Post-Katrina New Orleans hides many tragic secrets, including one that leads to murder.
Archaeologist Faye Longchamp and her little crew are excavating a plantation site at Chalmette battlefield. When park ranger Matt Guidry offers her a tour of a flood-stricken area, she’s eager to go along. Adventure turns to tragedy when a body is discovered in a ruined house. Immediately noticing that the corpse could not have been washed into its present position by the flood, Faye works with Detective Jodi Bienvenu to help solve what turns out to be a murder. The victim was Shelly Broussard, an archaeologist cousin of Matt’s who spent the frantic days after the flood using her map-reading skills to rescue people while searching for her parents, who were eventually found drowned in their attic. Two lists and several maps found in Shelly’s pocket provide clues for Faye, her fiancé Joe Wolf Mantooth, who’s enthralled with the history of drainage in the city, and her assistants Nina and Dauphine. Joe provides especially valuable assistance when he and Faye rescue Nina after someone’s hit her over the head and dumped her in the Mississippi. Faye can’t help but suspect Nina’s smarmy boyfriend Charles, who had worked with Shelly in the rescue effort. Their work leads to some success but also some danger from a killer ready to strike again.
Evans’s fifth (Findings, 2008, etc.) is an exciting brew of mystery and romance with a touch of New Orleans charm.