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Swamp Santa

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It’s Christmas in Sinful and Fortune is set to participate in all the local hoopla. A Christmas gala, caroling, and a sleigh ride are on the agenda. Murder is not. But when someone bumps off Santa, Fortune is aware a killer is lurking among the holiday cheer. But with no client and no reason to interfere with a police investigation, it looks as if Fortune, Ida Belle, and G It’s Christmas in Sinful and Fortune is set to participate in all the local hoopla. A Christmas gala, caroling, and a sleigh ride are on the agenda. Murder is not. But when someone bumps off Santa, Fortune is aware a killer is lurking among the holiday cheer. But with no client and no reason to interfere with a police investigation, it looks as if Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie will have to sit this one out. Big and Little Hebert might be criminals, but they prefer no competition in their territory, especially someone brazen enough to kill a man at the Christmas gala. When they hire Fortune to investigate the man’s death, she gets her Christmas wish and Swamp Team 3 sets out to solve their final case of the year.


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It’s Christmas in Sinful and Fortune is set to participate in all the local hoopla. A Christmas gala, caroling, and a sleigh ride are on the agenda. Murder is not. But when someone bumps off Santa, Fortune is aware a killer is lurking among the holiday cheer. But with no client and no reason to interfere with a police investigation, it looks as if Fortune, Ida Belle, and G It’s Christmas in Sinful and Fortune is set to participate in all the local hoopla. A Christmas gala, caroling, and a sleigh ride are on the agenda. Murder is not. But when someone bumps off Santa, Fortune is aware a killer is lurking among the holiday cheer. But with no client and no reason to interfere with a police investigation, it looks as if Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie will have to sit this one out. Big and Little Hebert might be criminals, but they prefer no competition in their territory, especially someone brazen enough to kill a man at the Christmas gala. When they hire Fortune to investigate the man’s death, she gets her Christmas wish and Swamp Team 3 sets out to solve their final case of the year.

30 review for Swamp Santa

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    To say I love this series is redundant. I say that with every book I read and this one is no different. Fortune, Gertie and Ida Belle are up to their reindeer ears in it again, but this time they have a case, but no client until Big and Little Herbert, Sinful's local Mafia, step in as Swamp Team Three's clients. They were not very happy to learn that an outsider was mucking with the Christmas festivities. It was so fun to catch up with them and the uber hot Mannie. This story has more twists and To say I love this series is redundant. I say that with every book I read and this one is no different. Fortune, Gertie and Ida Belle are up to their reindeer ears in it again, but this time they have a case, but no client until Big and Little Herbert, Sinful's local Mafia, step in as Swamp Team Three's clients. They were not very happy to learn that an outsider was mucking with the Christmas festivities. It was so fun to catch up with them and the uber hot Mannie. This story has more twists and turns than a roller coaster - enjoy the ride! This is Fortune's first Christmas in Sinful and Ida Belle and Gertie are determined that she enjoy every single community event starting with the annual Christmas Pageant. But, instead of the Grinch they get dead Santa. When it is discovered that Santa was an imposter and evidence is hard to come by, the Team rolls into action and, of course, Carter is none to pleased.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Swamp Santa by Jana Deleon is the 16th book in the Miss Fortune Mystery series. Christmas celebrations are in full swing at Sinful, Louisiana when some-one kills off Santa during the Christmas gala, and of course Fortune, Ida-Belle and Gertie find a way to investigate. This is one of my most favourite series and I am never let down when I want a good laugh. It is always fun to catch up with all the characters and even Godzilla, Gerties casserole loving gator makes an appearance. I listened to th Swamp Santa by Jana Deleon is the 16th book in the Miss Fortune Mystery series. Christmas celebrations are in full swing at Sinful, Louisiana when some-one kills off Santa during the Christmas gala, and of course Fortune, Ida-Belle and Gertie find a way to investigate. This is one of my most favourite series and I am never let down when I want a good laugh. It is always fun to catch up with all the characters and even Godzilla, Gerties casserole loving gator makes an appearance. I listened to the book on Audible which only added to the entertainment as the narrator is wonderful with all the various characters. Another outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable book

