The morning after her date with Deputy Carter that concluded Swamp Team 3, Fortune is called upon to save Carter’s life when the junior deputy runs to find her upon receiving an S.O.S. call from Carter with gunshots in the background in Gator Bait, the 5th book in Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune series. Stealing a boat, Ida Belle and Gertie go with Fortune to the island where he took her for their date, only to see the sheriff’s boat sinking and no sight of Carter. In no time, Fortune has dived into the lake, locating the unconscious Carter (with her heart, according to Gertie) in the dark, murky waters and brought him back to the surface, miraculously saving his life to the astonishment of all.
When the ATF storms into the hospital demanding that Carter tell them all, which he can’t do because of temporary amnesia due to his concussion, not only does everyone get upset at the rudeness of the agents but Fortune recognizes one of the agents she once worked with in her capacity as CIA agent. To avoid getting identified and her cover blown, she plays the ditzy blond, to the amusement of Carter, who thinks she is just trying to get rid of the agents. The agents demand that Carter stay out of their investigation, despite not telling him what they are investigating, so this leaves Swamp Team 3 to do their job.
This book has what is probably the funniest scene in all eight books in this series that are available on audio. It involves Carter’s “Rambo dog” rottweiler, Tiny; the ATF agents; and the ancient sheriff, who hasn’t driven a car in years but shows up on a burro. I’ll leave the details for you to enjoy while reading the book.
Another plot in this book is the mayoral election, which Celia Arceneaux, the local bitch and leader of God’s Wives, the enemy of the Sinful Ladies Society, has entered at the last minute. A riot develops during the election, leading to a fight between Gertie and Celia in which Gertie responds to Celia’s slap in the face with mace, and Celia, who has escaped the mace, rips off Gertie’s dress. The fight lands Gertie in jail just as she is needed to serve as lookout that night while Fortune and Ida Belle raid the Mafia-owned storage building where the ATF has locked up the recovered sheriff’s boat. Of course the resourceful trio is able to manage successfully, leading to a pair of fun encounters with the ATF agents and the Mafia members who run the place. As usual, the book concludes with an exciting shootout that has some creative touches.
This book continues with the style of the previous books in being both some of the funniest books I’ve ever read as well as the most creative mystery books I’ve ever read. The book continues with the personal growth we’ve seen in Fortune, as she realizes how much she has come to care about Carter and her other friends despite her efforts not to get personally involved.
Cassandra Campbell reads the audio version of this whole series. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and didn’t want to put it down.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. You can read the books in the series out of order, but I do suggest reading the books in sequence if possible because you will better appreciate Fortune’s personal growth and some of the back story to the series. I give this book five stars!
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