A big, sticky historical, soggy with sex, murder and magnolias, set in the New Orleans of 1835. Young Jaime Kirkpatrick, on his way to the ""City of Sin"" rescues mysterious John Murrel from drowning and hears the story of Murrel's plan to avenge the death of his brother through dispatching the sinful and fascinating Twila Murrel, his widowed sister-in-law. In New Orleans Jaime falls in love with Twila, although he is mystified by her hints of a guilty secret. Also involved in Jaime's social life are Keel, Twila's wandering brother, gay Tony and his lovely quadroon mistress who finally commits suicide because of the indignities forced upon her by a white girl, a predatory blonde, and Dr. Carlysle, husband of Twila, and Kael's erring mother. Soon, other activities concerning a bandit-backed slaves' revolt and accompanying black magic in which Twila seems to participate finally send Jaime and Kael on an investigating crusade. John Murrel is revealed to be the head of the revolt and Twila's big secret is simply the guilty knowledge of having participated in voodoo and transmitting information with unfortunate results. The revolt is put down and Twila is cleared. Lending library slosh.