Flashback: The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

 I have never been to New Orleans but it’s one of my very favorite settings for books.  Bonus points for bringing in magic and the supernatural. From Anne Rice, to Sherrilyn Kenyon, some of my favorite books have taken place in New Orleans.  Confession-I love the t.v. show The Originals. Vampires, witches, and shifters in NOLA? Yes, Please! I’ve been looking for another great fantasy series now that the Kate Daniels series from Ilona Andrews is wrapping up and this book was everything I was hoping for.

This book takes all the very best of the magic, myths, and music to create an engrossing tale of murder and rebirth.  After Katrina devastated New Orleans, Jude Dubuisson shut himself off from his magic and the needs of the city. A demigod with ability to find all things lost, he has spent the last six years with his senses overwhelmed by the incredible loss of the city and its inhabitants.  

Jude is abruptly ripped away from his self-imposed retirement by a former colleague, Regal Sloan.  A mysterious invitation leads to the murder of the city’s fortune god during a poker game and Jude is in the middle of the fallout.  Now, Jude needs to find the murderer before he becomes the #1 suspect. With clues scarce and trusted friends even more so, Jude has to use every gift he has to stay alive.  

Regal Sloan, former colleague and friend, hasn’t seen Jude in over six years.  When she shows up with the mysterious invitation to a game with the gods, Jude doesn’t know if he can trust her.  When a string of murders follows Jude wherever he goes, Regal is top at the list of suspects. Adding to the mystery, Jude’s mother paints a chilling and prophetic painting that leads Jude on a dangerous path. 

I wish I could do the book justice-it really is an amazing read.  It pulls you in with the music and the food and dark and sweaty bars.  I felt torn between wanting to yell at Jude to buck up and do his job-the city needed him-and cringing from the thought of  drowning in all those feelings of loss. To have that power and have to walk down streets with empty houses that have lost their owners.  To be surrounded by people who lost everything in the storm-no wonder Jude shut himself off. I loved this book. It looks like it’s the first in a series?  I really hope so. The ending was open enough to want more-but also satisfying enough to stand alone. I know, I’m not doing it justice.

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