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Well that was overtly complicated. And while I know the entire purpose of Celia's character is to be the butt of all jokes, I inwardly flinched every time the law enforcement threatened to lock her up. Something about "your face is a public nuisance" doesn't jive well with due process.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    I honestly don't know how to feel about this one. Swamp Santa offers most of the usual goodness of a Miss Fortune mystery; freak accidents, explosions, demands for and threats of arrest, Gertie's hilarious antics, Ida Bell's practicality, toughness, and attitude, Fortune's quick thinking, Celia's humiliation (the Celia smackdowns are epic!) and a dark, labyrinthian mystery I couldn't solve within the first 30 percent of the book are all present and accounted for. That said, there are some fuzzy I honestly don't know how to feel about this one. Swamp Santa offers most of the usual goodness of a Miss Fortune mystery; freak accidents, explosions, demands for and threats of arrest, Gertie's hilarious antics, Ida Bell's practicality, toughness, and attitude, Fortune's quick thinking, Celia's humiliation (the Celia smackdowns are epic!) and a dark, labyrinthian mystery I couldn't solve within the first 30 percent of the book are all present and accounted for. That said, there are some fuzzy morals involved in the resolution that aren't sitting well with me. Certainly, Swamp Team 3 and, to a lesser extent, Carter have consistently bent the rules over the course of the series, but the things that are allowed to slide in this one should definitely have been dealt with by the law. What's worse is that Fortune and others repeatedly and explicitly express the importance of and morality in objectively applying the law. The notion that "we don't get to pick the vic” and that Carter is an upright "lawman" figure prominently in this installment. I mean, they spend so much time wringing their hands over Carter’s disapproval of Fortune’s job requirements and relationship with Big, Little, and Mannie that I expected them to drop the case. I guess they forgot that you don’t get to pick the perps, either. More importantly, unlike the vics, perps pick themselves, and justice and the law, while mutually exclusive at times, nonetheless need to be dealt with dispassionately, especially in *this* case. This brings me to another problem I had. Time and again, we’re subtly and not so subtly prompted to consider whether or not Fortune and Ida Bell are adequately protecting Carter’s and Walter’s masculine egos. Nearly every single instance of fieldwork or risk begins and ends with some variation of “and how will Carter feel about *this*?” or “are you going to call Walter about *that*?” Still, I appreciate that Fortune and Ida Bell stick to their guns and live their lives on their terms. They continue to remind people that Carter and Walter knew from the jump that they weren’t getting traditional womenfolk who wanted or needed them to protect them like china dolls. This conflict has been addressed and addressed in previous books, so I don’t quite understand why the theme of “feminizing for love” continues to rear its head. At least the “you’re semi-helpless females and more prone to danger” warnings were perfunctory, few, and far between. Finally, I can’t end this review without acknowledging that huge cliffy in the room! The audible version was only released today and, being my impatient self, I pestered a friend who’d read it months ago until she spoiled the end for me. Suffice it to say that you will close this one flat on your ass! Ultimately, this was an enjoyable read, one I’m more likely to recommend than repeat.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Minx

    Gosh, I love this series so much and I was enjoying this story as I always, until the reveals and twists. There were cleverly done but amoral in my opinion. It's the whole "end justifies the means" type of thinking and I just didn't agree. I won't stop reading the series over it, lol, because it wasn't that horrible, but my opinion on that could change. :D

  6. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    Swamp Santa by Jana Deleon was another home run in my mind. There isn't a book in this series that I haven't loved and laughed until I cried while reading. I read this one in one afternoon because I couldn't put it down. The twists and turns, Gertie's shenanigans and the end blew me away. I was able to read a copy of this book from my local library.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sandee

    Delightful, fun and funny. A more complex mystery in this book and I loved every minute of it. I love this series so much! Again, this book is more focused on solving the mystery and the threesome's hilarious adventures as they solve it. A very enjoyable book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)

