A Ledge Trabue Mystery by Del Staecker
Review: Del Staecker skillfully crafts a story that contrasts compassion, love and integrity with murder, greed and bare-faced wickedness in Chocolate Soup, the third and final book the Ledge Trabue series of suspense adventures.
Ledge has returned to his home in New Orleans after living through some rather exciting times in Tennessee, Florida and Mexico. He's living in the hotel left to him by his mother, the Colonnade. Hurricane Katrina has come and gone, but the effects of the storm on its citizens remain … and now centered in the mayor's office. Calvin Nalor has been re-elected mayor based on promises to clean up the city — and more than just from the devastation caused by the hurricane. He vows to rid the city of the gangs that traffic in young girls, drugs and guns. Ledge's hotel manager, Sophie Karass, is quite vocal about seeing the mayor through on his promises, even threatening to do whatever it takes to have him removed if progress is not made. Nalor, who has pocketed a dollar or two — or a million or two — from kickbacks and outright fraud know more is at risk than just his job. He issues orders to deal with the problem, as it were. Ledge and his good friend Albert Bryan suspect that the problem means getting rid of Sophie — permanently — and set about to protect her while also protecting the city they love.
Chocolate Soup is one of those novels that is hard to put down. The story is rather simplistic in its formula — good versus evil — but the author gives it depth by creating well-developed, appealing characters. And while it's clear that the good guys are the ones to be cheered on, despite a few set-backs along the way, it's hard not to admire how the bad guys are portrayed: determined in their objectives and ruthless in achieving them.
Staecker brings to a close his Ledge Trabue trilogy with Chocolate Soup, and it's been a grand journey. Though each book in the series is a stand-alone novel, not dependent on any other, readers who missed the first two books are advised to pick them up to get a complete picture of this most interesting character.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Chocolate Soup.
Acknowledgment: Del Staecker provided a copy of Chocolate Soup for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Cable Publishing (Hardcover), August 2008
ISBN-13: 9781934980125; ISBN-10: 1934980129
Location(s) referenced in Chocolate Soup: New Orleans, Louisiana
— ♦ —
Chocolate Soup by Del Staecker — A Ledge Trabue Mystery
Publisher: Cable Publishing
Publication Date: April 2010
List Price: $23.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites