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Shelter From the Storm

Tony Dunbar
Putnam, 1998. 256pp
ISBN: 0-399-14301-7

review by Harriet Klausner

Most residents feel that the storm may be the worst to strike New Orleans just before Mardi Gras in memory. To local attorney, Tubby Dubbonet, the downpour fits his mood as he down on cash and self-esteem. Adding to his misery is the fact that he has inadvertently ran into a trio of criminals planning a heist.

Willie La Rue and his cohorts figure that they can rob a bank and disappear into the hoopla and pageantry of Mardi Gras. The indolent Tubby, not known for his altruistic feelings towards anything but food, decides he must save his city from the invaders. However, the criminals know that the gauntlet has been thrown down and Tubby must be eliminated because he can identify each of them.

The fourth book in the “Tubby” series is by far the best of a very good collection. By caring for something besides his palette, Tubby seems more human and even a half decent individual. The forces of nature playing havoc with the city makes New Orleans feel genuine rather than the usual traveler’s guide most novels set in the Big Easy seem to mirror. Amazingly, Tony Dunbar has done raised the bar, which he previously set at a very high of quality, on New Orleans mysteries. Though Shelter From the Storm is the elite of the lot, all the “Tubby” books are highly recommended for their humorous look at New Orleans.

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