Steam rises from the streets and strippers dance in light as bleary as a drunk's vision. But private eye Michael Spraggue didn't come to New Orleans to gawk. He's trying to get an innocent woman off the hook for killing her ex-husband with a cooking knife.
Hired by his Aunt Mary--for whom Dora worked as a cook-Spraggue is determined to find the truth. And now he's following a raven-haired beauty and a trail of broken vows, black magic and blackmail into one of New Orleans' cities of the dead. As the smell of Cajun food fills the air and Mardi Gras erupts on the streets, Spraggue digs up a dark family secret that still has the power to kill.
One her best....
From Publishers Weekly
Elderly, wealthy and game, Mary Hillman catches the next plane from Boston to New Orleans when her long-time cook, Dora, vacationing there, calls to ask for help. Dora has been accused of stabbing to death her former husband while both attended a banquet for the great chefs of New Orleans. Mary enlists the aid of her nephew Michael Spraggue, an actor and private eye, license expired. Tracing the victim's life back to his multi-aliased early days, Michael visits a hoodoo practitioner, gets bounced from a sleazy bar, treks thrugh a cemetery, and unearths a few of Dora's deepest secrets, finally saving her life. He also has occasion to use his acting skills in apt and interesting fashion. Barnes's tone in her fourth Spraggue mystery (Dead Heat and Bitter Finish is as sprightly and engaging as ever, especially in relating a romance between aunt Mary and detective sergeant Rawlins.