A newly minted private eye bids to enter the big time in the Big Easy.
Nicolette Price, a small-town girl from straitened circumstances, has worked her way through college and acquired her private investigator’s license. Arriving in New Orleans, she hopes to work with her cousin Nate Price, who has his own agency. Shrugging off his suggestion that she go back home, she follows him to a meeting with Hunter Galen, a wealthy socialite with big problems. Hunter and his college roommate, James Nowak, have been running an investment firm whose tactics are not for the faint of heart or poor of purse. In the wake of his old pal’s murder, Hunter discovers that James was running a scheme, complete with double sets of books, to defraud some investors. The detective in charge of the case, who dislikes the rich on principle, is too convinced of Hunter’s guilt to look for other suspects. When Nate gets into trouble, Nicki talks her way into the job of helping Hunter find the truth. Meanwhile, lovely mean girl Ashley Menard, Hunter’s longtime girlfriend, arranges a surprise party at which Hunter feels forced to ask for her hand in marriage. A peacemaker eager to see the best in people, Hunter, who’s fallen for Nicki, finds the courage to break off the engagement before it’s publicly announced. An attempt on Nicki’s life makes her wonder whether it’s the killer or Ashley trying to get Hunter back.
Ellis, best known for her Amish series (A Widow’s Hope, 2009, etc.), starts her new Secrets of the South mystery series with a pleasant love story but not much mystery.