Monday, July 14, 2008

A Quarter After Tuesday-Jo Kadlecek

A Quarter After Tuesday
Jo Kadlecek
Navpress, Jul 2007
ISBN: 1600060501

Jonna Lightfoot MacLaughlin left her hometown of Denver (see A MILE FROM SUNDAY for her adventure as the Denver Dispatch journalist) for the Big Easy to work at the New Orleans Banner as the religion reporter. When Jonna stops for her usual coffee and two baguettes, she also receives a Big Chief message from one of God’s messengers stating Big Mama is mad and in town.

Real estate reporter Rufus Ezekiel “RED” Denton suggests Jonna do a story on the Harmony Interfaith Senior Manor; a place where his ninety-four years old Auntie Belle is a resident and his cousin Marva Rae Bills runs the facility. He explains the religious angle is that different faiths got together to establish the senior citizens home to care for their elders; seniors with powerful faith convictions. However, when she arrives, Marva Rae informs her that a septuagenarian resident Ricky Jefferson mysteriously died; the cause unknown. Jonna begins to investigate and soon worries that an unknown person plans for the residents to meet their maker a bit earlier than expected. At about the same time that she seeks a decent gumbo and answers to who wants to harm the seniors, her personal life goes from zero to meeting interested men even if they offer her fried dough instead of chocolate.

The second The Lightfoot Trilogy tale (see A MILE FROM SUNDAY) is an interesting inspirational investigative thriller as Jonna escorts readers on fascinating tours of New Orleans’s various faiths and sites. In fact, the mystery actually does not take full focus until the latter half of A QUARTER AFTER TUESDAY. The lack of the impact of Katrina on religion seems like a lost opportunity in spite of God’s watery message to the heroine. Still fans will appreciate the intrepid reporter’s trek around the Big Easy seeking good news to report while she meets some fascinating men, struggles with the latest heavenly message, and what is going on at HIS Manor.

Harriet Klausner

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