30 May, 2017

Assassination at Bayou Sauvage by D.J.Donaldson Review!

A family picnic turns to murder in D.J. Donaldson’s new Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn title, ‘Assassination at Bayou Sauvage’

Memphis, Tenn. – New Orleans medical examiner, Andy Broussard, is back! And he’s tackling one of his most difficult cases yet in the eighth Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn Mystery, “Assasination at Bayou Sauvage” by D.J. Donaldson (Astor + Blue Editions, April 2017).
This riveting mystery opens with the assassination of Andy’s Uncle Joe—within plain sight of friends, family and Andy himself at a family picnic. After another murder seems to tie back to Uncle Joe’s death, Andy sets off on a perilous search for the killer, pulling Andy deep into his family’s past. With the help of death investigator Dr. Kit Franklyn, Broussard races against the clock to solve this complex case before it’s too late.

This perennially popular series has been applauded by Publishers Weekly as having “lots of Louisiana color, pinpoint plotting and two highly likable characters.” The Los Angeles Times praised the series, saying “the autopsies are detailed enough to make Patricia Cornwell fans move farther south for their forensic fixes… splendidly eccentric local denizens, authentic New Orleans and bayou backgrounds.”

Readers who like forensics, characters that jump off the page, and a vexing puzzle to solve will adore Donaldson’s latest novel. Exuding his New Orleans style and featuring a lurking menace to anyone of Cajun heritage, “Assassination at Bayou Sauvage” is one of Andy and Kit’s most intriguing investigations. With new revelations about Andy’s family background and Donaldson’s knack for keeping readers looking just around the corner, fans and new readers alike will be sucked into the latest Andy Broussard title.

D.J. Donaldson is a retired medical school professor. Born and raised in Ohio, he earned a Ph.D. in human anatomy at Tulane University in New Orleans then spent his entire academic career at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. In addition to being the author of several dozen scientific articles on wound healing, Donaldson has written five medical thrillers and eights forensic mysteries, including his newest novel, “Assasination at Bayou Sauvage.”

                                   Assassination on Bayou Sauvage
D.J. Donaldson  April 2017
ISBN: 9781681209418 (paperback)  $16.95 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781681200057 (epub); 9781681209395 (epdf); 9781681209401 (mobi/Kindle) $7.99 (ebook)
Forensic Mystery

Andy Broussard, the plump and proud medical examiner for the City of New Orleans, is sitting almost in the kill zone of a too-close-for comfort and 'in living color' murder of his Uncle Joe Broussard at a family picnic in Bayou Sauvage - the largest urban wetlands park in the USA. Surprisingly, the murderer then immediately commits suicide. After easily determining the killer's identity from the driver's license in his pocket, the only remaining task for Broussard and the police is to uncover the motive for such a heinous act. But suddenly, everything about the case takes a bizarre turn.

Caught short handed because of an NOPD work slow-down, and needing someone to find out what happened to a young woman who has just been reported missing, Homicide Detective, Phil Gatlin, deputizes Broussard's beautiful death investigator, Dr. Kit Franklyn, and assigns her to that case. Shockingly, Kit's efforts soon lead back to the murder of Uncle Joe. Sensing a plot of horrendous magnitude, Broussard directs his colleagues and friends in a race to uncover the truth behind the most audacious Andy and Kit mystery of the entire series.

D. J. Donaldson's fans can rejoice once again, knowing that Kit, Andy, Phil, Bubba, Grandma O, and Teddy are back in a terrific new story that pushes their abilities to the limit.

As with all of the books in this series, within the first pages, there is a murder. This time it is New Orleans medical examiner Andy Broussard's Uncle Joe that is shot and killed at a family picnic. The authorities are able to identify the killer but getting answers out of him proves to be impossible, as he has killed himself. This should be an open and shut case, but it proves to be anything but easy. As Andy Broussard and returning characters, Dr. Kit Franklyn, Grandma O, and Bubba Oustilette dig deeper into the case, more murders occur, all related to Andy. So Andy tries to do all he can to help in the investigation, as it is personal to him.

Assassination at Bayou Sauvage is the 8th book in the Broussard & Franklyn series. You don't have to read them all in order to follow along with the story. I think the author does a great job of continuing the characters roles book by book so you don't need to know all of the previous stories. But if you want to know more about the characters developments, then, by all means, read the whole series. That said, I have only read a few of the books previous to this one and I had no problems knowing who was who and what their role is.

I enjoy reading this series, the author does a great job with descriptions of New Orleans, the culture and feel are definitely intertwined with the characters. You can almost smell the air, the heaviness, and humidity. Very atmospheric and this series is definitely character driven and the plot flows from page one until the end.

If you are looking for a series to read that will keep you turning the pages, this one is it! I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it! 
This review is voluntary

                                                  An Interview with
D.J. Donaldson

 For long-standing fans of Andy Broussard and Kit Franklyn, what can they look forward to in the latest installment?
There are a couple of humorous scenes between Andy Broussard and his little Cajun friend and mechanic, Bubba Oustellete, that still make me chuckle when I read them. Of course, I’m totally unbiased in my judgement about that. We also learn something about Grandma O that even Broussard didn’t know. Finally, in the last chapter, there’s a big development in the relationship between Kit and her boyfriend, and frankly, I’m worried about what that means for me.  

For new readers, what should they know before jumping in?
It would be great if someone new to the series could read the first seven books before reading the new one. But that certainly isn’t necessary. Each book is designed to serve as a stand-alone introduction to all the characters. 

How do Broussard and Kit develop throughout this book? How does this particular case push their limits?
Broussard is faced with the fact that he is such a self-contained man he hasn’t kept contact with any of his relatives. That includes his murdered Uncle Joe and Joe’s now adult children, with whom Broussard grew up. Amid his feelings of guilt over ignoring those who helped him after his parents were killed, Broussard must now investigate the possibility that one of them killed Joe.

Kit and her alligator farmer boyfriend, Teddy LaBiche, move to a higher level in their relationship. Will that be a good thing or not? At the same time, in her newly appointed capacity as a detective, assigned to find a missing young woman, Kit knows that if she doesn’t figure things out fast, the girl may die. 

Can you tell us a little about your background in science and how it has influenced your writing, especially since Broussard is a medical examiner?
I’ve never been a medical examiner. But at the University of Tennessee, where I was professor of anatomy for many years, the county medical examiner and several forensic anthropologists were my colleagues. That gave me pretty free access to the forensic center, where I got to hear about a lot of fascinating cases, some of which I’ve used in my books.     

What was your favorite part about writing “Assassination at Bayou Sauvage?” Did your characters surprise you at all?
I love working esoteric medical and scientific situations into my books. I don’t want to give anything away, but there’s a really good one at the heart of this story.

Kit and Teddy didn’t surprise me in this one, but they’re pushing me toward a development I can’t seem to stop, but may not be able to handle effectively in the future.

What makes the New Orleans area the perfect setting for a murder mystery?
The beauty and ominous nature of the swamps, the distinctive food, music, and French heritage, along with a high water table that leads to creepy above-ground cities of the dead are consummate ingredients that can’t be duplicated by any other American city.    

What’s next for Broussard and Kit?

Like the night sounds of the swamp, I can feel that there’s something out there, but don’t yet know what it is. 

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