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Publisher's Summary

A poacher is at work in Sinful, Louisiana, and Deputy Carter LeBlanc is hot on the trail of the outlaw, trying to apprehend him before the state gets wind of the crime and sends a game warden to take over his investigation. Unfortunately, he's hindered every step of the way by Sinful's current mayor and all-around horrible person, Celia Arceneaux, who wants nothing more than to drive Carter to resign.

When a game warden turns up with evidence that implicates a relative of Gertie's, Carter is left with no choice but to arrest the boy, even though no one thinks he did it. With Carter under the watchful eye of Celia and the state, Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie decide to catch a poacher...before he gets away.

©2016 Jana DeLeon (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 03-04-18

Author Jana DeLeon is a treasure!

I've listened to all five novels in Jana DeLeon's Shaye Archer dark psychological thriller series and nine of ten novels in the Miss Fortune humorous mystery/thriller series and all have been perfect. Like the other books in the Miss Fortune series Later Gator is set in Sinful, Louisiana and features CIA Assassin Fortune, senior citizens Ida Belle and Gertie who were US intelligence agents during the Vietnam War, and Deputy Carter LeBlanc who is Fortune's love interest. The most recent books also feature Sinful's evil Mayor Celia Arceneaux. There is real suspense, lots of plot twists, and LOL humor. Now that Carter knows about Fortune's CIA job and she has decided to leave it, their mild on-again and off-again romance is beginning to heat up. Ida Belle loves fast cars, motorcycles, and boats. She bought a customized 600 horse power SUV and she loves driving Fortune's air boat. Gertie is really not all there mentally, but that does not keep her from throwing out wild ideas as she carries around her arsenal in her huge handbag. The three ladies constantly get in Carter's way as he investigates crimes, but they usually end up being helpful.

These Miss Fortune novels provide a delightful break from the heavier mysteries I listen to. Cassandra Campbell narrates the entire series wonderfully. I love this series and recommend it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 12-29-17

All is right with the world

This book like the ones before it is comical and entertaining with lots of twist and turns. I love that Ida May and Gertie always have Fortune's back and don't mind getting their hands dirty. I like that Carter has finally come around and is willing to give Fortune a chance. I can't wait to see what happens next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Always a fun listen!

The Miss Fortune Mysteries are my favorite. Parts are laugh out loud funny. As narrator, Cassandra Campbell brings out each character's personality.

Each book is like hanging out with friends.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Bring on the Next Book!

I love this author! Jana brings to life 2 old ladies and a younger one that have formed a bond like no other. It keeps me intrigued and curious as to WHAT is next! As I said before......Bring on the Next Book!

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never a dull moment. good listen, fun and fast! reader made it fun. love the series

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One of the funniest books out there

In Later Gator, the ninth book in Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune mystery series, Fortune opens the book by debating her options for the future, in particular what kind of career she should pursue now that she has decided to leave the CIA after the price on her head has been lifted. She is intrigued by Ida Belle’s suggestion of becoming a private investigator so decides to practice her potential new career. She begins by starting with Deputy Carter’s recent case of an alligator poacher who does not behave like either a local or a professional. This poacher goes for only small gators and acts sometimes during the day, both unusual activities for a poacher. While flying around the local bayous in Fortune’s air boat, Ida Belle and Fortune get cut off by an arrogant Fish and Game warden, who takes out his annoyance at them by demanding to inspect their boat. He obviously is looking for poached alligator, thus making it clear that Carter has not been successful at keeping the poaching problem a local issue. Then the Fish and Game official drags Petey Hebert into the jail, ordering Carter to keep him locked up as the poacher. The problem? This cousin of Gertie’s is deeply disturbed and clearly incapable of committing this crime.

Even though Carter would like to release the boy to his father’s custody, Celia, the mayor, is so eager to find an excuse to fire Carter that he doesn’t dare let the boy go or even let his father stay with him in the jail. So Fortune helps out Quincy, Petey’s father, by suggesting he grab her in order to get arrested. Then when she needs to talk to the pair, since Celia and her minions are standing guard at the entrance to the police station, she merely gets Carter’s uncle, Walter, to carry her into the police station in a crate. At this point she deftly escapes from the crate in her ninja fashion, climbs up into the ceiling, and flips into the storage room where Carter is keeping Petey and Quincy. Getting out isn’t nearly as simple, but it’s a whole lot of laughs.

In the meantime, Gertie has been very secretive lately, disappearing frequently to go fishing. But no one knows exactly what she has been up to, especially when Ida Belle and Fortune spot her waving a fish over the water. But they soon learn when, the next day, they get 911 texts from Gertie to show up at her house. Fortune shows up but can’t find Gertie. However, she does find someone else in her guest bathroom: a small alligator (or at least small for an alligator). The reptile breaks down the bathroom door in its chase after Fortune and follows her outside, but not in time to catch her before she swiftly does her Olympic gymnastic moves to ascend the big tree in Gertie’s yard. As Fortune gets ready to shoot the gator, Gertie thrusts herself into the fray to save her beloved friend Godzilla. Yes, Gertie, in her craziness, has captured an alligator with a pair of pants jerry-rigged as a sling, taken it (her) home, and put it in her bathtub because she is afraid of the poacher’s killing it. And she is now cooking it a rotten fish casserole because Godzilla loves baked goods. But Fortune and Ida Belle work to convince Gertie to return Godzilla to the water, an effort encouraged by Carter’s showing up and pointing out that if she doesn’t get it back in the water right away, he will be forced to shoot the beast.

The rest of the book continues along the same lines with more investigation, and of course a trip to the Swamp Bar, which lives up to its name in quality. It contains the same humor as the other books and made me laugh really hard.

I found it interesting that the language was much cleaner than in the previous books. Only a couple times did I notice curse words, which were said only by a particularly crude character. Previous books used language that make the books hover close to the extreme of what is allowed in cozy mysteries, which by definition are PG-rated, maybe PG-13.

I found another detail about this book especially intriguing. Out of the hundreds of mystery books I’ve read, each contains a murder and usually multiple ones. But this book manages to succeed as a fascinating mystery with no murder and the crime’s being alligator poaching, a very regional issue that most readers will have had no personal connection to. Usually books need a murder case in order to create a strong enough feeling of empathy or fear to immerse the reader in the story. That DeLeon succeeds in getting us invested in the mystery testifies to her skill as a storyteller. Her ability to make me shake my bed so much with laughter while reading that I woke up my sleeping husband certainly helps in enticing readers.

For the first eight books of this series, I listened to the reading by Cassandra Campbell available on Audible. But the author is still in negotiations with Audible to have this book published in audio, and I just couldn’t wait for months for the audio version to be released. As much as I enjoyed getting to read the book, I really missed getting to hear Campbell read the book to me. I could hear her voice in my head, but I still wished I could listen to the book. Having to read this for myself proved to me just how excellent Campbell’s narration is. I look forward to the book’s release on audio someday.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Later Gator. This book has a fascinating mystery plot that really drew me to the story. In addition, the humor kept me laughing all the way through. This book lives up to the quality of the previous books in the series. I give it five stars!

Update: The book has been released on audio now, and Campbell does a wonderful job as always. She uses excellent accents, such as “Yankee” for the narrator Fortune, but different degrees of Southern, educated and less educated, for the different characters. Further, she is a real master of timing and humor as she reads this hilarious book.

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Best book EVER!!!!

This book kept me in stitches the whole time.!!!! Jana DeLeon's best work so far in this series.

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Fun Series

You just have to start at the beginning to really appreciate "the girls" and their shenanigans. One of the few series that makes me just laugh out loud! Great characters and a narrator made for this series. Ms Campbell does a wonderful job of giving personality to each. Fun cozy mystery.

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Great series not my favorite book

I love this whole series!! This book seemed a little disjointed though. I would still recommend the series though.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Later Gator

Absolutely enjoyable! Good storyline and I really love the storyteller, she is top notch. But, my husband has decreed that I have been reading too many audibles and he wants me to find less expensive books from now on. Or to visit our local library once a week.

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  • Anne
  • 03-23-18

Not as good a listen as other books in the series

Did not enjoy this book. Lots of flat areas in the plot . Narration was not as lively to listen to as previous episodes in the series. Got to the last chapter and had lost all interest. Have always enjoyed reading as well as listening to this series., but had no interest in listening to the end.
Hopefully the next books will have a livelier plot ands narrative will be
Not as flat.

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  • Helly
  • 02-21-18

Tears in my eyes

The Godzilla chase scene at Gerties was so funny I had tears in my eyes.