    Fortune is about to sample Christmas, Sinful style.  This means real animals at the Nativity (which provided a few sniggers when Celia managed to slip on and fall into something unmentionable!), but then things get a little more serious when Santa is found dead in his chair! Fortune manages to distract the kids and get them to the other end of the hall (much to the relief of the parents!) whilst she, Ida Belle and a paramedic try and revive him.  Then they discover it isn't the Santa they were e Fortune is about to sample Christmas, Sinful style.  This means real animals at the Nativity (which provided a few sniggers when Celia managed to slip on and fall into something unmentionable!), but then things get a little more serious when Santa is found dead in his chair! Fortune manages to distract the kids and get them to the other end of the hall (much to the relief of the parents!) whilst she, Ida Belle and a paramedic try and revive him.  Then they discover it isn't the Santa they were expecting and he was murdered! With Fortune, Ida Belle and Gertie sidelined they are expecting to just hear about things as they happened, but then the Heberts hire Fortune to find out what happened and why are kids important to the dead Santa ... so a Merry Christmas after all!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gail Koger

    I love her books. Jana always guarantees a LOL, rollicking good time. This murder mystery was a puzzler and I didn't have a clue who the murderer was until it was revealed. I highly recommend this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dallass

    OMG, that ending! I love me a Miss Fortune story and this book was just as funny as any of the previous stories, Celia gets in trouble (yah! 🥳), and Francis causes havoc at the pageant, plus Fortune rides to the rescue more than once - literally - but it was the final conversation of the book that really has me in a tizzy. It was unexpected, has the potential for an emotional fallout the likes of which we haven’t seen yet, and after the bombshell was dropped, that was it 😳 Now, I’m going to be on OMG, that ending! I love me a Miss Fortune story and this book was just as funny as any of the previous stories, Celia gets in trouble (yah! 🥳), and Francis causes havoc at the pageant, plus Fortune rides to the rescue more than once - literally - but it was the final conversation of the book that really has me in a tizzy. It was unexpected, has the potential for an emotional fallout the likes of which we haven’t seen yet, and after the bombshell was dropped, that was it 😳 Now, I’m going to be on tender hooks until the next book. But back to the mystery in Swamp Santa. It was well done, and utilized the chaos surrounding Christmas in Sinful. Celia still has a bug up her butts about Fortune, and that plays into a lot of the humour surrounding the main plot. Carter and Fortune are once again investigating the same murder from opposing sides, and with a red herring, or two, thrown in plus the Hebert’s, I had a lot of fun catching up with the colourful characters of Sinful. 4 stars ⭐️

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abibliofob

    A little late but still. This is another mystery in Sinful Louisiana. This time it's christmas and Santa turns up dead. Who did it and why? Well read the book and find out. I always enjoy the Miss Fortune mysteries by Jana Deleon. It is a hoot reading about Swamp team 3.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jillian

