As part of Sneek Peak Sunday, I have posted the first ten sentences from Chocolate City Justice, the third in the Crescent City Mystery Series scheduled for release by Oak Tree Press this summer. The mystery series revolves around a female prosecutor in New Orleans, Ryan Murphy. The first two novels, Gumbo Justice and Jambalaya Justice occur pre-Katrina, while Chocolate City Justice takes place during the hurricane, as Ryan gets trapped in the city when she misses the window to evacuate.
The boom-boom of the bass from the tricked-out orange Hummer creeping through the New Orleans Ninth Ward should have served as a warning. The Hummer was jacked up from the tires, with spinning rims and a gold chain vanity frame around the license plate that said just as much about its owner as the music selection did. If a song whose only lyrics repeated kill the po-po two hundred times could be considered music.
An abandoned lot on the corner was set up with a portable turkey deep
fryer, a boiling pot of crawfish on a hot plate, and a fold-out card
table displaying a hat-box size pink and white birthday cake with a
black Disney princess figure on top.
The children jumping in the purple castle-shaped spacewalk in the lot continued to laugh and scream, oblivious, but the adults should have noticed and been on alert as the boom-boom grew louder, the Hummer pausing at the intersection before making the corner. The forty somewhat people hanging out, peeling crawfish, and drinking liquor out of green bottles and silver cans must have thought they were safe during the day.
Gang members were like vampires–even the Ninth Ward Warriors couldn’t kill in the daylight.
A black woman who could have been anywhere from 20 to 40 called, “Come see here, Tanisha, and show your teeths before we do your cake.”
A girl of six with a head full of braids was instantly at the woman’s side, smiling wide, exposing four missing front teeth. A split second later, a smaller version of Tanisha edged her way next to the woman and tugged on her arm with an even bigger smile than her sister’s.
The orange Hummer stopped.
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