Black Dust Mambo (Hoodoo Series #1) by Adrian Phoenix
Publisher: Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster)
“There will be times, girl, when all your magic ain’t going to be enough, times when it will seem to dry up like mud under the noonday sun, or even make matters worse. . . .”
Kallie Rivière, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance’s annual carnival: her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed. And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching—the darkest of dark juju, soul-eating juju—a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.
Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer—even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends. But Kallie’s search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated—back home to Bayou Cyprés Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie’s aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor . . . who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead.
When hoodoo honey Kallie Riviere tries to snag a little fun at the Hecatean Alliance’s annual carnival, she’s treated to the shock of her life when she finds the lifeless body of her nomad fling on the bed in a pool of his own blood. Shocked and horrified, Kallie calls on her BFF Belladonna for help. When the Hecatean Alliance accuses Kallie of murder, all hell breaks loose. Or should I say, all hoodoo? As the investigation gets under way, Kallie finds out that one of the people she trusts the most, her aunt, may be involved, and it’s up to Kallie to find out what secrets she may be holding, even if it means the unraveling of everything she holds dear. Black Dust Mambo is a magic drenched, sexy, carny ride that you won’t want to get off of. Kallie is a great protagonist, sassy and smart, and I kept turning the pages, hoping to find out what secrets she holds in her past. Her best friend, Belladonna is a spicy voodooine with a foul mouth that frequently had me laughing out loud. Then there’s Layne Valin, the sexy Vessel, and best friend to Kallie’s deceased fling, who’s out to avenge his death, and who has more than a passing attraction to Kallie.
This book was just so much fun! Ms. Phoenix is wonderful at building atmosphere in her novels, and that talent is certainly on display in Black Dust Mambo. You can almost hear the sounds of the bayou and see the voodoo magic swirling, and who doesn’t love a carnival? Especially a carnival full of illusionists, magicians, witch doctors, and a very memorable wet-boxers contest. Yes, a wet-boxers contest. Rounding out the fun is murder, mayhem, zombies (not those kinds of zombies), a villain bent on revenge, and a mystery that’ll keep you riveted! The only thing I didn’t like about Black Dust Mambo was that it ended, and I’ll have to wait until June for the next book in the series, Black Heart Loa!