Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Book Review: 'Toe to Toe (Nonie Broussard Ghost Tracker Series #1)' by Deborah Leblanc

Toe to Toe by Deborah Leblanc

A strange and unusually entertaining dark story!

Louisiana author Deborah LeBlanc is not only an award-winning author: she is also a licensed death scene investigator and a paranormal investigator (also known as ghost hunter and occult investigator). In addition to her honors and positions of stature with the Horror Writers Association and the Mystery Writers of America, she is the founder of Literacy Inc, a non-profit organization to fight illiteracy and advocate motivation in America’s teenagers.

With this novel Deborah LeBlanc opens a new series that has enormous promise – the Nonie Broussard Ghost Tracker Series. Though all of her novels are of the dark occult range, this series introduces a lead character in Nonie Broussard who is a medium, and for those unfamiliar with the term, a medium is one who communicates between the natural world and the spiritual world. This may be a tough assignment for other writers, but for Deborah, she inhabits the role, even is to serve as the ‘clairsendium’ for an upcoming paranormal investigation television series!

Creating such a character requires skill, and in the very opening the book Deborah demonstrates her talent: ‘Panting, Nonie Broussard struggled to pull off Dover Fontenot’s underwear. The man weighed well over three hundred and fifty pounds and carried most of that lard in his barrel-chest, gut and butt. Fortunately, Nonie’s father had been gracious enough to cover Dover’s face with a sheet of black plastic so she didn’t have to look at it. In life, Dover had been no Brad Pitt. He’d looked more like a pit bull. A sixty-three-year-old, cigar smoking, bourbon-drinking foul-mouth pit bull and the mayor of Clay Point. LA…’

Using her fine-tuned skill at blending strange creatures and dark situations with fine wry humor, this story unfolds as follows: ‘Nonie Broussard is a medium—a closet medium. After losing her job at a local T-shirt factory, Nonie has to find a way to make ends meet. Not easy in a small town like Clay Point, LA. Two opportunities come her way, however, neither of them easy for someone with her abilities. Throw that medium into a funeral home and paranormal investigations with a gaggle of misfits, all because she has to pay the rent, and watch the fireworks fly!’

This is one fine novel and a strong beginning of a most promising series. Hats off to a Pro! 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our la