My rating: 4 of 5 stars
New York city boy and recent heart transplant recipient Tony Battaglia is a reality-TV editor for one of the hottest reality TV shows around, the Cajun Louisiana based “Gator Guys”. When it becomes known that Tony’s new heart belonged to a recently deceased cast member of the show, he finds himself unwillingly added to the cast. Which he definitely would rather not be. When he arrives in the town of Blackwater, he becomes entangled in the amateur murder investigation of one of the cast members. It seems Fudgearound is convinced Lonnie LaLonde Jr. didn’t die from an accidental fall. Fudgearound believes Lonnie was murdered. As Tony gets more involved with the “case” (and Lonnie’s ex-girlfriend), he starts to think Fudgearound might have good reason for his suspicions. But the clock is ticking on finding the culprit because not only has the media descended on this scandal revolving around rival reality shows based in Blackwater, but it looks like there are political machinations behind the scenes, as well. Add in another dead cast member and Tony and his new partner need to find the real killer before the shooting- both with TV cameras and bullets- begins.
This was a fun read. Wheaton was raised in Cajun country and it shows. The setting is alive and vibrant, with detail that shows the author knows that part of the country. His characters are quirky and delightful, with a penchant for one-liners that are laugh out loud. The mystery plot moves along well with enough twists to keep you guessing until the end. Bringing in the reality show aspect was a clever device and sets up some timely commentary on society and entertainment that should resonate with pretty much everyone, even if you are not a fan of those type of shows.
Duck Duck Gator is a fun, readable mystery with accents on character and setting, with a good dose of humor. Very much recommended.
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Want something new to add to your 2021 reading lists? Might I suggest one of my books? I have written science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy stories. There are novels, novellas, and shorter pieces to fit everyone’s reading time. There are even some free stories, both here on the site and in other places. You can go here to find out more about the books I have published. They are available on Amazon, Smashwords, and most ebook retailers. Thank You!