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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
Professor Roger Chretien’s death was unusual in many ways. Although his body was found in the study, the apparent cause of death was drowning. His body was wrapped in a Jolly Roger, reminiscent of a pirate funeral, while his entire study was ransacked. Roger’s brothers, Jimmy and Johnny, and niece, Jenny, join forces with his partner, Margot Sallier, to unearth the mysteries. Diz and Daz, two energetic musicians, and Robert Louragan, the local funeral home owner, complete their unique entourage. Unfortunately, their quest makes them the targets of a ruthless yet unknown adversary. Can they thwart the repeated attacks? Can they solve the riddles that hint at a long-lost treasure? Find out in Jolly Roger, a novel by Thomas J. Leveque.
Jolly Roger was full of daring adventures, vivid action scenes, and surprising twists. Yet, instead of being plot-centric, it leaned toward being a character-driven novel. Leveque possesses an exemplary ability to create endearing and relatable characters. I loved how he used multiple POVs to advance the storyline. This approach made us bond with each character as we became privy to their feelings and emotions. Although the central theme was grim, there was no shortage of humor in the constant banters between Diz and Daz or the antics of the Chretien brothers. The way everyone overcame their initial misgivings and formed an unbreakable alliance made us remember that being a family did not necessarily need blood relations. The extravagant culinary delights highlighted an indispensable aspect of Louisiana’s culture. The legends of Jean Laffite and his mysterious treasure provided a supernatural element to the novel. I recommend Jolly Roger to any reader looking for a thrilling sleuth story.