    3.5 Stars! Swamp Santa is book 16 in A Miss Fortune Mystery series. The series is set in Sinful, Louisiana, USA and follows Fortune Redding, who up until book 12 was a CIA assassin in hiding, and old ladies Gertie and Ida Belle, who are lifelong Sinful residents and ex-spy war veterans, as they help solve a string of various crimes and murders. This is the first full series of Cozy Mystery books that I have read. Cozy Mystery was a new-to-me genre when I found Louisiana Longshot, the first Miss 3.5 Stars! Swamp Santa is book 16 in A Miss Fortune Mystery series. The series is set in Sinful, Louisiana, USA and follows Fortune Redding, who up until book 12 was a CIA assassin in hiding, and old ladies Gertie and Ida Belle, who are lifelong Sinful residents and ex-spy war veterans, as they help solve a string of various crimes and murders. This is the first full series of Cozy Mystery books that I have read. Cozy Mystery was a new-to-me genre when I found Louisiana Longshot, the first Miss Fortune Mystery series book. Ever since I listened to that book, I couldn't stop. I listened to all of the books back to back up through the 15th book, Cajun Fried Felony, and then was bummed that Swamp Santa wasn't on audible yet. I tried to read it but I had too much going on with my life to really get into reading it so I just waited a few months for the audible to arrive and as soon as it did, I bought it. Now I am sad all over again because there aren't any more books in this series yet and the final sentence of the book was a doozy! It is a lead in to what will come next and I don't want to wait to see what will happen. I tried checking out the author's website but there is no mention of when the next book will be released. I don't know what I will do with out my favorite Sinful characters that I have gotten to know over the past 4 months. I recommend reading/listening to these books in order since each book builds upon the prior book's story and it makes it much more entertaining and enjoyable to go in order. I'm sure you could still enjoy these books as standalone but it won't be the same. Swamp Santa is a Christmas edition of this series. In this book, someone killed the man who was playing Santa at one of Sinful's Christmas events. It turns out that this is a multi-city mystery across, New Orleans, Mudbug, and Sinful. Santa wasn't actually the same man who was supposed to be playing Santa. Instead he was a shady and dangerous PI who was searching for a woman and a baby. Fortune and her team, along with the Heberts and Manny, and Carter are all on the case. Of course, Carter in an official Law Enforcement capacity and the others all privately. There are lots of twists and turns in this book. I really appreciate that this author allows the reader to unravel the clues along with the characters and I love how the mystery gets pieced together so well where there are different paths we can follow, some correct and others not, when trying to figure out what really happened. Even though the mysteries were well pieced together, there were very basic things that didn't make complete sense; such as certain character relationships and interactions. Also, why do these people all have the same last names? Are there only 4 or 5 to go around? Not a huge deal, just weird. The little things kept this book from being elevated to 5 stars for me. I love the personal story-lines as well. I love Fortune and Carter together and would have loved to see even more of their relationship. I love that Ida Belle and and Walter are engaged and preparing for their wedding. I absolutely adore the friendship and working relationship that Fortune is forming with the Heberts and Manny. I'm so glad that they have become staples in these books. They are all a group of characters that I have grown to love. If you like books with a big dose of humor, this is the series for you. I have found myself laughing out loud too many times to count. The same narrator reads for the whole series. She did great for the first 11 books, then books 12 and 13 were a bit sloppy, almost like she was just rushing through, making errors such as incorrect words read and using the wrong character name. 14 and 15 got back on track, but this one was just mediocre. Her voices are usually consistent from book to book but this one was a tad off. The narration was perhaps a bit rushed this time making the enunciation not as clear as it should be in parts and I think there were a couple small word errors as well. Nonetheless, I look forward to more of this series being narrated and hopefully this narrator will be the one to read it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    2020 bk 109. I finished it. Now I have to wait patiently for Miss Fortune Mystery #17. I can do this. Swamp Santa is not my favorite, but it is still up there. Sinful has some delightful holiday traditions. A united church children's and adult pageant (the adult's can have a part in the fun), face painting and photos, a deceased Santa with presents. Back up there... the question of the book is 'who killed Santa'. Hired by the Herbert Brothers to find out who ruined the kiddies fun, Fortune, Ida 2020 bk 109. I finished it. Now I have to wait patiently for Miss Fortune Mystery #17. I can do this. Swamp Santa is not my favorite, but it is still up there. Sinful has some delightful holiday traditions. A united church children's and adult pageant (the adult's can have a part in the fun), face painting and photos, a deceased Santa with presents. Back up there... the question of the book is 'who killed Santa'. Hired by the Herbert Brothers to find out who ruined the kiddies fun, Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie have to split their time between the week's worth of holiday activities and looking for the murderer, and a missing mother and child. A fun read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Irwin

    One thing after another then BANG... Celia is at her finest! Godzilla has a thing for oversized fish! Santa's not who he's meant to be! Carter is in the thick of the holiday spirit with horses running a muck, trailers filled with carolers flying down residential streets and Sheriff Lee laying down the law!!!! And in the middle of all this, there is a murder to be solved! The story line is great and could have ended with the murder solved, but that's just not Jana DeLeon's style. The last lines on One thing after another then BANG... Celia is at her finest! Godzilla has a thing for oversized fish! Santa's not who he's meant to be! Carter is in the thick of the holiday spirit with horses running a muck, trailers filled with carolers flying down residential streets and Sheriff Lee laying down the law!!!! And in the middle of all this, there is a murder to be solved! The story line is great and could have ended with the murder solved, but that's just not Jana DeLeon's style. The last lines on the last page in the last chapter of this book will blow you clean out of the bayou! I canNOT wait for book 17! Lord have mercy! I believe a swig from the Sinful Ladies cough syrup bottle is more than called for right about now!!!!!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Jean Basel

