The Audubon Park Murder (A Sleepy Carter Mystery)
by Brian W. Smith
Rookie Detective Lizzie Silverman is assigned the case of a beautiful college student murdered at Audubon Park (New Orleans) one dark night - no witnesses, but several people would have either motive or occasion, or both.
As if Lizzie had not enough on her plate with this case and her condescending, chauvinistic partner, she has also taken it upon herself to secretly work on the cold case that is her own parents' death of 10 years ago: They died in a car crash that Lizzie herself sees as murder.
But then, help appears from an unexpected source: A homeless man introduces himself to Lizzie as legendary detective Sleepy Carter.
Lizzie knows him from pictures at the police department and from what older members of the police force have told her: Sleepy solved the "unsolvable" cases and even assisted the FBI, until one day he suddenly disappeared. Most believe him dead, the victim of one of the many criminals he helped convict.
There he is, very much alive and kicking, but for reasons he chooses to keep to himself he wants everybody but Lizzie to continue believing him dead and gone. She lets him stay in her garage while he helps her solve the murder at the park.
As this book was labeled 1st in a series, I did not expect each and every question to be answered, and it wasn't. But the principal case is solved, and I did not guess the solution until the end. The story is written in a way that makes you wabt to know what happens next, and keep reading. Some conversations and scenes are a bit drawn out (read: lengthy) when it is not really necessary, although the overall book is fairly short.
There is a lot of New Orleans "feel" about the book; I guess a reader who has been there (I have not) will enjoy that.
Most of the writing is correct in terms of grammar etc., but there is one recurring mistake that became more annoying every time I came across it:
The book says "pass" when it should be "past", nearly every time but once or twice (not that I counted!). For example, "she walked pass him" or "they drove pass the scene" -
sorry, Mr. Smith, that is wrong, even though it may sound just like that when an American says "she walked past him" or "they drove past the scene".
It was the first time I read anything by this author. Brian W. Smith has written around 20 novels and some non-fiction, and I guess someone at some stage (his editor?) told him the difference between pass and past. They must have done, because from his website I learn that "he serves as an Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing, at two colleges in the Dallas, Texas area."
This was - you guessed it - a free ebook I found some years ago at Amazon's kindle shop.