louisiana Fever is a fun read. Itís not one of those rollercoaster rides, as it takes itís time in building up to the ending, sort of like a lazy Louisiana summer day, but itís worth reading.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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