    It’s great to have Fortune back to her old stuff! Fortune is no longer a CIA Agent. Life is slower, and her new life as a PI has not really taken off. Although Carter is less than enthusiastic, he recognizes that Fortune is legally permitted to choose and work for her own clients. With Gertie and Ida Belle as employees, life is as hilarious and challenging as ever. Throw in Carter’s concerns and position as the local deputy, well, one can not imagine how this adventure will play out!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jan Locke

    Gators, guns and Christmas My goodness It's almost scary the way Jana DeLeon can spin such a devious tale! You think you've got it figured out? Turn the page and have some more craziness come up. With the usual humor and the fun characters surrounding Fortune I settled in for an afternoon of adventure and laughter. I would like to see more of Carter and have him be more than the comrade/boyfriend who pops in every few chapters. His background and strength of character could add a lot to this bay Gators, guns and Christmas My goodness It's almost scary the way Jana DeLeon can spin such a devious tale! You think you've got it figured out? Turn the page and have some more craziness come up. With the usual humor and the fun characters surrounding Fortune I settled in for an afternoon of adventure and laughter. I would like to see more of Carter and have him be more than the comrade/boyfriend who pops in every few chapters. His background and strength of character could add a lot to this bayou tale.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    “Swamp Santa” finds us back again in Sinful, Louisiana. It’s Christmas and the good folks of Sinful have combined their efforts to put on a Christmas pageant. Gertie decides to bring her parrot to the play to perform with her. That’s when all hell breaks loose and they find Santa dead. Of course, the best part of the chaos was our favorite nemesis, Celia. She lands face first in cow poop and it is filmed and put on YouTube with a huge following. She is not very happy. The Heberts hire Fortune to t “Swamp Santa” finds us back again in Sinful, Louisiana. It’s Christmas and the good folks of Sinful have combined their efforts to put on a Christmas pageant. Gertie decides to bring her parrot to the play to perform with her. That’s when all hell breaks loose and they find Santa dead. Of course, the best part of the chaos was our favorite nemesis, Celia. She lands face first in cow poop and it is filmed and put on YouTube with a huge following. She is not very happy. The Heberts hire Fortune to track down the Santa Killer and she discovers Santa isn’t who they first thought he was. All of this leads to the investigation of into the seedy world of illegal adoptions. With murder investigation under way and Celia getting in the way, there is always a hilarious story to be read. I just love this series and the ending is quite a cliffhanger! I can’t wait for the next book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Judith Roberts

    Small southern town This latest from Jana DeLeon continues to make me laugh out loud and shake my head alot. Fortune, Gertie and IdaBell are in the midst of Christmas celebrations. Of course, there is much hilarity which occurs in the celebrations. Much to a everyone's surprise and horror, Santa falls from his throne to the floor dead. Of course the ladies, begin to investigate. All our favorites from the earlier books are here too. Buy the book. Set aside a block of time. Turn off the phone and s Small southern town This latest from Jana DeLeon continues to make me laugh out loud and shake my head alot. Fortune, Gertie and IdaBell are in the midst of Christmas celebrations. Of course, there is much hilarity which occurs in the celebrations. Much to a everyone's surprise and horror, Santa falls from his throne to the floor dead. Of course the ladies, begin to investigate. All our favorites from the earlier books are here too. Buy the book. Set aside a block of time. Turn off the phone and settle in for another visit to Sinful. You will be glad you did.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teri Pre

    A bit too convoluted for my taste...but the last line of the book will get me to read the next book for sure!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Mcdowell

    Swamp Santa I was not disappointed with this new book in the Miss Fortune series. I would love to see is made into a movie. Read it and see what I mean.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karina Fabian

    I laughed so hard! Jana crafts a great mystery, but this time, the Christmas antics are the clear winners. Godzilla for the win! Hurry with the next one!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Franklin

    Might be one of my favorites of the series!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    The only thing I didn’t like about this one is that it had to end. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the next in the series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Pardue

