Book Review: 'The Quarter Storm' by Veronica G. Henry
As a Vodou priestess, Mambo Reina Dumond is dedicated to her practice of healing and supporting her community. When another priestess is arrested for murder, Mambo Dumond finds herself neck deep in uncovering a dangerous scheme tangled in politics, police secrets, slighted lovers, and slander against Vodou. Determined to clear the name of her fellow practitioner, Mambo Dumond must make decisions against her heart, family, and friends to uncover the lies that breed corruption in her home of New Orleans.
Veronica G. Henry works her magic with her second novel, The Quarter Storm, by bringing a fresh cast of characters, intrigue, and fantastical elements to a solid murder mystery. Henry cleverly spins a tale loaded with conspiracy, secrecy, and thrills with elegant and concise storytelling. She also balances the suspense-filled plot with magnetic and delightful characters that bring the story to life.
In this novel of death, magic, and secrets, Henry moves readers through the backdrop of post-Katrina New Orleans with Reina Dumond who is equally relatable—kind, honest, fallible—and impressive as a powerful Vodou priestess adept in water magic. Reina is pulled down by a past of broken hearts and promises but is pushed forward by a sense of duty and honor. Her dedication to her beliefs and community drives her actions, making her desire to solve the mystery realistic and just, rather than meddlesome. Her sincere heart, impassioned efforts, and logical caution are welcomed additions to literary amateur sleuths. Reina isn’t just some nosy neighbor, she’s a leader in her spiritual community and will do what it takes to set things right.
Along with Reina, The Quarter Storm is populated with a cast of well-rounded characters. Even those with the smallest roles are individual with dreams, desires, and goals (and motives) who either help or hinder Reina on her quest to discover the truth. Henry’s awesome ability to create impactful and endearing characters is obvious with each new person readers meet on Reina’s journey. Good or bad, friends or foe—they are all human in their flaws and talents, misfortunes and luck, courage and greed.
The scenery used in The Quarter Storm is beautifully used to help place characters, who they are sometimes corresponds with where they are from. With contemporary New Orleans as a magical and majestic setting, Henry skillfully weaves scenery and fantastical elements into the novel, illustrating the city’s storied history and culture with admiration and allure. The varied eco-systems and architecture of New Orleans thrive throughout The Quarter Storm, creating an enthralling venue of a bustling metropolis, tight-knit neighborhoods, and flourishing wetlands—all enchanting and vibrant.
For lovers of murder mysteries, fantasy stories, and compelling characters, The Quarter Storm is brilliant and entertaining read from start to finish. Readers who are especially interested in strong female protagonists with intelligence and heart, Henry’s novel of intrigue, greed, and passion is sure to satisfy.
This review is based on the ARC of The Quarter Storm received in exchange for an honest review.