Book Review: Lalin Bonheur by Margaret O. Howard

Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange

When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.

But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.

Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin’s protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.

The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it’s what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax.

Lalin Bonheur is an extraordinary book. Set in New Orlean in the 1800s, it’s the story of Lalin, an extraordinary woman in an extraordinary era. Lalin is a healer, a voodoo priestess, a girl who can shapeshift and who knows things she shouldn’t know. Lalin meets Etienne Legendre, a French aristocraft who becomes her protector.

When Etienne’s wife dies under mysterious circumstances and he’s charged with murder, Lalin helps him scape from jail. Unfortunately they run from one danger into the next, and Lalin needs to use all the magic she knows to protect them both.

This was an intriguing book, not just because it focuses on a mixed-race relationship, but also because of its focus on voodoo and magic. I’ve always been intrigued by voodoo, and I enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about it.

The writing and storytelling was excellent, and the author managed to describe the historical period well, making me feel as if I’d actually transported back in time to New Orleans in 1830. Fans of magical realism and paranormal mysteries will enjoy this book.

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