I decided to take a scroll through my kindle to see what were some of the first cozy mysteries that I read. The first author’s name to pop up was Jana DeLeon. I’m pretty sure if you’re a fan of cozy mysteries you’ve come across her work. She certainly made me love this genre.
Jana DeLeon is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and was raised in southwest Louisiana among the bayous and gators. Her bio further explains that Jana and her brother spent thousands of hours combing the bayous in a flat-bottom aluminum boat, studying the natural habitat of many birds, nutria and alligators. Read more here.
If ever there was an author whose writing is heavily influenced by their formative years, she’s it. I’ve never seen a bayou in real life. My closest experience is from looking at Duck Dynasty. But let me tell you, reading Jana’s books has made me feel like a semi-expert in the area. All the books I’ve read from this author have featured the swamps and bayous. They are characters in her work. They are alive and they are described in such vivid detail as to really pull the reader in. While New Orleans has always been on my “Places to Visit List”, I’m going to have to get a swamp tour in as well whenever I make it to Louisiana.
Another common feature of Jana’s works are the ghosts. From the malevolent force present in the Mystere Parish series to the hilariously blundering Helena of the Mudbug books. These ghosts add a surreal element to light-hearted mysteries.
If you’re not looking for a humourous, paranormal jaunt, you can check out the Miss Fortune series instead. This series tracks benched CIA assassin Fortune Redding when she’s sent to hide in Sinful, Louisiana. A supporting cast of octogenarians, a handsome but suspicious deputy and the unpredictable swamp waters, help to make this a most entertaining read.
I’ll blog about individual books from Jana DeLeon in the future. Have you read any of these as yet? What did you think?