Murder in the Irish Channel
A Chanse MacLeod Mystery by Greg Herren
Review: New Orleans private investigator Chanse MacLeod takes on the simple case of a missing woman, the mother of a mixed martial arts cage fighter, who has disappeared without a trace in Murder in the Irish Channel, the sixth mystery in this series by Greg Herren.
Chanse has mixed feelings about taking on Jonny O'Neill as a client. For starters, Jonny seems to have no money to pay his expenses, let alone his daily rate. But with no other cases pending, he agrees to look into the matter. Jonny's mother Mona's most recent conflict was with Archbishop Pugh, who had decided to close two local churches in an effort to save money. She was determined to keep her parish church open … at almost any cost. It seems unlikely the Church would resort to kidnapping to deal with a protester, but worse things have happened, Chanse reasons. And then an uncashed check for $50,000 is found in Mona's desk drawer, written to her from a real estate mogul — one who "swooped down on the Gulf Coast after Katrina like a vulture" — which has Chanse considering other possibilities. When Jonny's brother is found murdered, Chanse realizes too late that the "simple" case he agreed to look into is now far, far more complicated.
There is nothing unusual about the list of suspects in Murder in the Irish Channel, most of which are stock New Orleans characters, especially post-Katrina: insurance companies, the Catholic Church, shady real estate developers, insurance companies (yes … they deserve repeating), government officials and the mob — maybe these latter two one and the same — but they are creatively used within the murder mystery plot here. Indeed, the most experienced readers of crime fiction will likely not be able to identify whodunit and whydunit … even though, in retrospect, clues are liberally sprinkled throughout. It is this aspect of the book that makes it most appealing, the idea that there's nothing new here yet it all comes together in the end in a most logical and novel, if you will, manner.
Chanse MacLeod is an engaging, guy-next-door kind of PI, one who comes across as smart, but not too clever for his own good. He's prudent but not overly cynical; attorneys bearing retainer checks of $20,000 deserve to be listened to, but not necessarily believed. And he's quick to recognize where he's gone wrong in his investigation and to take steps to put him back on course. Readers new to the series will likely want to seek out his previous cases; those familiar with Chanse MacLeod will be eagerly looking forward to his next case.
Acknowledgment: Bold Strokes Books provided an eARC of Murder in the Irish Channel for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Orion Mask
Bold Strokes Books (Trade Paperback), June 2015
ISBN-13: 9781626393554; ISBN-10: 1626393559
Location(s) referenced in Murder in the Irish Channel: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Murder in the Irish Channel by Greg Herren — A Chanse MacLeod Mystery
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: December 2011
List Price: $16.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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