    I loved this book! I love that the quality isn't declining in this series. This is one of my favorites. Laughed so hard at the shenanigans. I love th characters, the overall ARC of the series and definitely each book in series. This one came with so many twists and turns. Unputdownable. I don't want one give spoilers, so will just end review here. Must read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Norfolk

    A joyful Christmas story from sinful. When can anyone say they laugh out loud when reading a mystery, but this is what I enjoy the most. Can’t wait for more adventures.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mary Heron

    The most complex case to date for Swamp Team Three. You need to pay careful attention reading this instalment in the adventures of Fortune, Ida Belle and Gertie. The mystery is a complex one and I defy anybody to work it out. I know I didn't. It has so many twists in it will leave you dizzy. Then we also have the usual shenanigans occuring when Gertie is involved in anything, I do so love that Lady. She's a breath of fresh air always up for anything she may be in her seventies but she has the hea The most complex case to date for Swamp Team Three. You need to pay careful attention reading this instalment in the adventures of Fortune, Ida Belle and Gertie. The mystery is a complex one and I defy anybody to work it out. I know I didn't. It has so many twists in it will leave you dizzy. Then we also have the usual shenanigans occuring when Gertie is involved in anything, I do so love that Lady. She's a breath of fresh air always up for anything she may be in her seventies but she has the heart of a teenager. One of the best in the series so far. We have a murdered Santa and no clue as to why anybody would want him dead. When Fortune and the others start to look into his death they end up with more questions than answers and sorry this will be one mystery they can't solve.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Young

    This was a Christmas gift that I just could not save for the holidays, and I'm glad that I didn't. From the first chapter, this was a frolicking, fun read, with shenanigans only Fortune, Ida Belle and Gertie can provide. Add to that a compelling mystery with enough twists and turns to make you feel like you are in a boat on the bayou with the ladies, and you have a page-turner that you are sorry to see end.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nate Brightman

