Monday, May 22, 2017

The Hoodoo Man (Starletta Duvall Mystery #2) by Judith Smith-Levin

 Hoodoo Man opens with the death of a beloved and charismatic local Haitian voodoo priest, and is quickly followed by the death of two more people connected to him. The murders of these men all mirror a gruesome set of murders that happened eight years before, leaving Star and her partner Paresi to figure out who is targeting this small religious community and why. I figured out who was probably the killer pretty early on, but the why was held back until the end. I would think that figuring that out would take away my joy in reading the rest of the story, but Smith-Levin pulls me into the overall story so well that I didn't mind. The relationships between the main characters are as important as the crimes being solved, so I am invested in seeing how things progress for them over several books. There are romantic relationships being developed in these stories, and surprisingly they are two interracial relationships that are being built slowly. However, if you are worried about having romance mixed in with your mystery there's nothing to worry about here, there are no graphic sex scenes, just slowly building romances that fit realistically and smoothly within the overall story arc.  

 I read this page turner in just one day and immediately started book three in the series. If you are looking for fast reads with well developed characters in stories that will keep you turning the pages, I recommend trying to track down these wonderful little books! These are going on my favorite reads list. Smith-Levin has been my intro to the 'cozy' mystery genre and I am now on the hunt for more cozy mysteries that I would enjoy. I would prefer that the featured character be a person of color, so if anyone knows of a series or standalone that would fit the bill, please let me know!

They said he was immortal.
But his killer knew better. . . .

Desmond St. John, the legendary, supposedly immortal, Haitian voodoo priest known as the Hoodoo Man, is found bound to his bed. Six bullet holes forming a perfect cross have been drilled into his naked, buffed body.

Homicide detective Lieutenant Starletta Duvall has her hands full tracking St. John's killer--and trying to keep her cool with NYPD Sergeant Lisel Werner. The icy blonde has her eyes on Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Mitchell Grant, just as his relationship with Star is heating up. She also seems more than familiar with their prime suspect, a convicted murderer. As the body count rises, Star finds herself caught in a web of voodoo, magic, and terror, artfully spun by a spellbinding killer. . . .

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