Michael D'Angelo: the Making of a Detective
by G.W. Blair
Trafford Publishing

"Then, suddenly, Sam sat straight up in the bathtub, bleeding holes gaping. She was moving her mouth and trying to speak. I strained to hear her, but couldn't."

Some people seem to be born to be teachers, police officers, actors, or any of a host of other professions. Others, however, seem to find their calling by falling into it by accident. Such is the case with Michael, a man who seemingly by chance finds himself in New Orleans and suddenly embroiled in a life-changing adventure of mystery and murder. Will he allow himself to be the clueless victim, or will his situation and natural curiosity compel him to play detective and figure out what is really going on?

Set in the 1980s, Blair's book begins with Michael's arrival in New Orleans after having to work his way on a banana boat back to the U.S. from the tropics where he has been mugged. On the advice of one of his fellow shipmates, he checks into a hotel in the French Quarter. He soon meets a mysterious woman from the room next to his who says she needs help. But does she really? And how come the room in which he heard her arguing earlier with a man is actually vacant? These two questions propel Michael on a hunt for answers that may very well cost him his life.

Most writers have one aspect of their craft that they excel in. For some it is plotting. Others may shine at dialogue or characterization. Blair's strength is in her settings. New Orleans comes alive under her pen, and her observations of the people and places swirling past Michael are excellent. While Blair's storyline and characters need some work to make them more believable, her portrait of New Orleans is top notch.

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