Review of D.J. Donaldson’s Sleeping with the Crawfish

sleeping I love the title of the D.J. Donaldson book, Sleeping with the Crawfish. It was the first thing that drew me to the crime fiction novel. This third installment of the series about Kit Franklyn and Andy Broussard is just as exciting and entertaining as its two predecessors.

In this book, Kit is “taking a break” from her stressful job as a psychologist but Andy at the medical examiner’s office needs her help. Little did she know that her life would be put in danger by becoming involved.

The numerous plot twists and turns draw in the reader and keep him hooked to the end. This detailed forensic piece with the New Orleans almost mystical setting cannot help but keep the guesses flowing as to who dunnit.

Sleeping with the Crawfish is a great book. I recommend it to mystery-lovers and Louisiana-lovers alike. I give it 4 stars.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can buy it here.



Book Review: Bad Karma in the Big Easy by D. J. Donaldson

bad karmaI was intrigued by the prospect of reading Bad Karma in the Big Easy by D.J. Donaldson since it deals with post-Katrina New Orleans. My family also survived Katrina, although from about 200 miles away.

The setting of the story is the time immediately following Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005. Chief Medical Examiner Andy Broussard is tired and overworked in the temporary morgue. He is perplexed by the bodies of three women who were found naked in the lower Ninth Ward, the scene of much of Katrina’s destruction. There are unusual similarities – the primary one being that these women were murdered.

Kit Franklin, forensic psychologist, is drawn into the case. There are many unusual twists and turns in this mystery. People are not who they seem to be and the killer surprises everyone.

Although part of a series, Bad Karma in the Big Easy reads just as well as a stand-alone novel. Connections to prior books only bear a brief mention and are not crucial to this story. The book is an enjoyable read, although some of the situations are quite horrifying and reluctantly believable. The characters all have depth and I was sympathetic to both Kit and Andy.

I give Bad Karma 4 stars. It’s a good mystery with a satisfying ending. I highly recommend it.


You must read this book – A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy of Dunces

Image via Wikipedia

I picked this book up at the library for a beach read on our vacation. A recommendation I read said that it was funny. The recommendation was wrong. This book was hilarious. It’s really hard to describe what the appeal is for this novel. It’s vulgar, crass and farcical (is that a word?).

The hero of this convoluted nonsense is Ignatius Reilly, a thirty-something slob who lives in a beat up hovel in 1960’s New Orleans – with his mother.  He has a college degree but has never really had a job. He is enormously fat and ugly and dresses funny, the costume of choice being extremely baggy pants, plaid flannel shirt and green hunting cap with ear flaps.  He doesn’t drive but writes like a fiend in his Big Chief writing tablets about injustice and the current state of the world and how “Fortuna” has cursed him.

Mama Reilly despairs over her son. He lays in bed in his filthy room all day pondering his ill-functioning pyloric valve. She worries that Ignatius is jobless and over his correspondence with Myrna, a political activist, and that her son may be a “communiss.”

Ignatius lands an office job at the Levy Pants factory and actually likes it. He proudly throws files away instead of filing them, writes scathing letters to company distributors, is nice to the ancient and senile accountant Miss Trixie (who thinks Ignatius is a woman named Gloria) and executes all kinds of changes to a place that hasn’t seen it in many moons.

After being fired (not surprisingly) for inciting a riot among the factory workers, Ignatius becomes a hot dog vendor at Paradise Vendors, Inc. with a portable wienie cart. He eats more than he sells and tells fantastic stories to his boss, Mr. Clyde, about why he isn’t bringing in a profit.

Other ridiculous but equally engaging characters in A Confederacy of Dunces include:

Gonzalez – the office manager (as it were) at Levy Pants and the unfortunate person responsible for hiring Ignatius Reilly

Jones – the African-American vagrant turned “broom pusher extraordinaire” for Night of Joy bar on Bourbon Street

George – the high school dropout who delivers mysterious packages for Lana Lee, owner of the Night of Joy

Darlene – Night of Joy’s headline act, such as it is

Patrolman Mancuso – the policeman who can’t catch a break or a criminal and wears everything but a uniform when on duty

Santa – Mancuso’s mother, as well as Mama Reilly’s bowling partner and confidante

Miss Annie – the nosy, screaming neighbor of the Reillys

Mr. and Mrs. Levy – dysfunctional owners of Levy Pants who hate each other

Claude Robichaux – ancient widower courting Mrs. Reilly who thinks everyone is a communist

Note that this book is not for the faint of heart or those easily offended. However, the humor is definitely worth it. Most of the dialogue is in the dialect of those speaking and is a little hard to understand at first. Then it grows on you.

Don’t miss this literary treat. It really is laugh-out-loud funny. No wonder it won the Pulitzer.

This book is hilarious!

I’m almost finished with A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I had read a review of it and thought it looked pretty amusing, as well as being about the New Orleans French Quarter that I love. I’ll post more when I’m finished but this book is so nutty and inane. I tried to describe one scene to my husband and laughed so hard trying to tell him that I couldn’t catch my breath and cried.