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16 February 2015

Heather Graham's Let The Dead Sleep

I've been a fan of Heather Graham's for years. She's written over 100 novels and novellas -- historicals, paranormals, romances, combinations of the three. Up until now my favorite Graham series has been the Bone Island Trilogy (it has pirates, after all). Her newest series is Cafferty & Quinn. While C & Q hasn't overthrown BIT ... and probably won't (you know, unless she adds pirates) ... C & Q definitely has the makings of another enjoyable series.

Danni Cafferty is an artist who now runs her deceased father's antique/curio shop in New Orleans. Danni has also inherited her father's gift for dealing with the preternatural, supernatural, and just plain odd -- although she knows nothing about it or what her father was really up to during his "boring business trips." While he was dying (or after he had died -- depending on who you ask) he told her about a book in the basement of the shop and that she needed to read it in the light.

Michael Quinn is an ex-athletic superstar turned party boy who died, was given a second chance, and went on to the military, then the police academy, and is now a private investigator. Unbeknownst to Danni, Quinn and her father were quite close and often helped each other.

Danni and Quinn first meet when he follows a woman into the shop. She's trying to convince Danni to come remove an evil antique bust from her house since she's convinced that it somehow caused her husband's death. Danni puts her off, believing that the woman is mentally/emotionally unstable because of grief, but Quinn finally badgers her into going with him to get the item. By the time they get there, the woman is dead and the bust is missing. Danni feels guilty about not helping the woman sooner and agrees to help Quinn look for the bust so Quinn can make sure that it doesn't harm anyone else.

Their search leads them through the good and the bad of New Orleans -- the drug dealers, the shady businessmen, the clergy (Christian and voodoo), the socialites, etc. A good deal of NOLA's history is touched on, too, as they search various cemeteries, the bayou, areas still covering from Katrina, and places that never recovered from the Civil War. The details that Graham gives of the people and the places are excellent and, for me, help make up for the fact that I had things pretty much figured out before the half-way point.

I already have the second book in the series and will continue with Cafferty & Quinn if only to see more of their neighbors, colleagues and friends. This happens a lot for me with Graham books -- I become a lot more emotionally invested in the secondary characters than the leads (especially if they're pirates).

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