    Swamp Santa is the 16th of the 17 book Miss Fortune Mystery series. As I often state, they can each be read as a standalone but my personal preference is to read them in order and I have. I honestly was hoping for a little bit more something out of this book seeing as the series is drawing to an end. More what I’m not really certain. Centered around Fortune’s first Christmas in Sinful La. There’s plenty of hilarity in this story as we watch the good people of Sinful celebrate through Fortune’s e Swamp Santa is the 16th of the 17 book Miss Fortune Mystery series. As I often state, they can each be read as a standalone but my personal preference is to read them in order and I have. I honestly was hoping for a little bit more something out of this book seeing as the series is drawing to an end. More what I’m not really certain. Centered around Fortune’s first Christmas in Sinful La. There’s plenty of hilarity in this story as we watch the good people of Sinful celebrate through Fortune’s eyes. Gertie aided by her pet Macaw Francis and her semi-pet alligator Godzilla throw in our favorite foil Celia and second favorite foil Ronald involved in three pre-Christmas events and it’s a recipe for an awful lot of laughter. This series has never been much in the romance department despite Fortune becoming lovers with Deputy LeBlanc early in the series. Fortune and Carter seem to take a step backwards in their relationship from the last book where they semi worked together to solve the crime. Fortune working as a private investigator for the Heberts continues to cross paths or as she puts it, “play in the same sandbox” as Carter as they both try to unravel the mystery of who the imposter Santa was, who killed him, who hired him, and who was he targeting. Carter is not happy with her potentially interfering with his investigation and he’s really not happy she’s working for the Heberts. Not that I feel the author has ever invested much effort in convincing us Carter and Fortune have a real romance going. Yes, they sleep together every so often when they’re not too busy or too tired, and in the past book they started saying “I love you.” They care about one another. But I’ve never gotten the feeling either was really passionately “you’re always on my mind, I can’t imagine my life without you” in love with the other. Carter isn’t in any hurry to put a ring on it and I don’t think Fortune would say yes if he tried. It’s more like they’re good friends with benefits than they are two people who are in love. Maybe I’ve just read too many contemporary romances? Even though Ida Belle had finally agreed to marry Walter in the previous book Cajun Fried Felon, her attitude sends me the message she was right all along in thinking she really isn’t well suited for marriage. It’s not that she wants nothing to do with the traditional things surrounding a wedding like finding a gown or picking out a cake. It’s that she seems so intent on not sharing her life with him. She gets rushed to the hospital and is upset that her friends let Walter know. He tries frantically to contact her and she complains she’s not going to share where she is and what she’s doing with him. I’m not even certain she’d be willing to live with him or would want to continue to maintain separate households? That said I’ve come to accept that this series is definitely not romance focused so that’s not why I found myself slightly disappointed. It’s the mystery plot in the story and the characters involved. As usual our team of intrepid crime sleuths set out to solve a crime where there are multiple suspects involved with ample red herrings. But IMHO she went a bit overboard in this one with so many twists to where I was with Gertie and Ida Belle not really having a clue as to the answers to any of the important questions. Even Fortune didn’t really puzzle it out until the person behind it all revealed his hand. And the bad guys were so bad and so narcissistic they didn’t come close to feeling real. Again, maybe it’s because I know this series is winding down that my expectations were too high so I found this story a bit lacking but I’d have to rate it closer to good than very good or great.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    Whoops, didn't finish this before Christmas ended. To be honest, I didn't like this novel as much as I wanted to, and if I were to rank it by how much I enjoyed it, I'd say it's on the lower end of series for me. My favorite part of the novel was the Christmas events, which were really fun to read about (because my family isn't too big on Christmas themselves). Plus, the antics that happened while they were caroling... I had to put my Kindle down because I was laughing too much. The continuing deve Whoops, didn't finish this before Christmas ended. To be honest, I didn't like this novel as much as I wanted to, and if I were to rank it by how much I enjoyed it, I'd say it's on the lower end of series for me. My favorite part of the novel was the Christmas events, which were really fun to read about (because my family isn't too big on Christmas themselves). Plus, the antics that happened while they were caroling... I had to put my Kindle down because I was laughing too much. The continuing development of Fortune and Carter's relationship was nice, but slightly bothered me. I know they both have set boundaries on what they can share with each other because of their jobs, but I wasn't that happy to see Fortune "interfering" with the investigation. I know it's basically what she does anyway, but I felt bad for Carter. Fortune says they're just running parallel investigations... but what if someday she tips off the bad guy first with her questions, making Carter's job way harder? I know this happens in basically every novel, yet something about this novel made me sit down and really think about it. Also, what the heck is up with the lack of Ida and Walter? After that huge bombshell... well, I expected more. There's a few things dropped here and there, but I wanted an actual conversation between Swamp Team 3 and Walter about it. It would have been cute to see. For a "Christmas" novel, the crime and subject matter was kind of depressing, honestly. (I kind of miss the wacky, light-heartedness that came from previous novels.) The ending and how Fortune handled it surprised me a little. I knew her morality was a bit skewed, but I think this just cemented it. I didn't have a problem with it, personally. I just feel bad that Carter never really "wins". Fortune is always solving the crime... Well, in this case, I guess it was good that Fortune won.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    It's Christmas in Sinful, LA. And nothing ever goes according to plans in Sinful. Even the Christmas play. When Longtime Santa portrayer Ronnie Long is found in his chair waiting to talk to the kids, passed out. Fortune assumes he's drunk. They quickly realize that he's not drunk but dead. Things are never simple in Sinful. Dead Santa is not Ronnie Long, but an unknown man who had assaulted Ronnie in order to take his place as Santa. As Fortune and the girls look into the cause of the wrong Santa, It's Christmas in Sinful, LA. And nothing ever goes according to plans in Sinful. Even the Christmas play. When Longtime Santa portrayer Ronnie Long is found in his chair waiting to talk to the kids, passed out. Fortune assumes he's drunk. They quickly realize that he's not drunk but dead. Things are never simple in Sinful. Dead Santa is not Ronnie Long, but an unknown man who had assaulted Ronnie in order to take his place as Santa. As Fortune and the girls look into the cause of the wrong Santa, They discover that someone in Sinful may be in danger, and what's worse is that that someone may be a child. Through the course of the investigation, they learn of dirty lawyers, unscrupulous PI's, and the tale of a man with high political dreams. There's also a major surprise for Fortune at the end of the book. Now I just have to wait until the next one to find out what's going to happen!

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