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Gumbo Justice

Gumbo Justice

4.5 19
by Holli Castillo

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New Orleans prosecutor Ryan Murphy likes her Tequila cold and her cops hot. Battling demons from her past and checking her self-destructive streak take a back seat to her ambition, and she's not above skating the line just a little to get what she wants. If she snags a detective in the process, well, that's just a little lagniappe for her trouble. Life should be good.


New Orleans prosecutor Ryan Murphy likes her Tequila cold and her cops hot. Battling demons from her past and checking her self-destructive streak take a back seat to her ambition, and she's not above skating the line just a little to get what she wants. If she snags a detective in the process, well, that's just a little lagniappe for her trouble. Life should be good. Enter a demented psycho, with a plan to ruin Ryan's life before he ultimately kills her. Set against the backdrop of pre-Katrina New Orleans, Gumbo Justice is the first in a series that follows the tumultuous life of prosecutor Ryan Murphy.

Product Details

Oak Tree Press
Publication date:
Crescent City Mystery , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
329 KB

Meet the Author

Holli Castillo was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended public elementary school and graduated from an all-girl's Catholic High School. She was a gymnast throughout high school, and performed with her gymnastics team, Westbank Gymnastics, at the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair.

In 1990, she received a BA in Drama/Communications from the University of New Orleans. She earned her degree working nights at the now defunct Can Can Cabaret on Bourbon and Conti in the French Quarter, doing everything from Sound and Light technician to performing as a Can Can girl. She also stage managed and did technical work for many UNO Mainstage productions, and wrote and directed plays for UNO Lab productions.

After graduating from UNO, she attended Loyola Law School at night and worked full-time during the day at the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office as a child support collector. After being hired, she was advised that the only reason she was called in to interview for the collection position was because the Hiring Assistant--a man-- wanted to see what a Can Can girl looked like.

In 1996, she received her JD, and immediately began working as a New Orleans prosecutor. She quit the D.A.'s Office when she had her first child, and is now an appellate public defender.

Her first novel, Gumbo Justice, was published by Oak Tree Press in June, 2009; the second in the Crescent City Mystery Series, Jambalaya Justice, is scheduled for release by Oak Tree late summe 2010.

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Gumbo Justice 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
ApexReviews More than 1 year ago
Tough, streetwise, and smart - with an even smarter mouth - Ryan Murphy is not a prosecutor to be trifled with; of course, if you were a peace-loving citizen in the crime-infested, drug-riddled Big Easy, you wouldn't want your law enforcement officials to be any other way. So, tasked with the duty of prosecuting a series of brutal crimes, Ryan uses her incomparable grit and wits to ensure that the incorrigible criminals behind them never again see the light of day. There's only one problem: before she can see each case through to complete prosecution, the bad guys all end up dead. Even more confounding for Ryan: each killing is mysteriously linked to her - which is the absolute last thing she needs while striving to fast-track her own career. As the sinister events unfold - ultimately placing her own life at risk - Ryan, despite how slick and savvy she's become, must kick her game to an even higher level if she's to outwit a twisted killer who seems destined to remain one step ahead of her. The initial installment in the Crescent City Mystery Series, Gumbo Justice is, hands down, the real thing. Herself a public defender and former New Orleans prosecutor, Holli Castillo infuses her compelling tale with such authenticity and unique energy that even those who have never visited the Big Easy will undoubtedly finish the book feeling as though they've lived there forever. Furthermore, her perfectly crafted characters and gripping storyline push the narrative along at break-neck pace, making the 200+ pages breeze by and leaving you craving for more as the story - regrettably - concludes...as such, hopefully installment #2 is just around the corner... Gritty, raw, engaging - and with an absolutely delicious closing twist - Gumbo Justice is a highly entertaining instant classic from an emerging literary star fast on the rise. Kudos to Castillo for crafting such an ingenious, unique thriller, and be on the lookout for more from this promising new talent. Renee Washburn Apex Reviews
Lisa-Fogarty More than 1 year ago
"I read an early version of Gumbo Justice and loved it. If you like stories about New Orleans, serial killers, flawed quirky heroines and hot police officers, you'll love this story. The ending is a BIG surprise, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of the main character, Ryan Murphy, and her interesting cast of characters, in the future."
nolabarbie More than 1 year ago
Ryan Murphy is a New Orleans prosecutor who puts the "fun" in "dysfunctional." With a slew of personal problems, most of them self-imposed, she's happy that at least her career is taking off. Until a serial killer becomes hell bent on destroying her, that is. First, it looks like he's just trying to ruin her professionally, but eventually it becomes clear he wants her dead. Ryan's father is a police captain, her brothers police officers, her friends other prosecutors. She would be the safest person in New Orleans, except for the fact that no one realizes how close the psychopath is to her until it is too late. This book has authentic characters and a down home pre-Katrina New Orleans setting. While I think this book has an interesting and sometimes creepy plot, my favorite part was the dynamics between all of the characters. The ending also has an element of suprise, and didn't let me down. I am hoping to see these characters again. (This review is based upon an early copy.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*walks there*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Runs in then grabs bag then runs back*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Packs stuff and leaves
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
climbs on a bunk and falls asleep
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is tt you?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ILoveaMystery More than 1 year ago
GUMBO JUSTICE, Holli Castillo's debut novel set where else but New Orleans (pre-Katrina) certainly lives up to its title! It's hot and meaty and just the right blend of spices to give any lover of police procedural mysteries something great to sink our teeth into! Ryan Murphy is an assistant D.A. with a father and brothers who are cops. She is the only girl in her family and is used to being the center of attention and really doesn't like life when she is not noticed. However, sometimes being noticed by the wrong people and for the wrong reason is not such a good thing-as Ryan finds out when a serial killer starts murdering defendants who were not convicted when she was the case prosecutor. Just how close is this connection to Ryan and her aspirations to join the elite Strike Force? Or is this connection even older than Ryan herself realizes? With meticulous precision, Holli Castillo crafts a novel with just the right elements to give her readers a lot to savor! GUMBO JUSTICE certainly left me hungry for another serving!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Holli Castillo has a winner here for sure. I read this book and could not put it down. It was like I was in the story. Having been involved in law enforcement for many years, the facts in this book were very accurate and the story was so realistic. I felt like I knew the people she was writing about. This is a book that could be made into a movie. I recommend this book to anyone who likes supsence, romance and surprise. You did a good job and can't wait for the follow books.
NewOrleansOfficer More than 1 year ago
This is an entertaining murder mystery that kept me reading trying to guess the killer. Sometimes violent, always authentic, the setting, characters, and plot were engaging and realistic. If you like murder mysteries, police procedurals or thriller, or if you're interested in a bit of gritty realism from the streets and justice system of New Orleans, I'd suggest this book.
AvidreaderSH More than 1 year ago
Gumbo Justice is suspenseful, moves at a good pace, and has interesting characters. It is a little demented in some places, but never lost my interest. I found myself rushing through it to see what happens next. The story centers around a flawed heroine, Ryan Murphy, a New Orleans prosecutor whose concern seems to lie only in making it up the ladder at her office. Through the course of the book, in between people getting murdered, visiting crime scenes and Ryan being stalked, we learn that she has quite a few secrets of her own. The ending was unexpected, and the New Orleans setting was a nice touch. If you like creepy suspenseful thrillers with unexpected humor, I would recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
figBF More than 1 year ago
I kept waiting for this one to take off......never left the runway.