Saturday, May 22, 2010

Home Dead for Christmas-Tony Fenelly

Home Dead for Christmas
Tony Fenelly
CreateSpace, Dec 2009, $12.95
ISBN: 9781442133341

In 1998 in New Orleans, elderly affluent Cyril Jessup orders gossip columnist Margo Fortier to come see him at his mansion. He shows her a picture from three decades ago in which she and three other strippers are with his son, a soldier who died in Viet Nam shortly after the photo was taken. Now Glen Charles Watley claims to be his grandson, sired with one of the girls in the photograph. Glen has DNA testing affirming his assertion. Cyril hires Margo to investigate which of the two other white girls is Glen’s mother; he eliminated the black female and Margo’s history is easy to find out.

In 1970, Margo, Coffee, Patsy and Conchita stripped as well as tended bar at Madame Julie’s. They befriended a soldier Gerald who was deploying shortly to Vietnam. .By the end of the month, they went their separate ways. When Glen’s former girlfriend from Minnesota shows up and is murdered, Margo wonders why.

Home Dead for Christmas is an entertaining historical tale that evolves in the latter half into a murder mystery. The story line looks deeply at the French Quarter at a time when silicon had a different meaning than in 1998 (and today). With an enjoyable late twist that fans will anticipate, readers fans will relish Tony Fenelly’s fine historical thriller as 1970 and 1998 come across vividly yet so differently.

Harriet Klausner

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