Monday, August 29, 2011

Midnight on Julia Street by Ciji Ware

Midnight on Julia Street
Midnight on Julia Street by Ciji Ware

The blurb:
Feisty reporter Corlis McCullough isn't afraid to push boundaries in the name of journalistic integrity.  When passion for the truth lands her in New Orleans in need of a job, an assignment in a TV station pits her against her old college nemesis, King Duvallon.

The sultry streets of the French Quarter, the glamorous Garden District, derelict riverfront cotton warehouses, and gritty back alleys come alive as the reporter's story inexplicably slips between the 19th century and today.  A long-forgotten drama of blackmail, swindles, and a love affair that is still changing lives leaves Corlis and King wondering if their burgeoning, unholy attraction will render them pawns in a matrix of mystery and deceit.

Largely set in present day New Orleans, Midnight on Julia Street follows the gutsy, independent and stubborn tv news producer Corlis McCullough as she starts yet another new TV production job.  Corlis has great instincts but she's a bit like a terrier - she doesn't give up on a story and isn't one to cave to politics or her networks' affiliations.  This has held her back in her career and repeatedly gets her into hot water.

To add to the mix, she bumps heads with King Duvallon, an enemy of sorts from college.  King and has frat brothers had poked fun at Corlis when she wrote for the college paper. Corlis had retaliated strongly and gotten King expelled.  Decades later, the two find themselves somehow on the same side.  Their truce, new friendship and possible romance heats up Midnight on Julia Street.  The novel gets even more interesting with Corlis's new ability to see into the past.  She somehow finds herself transported to New Orleans in the 1800s and her visits help her to piece together parts  of a long forgotten mystery.

The novel isn't really paranormal, the trips to the past add to the storyline and act as a device to teach us about the main characters' relations and to reveal clues a mystery from the past.   Midnight on Julia Street is a fun read.  My one criticism is that I found  Corlis's voice - especially in her internal monologues - a little annoying.   That's just my personal opinion and I realize other people might connect better with the lead character.  Overall, Midnight on Julia Street is a fun escape.

ISBN-10: 1402222726 - Paperback $15.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition (August 1, 2011), 512 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Ciji Ware has been an Emmy-winning television producr, a reporter, writer, event speaker, and host of radio and TV programs.  A Harvard graduate, she has written numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including the award-winning Island of the Swans.   When she is not writing, Ciji Ware is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel fancier and a dancing aficionado. She and her husband live in San Fransisco.

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