Friday, July 31, 2015

Midnight on the Mississippi by Mary Ellis

I was expecting this to be a mystery. There is some, but I would say the romance is primary with the mystery secondary.

Nicki Price is our heroine. She is a brand new private investigator come to New Orleans to work for her uncle, much to his surprise. She wants to be there because of her father's death seventeen years ago. While he wasn't the best of fathers and he did cheat at cards, his death still bothered her. There was just too many unanswered questions and Nicki wanted answers.

Nicki's uncle is hired by Hunter Galen, a high class portfolio investor, to find out who killed his partner. Hunter is the primary suspect and the police are not looking anywhere else. When the uncle is caught fudging crime scene rules, Nicki is left as the only one capable of helping prove Hunter is innocent. When Galen starts to fall for Nicki, the investigation seems to take a back seat.

I like Nicki as a character. She is a bit of a bumbling PI, getting her car stuck in the mud on a stakeout. But I like her heart. She truly wants to be an investigator and solve her father's murder some day. Hunter is a bit of a romantic. I think he is a little too forward in his advances toward Nicki. In that respect, there seems to be more written about the time the two spend together than there is on the actual mystery.

I thought the most interesting aspect of this novel was the setting. Hunter and Nicki spend days and evenings sightseeing, going to parties, etc. There is much written about the culture of the New Orleans area, the people, the food, the dancing, and the sights. We get an idea of Cajun celebrations and lots more. I really enjoyed the way the cultural setting of the novel was done.

I found the plot a bit predictable. And I kept wondering why, when Hunter was the prime suspect, he and Nicki would keep taking days off to go sightseeing when I would have thought pursuing leads would have been more important.

There is a little bit of Christianity in the novel, but it is not essential to the characters nor the plot. I recommend this novel to readers who like a novel taking place in a well described location.

Mary Ellis is the bestselling author of several novels. She and her husband live in central Ohio. Find out more at http://maryellis.net/.

Harvest House Publishers, 354 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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