Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday's "Forgotten" Books - Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn Crime Novels

Patrica Cornwell's first Kay Scarpetta crime novel, Postmortem, was published in 1990. But, two years earlier, D.J. Donaldson, a Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, introduced his detective team of Chief Medical Examiner Andy Broussard and psychologist Kit Franklyn. Cajun Nights was the first in the series, a novel that capitalized on the folklore and black magic of the Cajun culture in Louisiana.

Andy Broussard was the Chief Medical Examiner for Orleans Parish, and Kit Franklyn was his suicide investigator, who also did psychological profiling for the New Orleans Police Department. Broussard was a little eccentric, with the lemon drops in his pockets, and his six 1957 T-birds.

There were only six books in the series that ended in 1997 with Sleeping with the Crawfish. And, it's difficult to come up with pictures of the book jackets. However, each book combined the forensic investigation with the steamy New Orleans atmosphere. Blood on the Bayou, the second book was about a series of ghastly killings causing terror in the Big Easy. The police are baffled by the brutality of the mutilations, but the elders of the city say someone has fallen under spell of the loup garou - the werewolf. Parts of that book are based on actual cases of a rare medical disorder known as "lycanthropy," or werewolfism.

I think D. J. Donaldson was a little ahead of his time with his Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn crime novels. A couple years later, and he might have been the bestselling author of a series featuring a medical examiner. And, his atmospheric novels about New Orleans, folklore and black magic would be hits today. D. J. Donaldson's Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn mysteries were precursers of others' crime novels.

These were the books in this "forgotten" series.

Cajun Nights (1988)

Blood on the Bayou (1991)

No Mardi Gras for the Dead (1992)

New Orleans Requiem (1994)

Louisiana Fever (1996)

Sleeping with the Crawfish (1997)

10 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Never heard of these at all. Thanks.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Patti. Shows you how "forgotten" they are!

Corey Wilde said...

I'm not usually in complete ignorance about crime novels set in Louisiana, it's one of my favorite settings, but this series is new to me. Thanks for pulling it from the ranks of the 'forgotten.'

Scott Parker said...

My wife loved and blew threw all the Cornwell's a couple of years ago. With her mom's family from Louisiana, I think I may have found something for her Christmas stocking. Thanks.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Corey. Hope you like them!

Lesa said...

Good luck, Scott. I hope you can find them. I know they're a little obscure, but I read them when they came out, and enjoyed them.

Barrie said...

Brand new info for me! Thanks. Interesting how so much of publishing success is due to timing. Well, in part, anyway.

Lesa said...

I agree, Barrie. Are authors a little too early with their ideas, or coming in a little too late? I think Donaldson was a little too early with the forensics idea.

KayTee said...

Thanks to your suggestion, I found Blood on the Bayou at my local library and checked it out. It was wonderful! Thank you so much for pointint out this great series.

Lesa said...

Well, thank you, KayTee! That's the nicest comment you could give me, that the book was a success. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.