"What's a little arson between friends?
"Undercover CIA agent Fortune Redding spent her first three weeks in Sinful, Louisiana, dodging insults, makeup advice, guard dogs, bullets, and Deputy Carter LeBlanc, both professionally and personally. But just when she thinks things are going to settle down in the small bayou town, someone sets her friend Ally's house on fire.
"Carter, who'd just started pursuing Fortune on a personal basis, goes back into cop mode and admonishes her to stay out of his investigation. This time, he swears he won't issue any warning before arresting her. But with her friend's safety hanging in the balance, Fortune can't resist taking matters into her own hands and calls on her partners in crime fighting, Ida Belle and Gertie, to help.
"This is a mission for Swamp Team 3."
Swamp Team 3 has many of the same qualities I liked in previous novels: adventure, intrigue, mishaps, a hint of romance, and strong female protagonists. Gertie and Ida Belle are back and better than ever, and I still think they're absolutely hilarious when they're throwing insults back and forth. Gertie is as accident prone as usual, and equally ridiculous. (I really wish she would just get a pair of glasses.)
And, I'm pleased to say, Fortune and Carter's relationship is finally developing. Sure, their first date went a little awry what with the fire that burned down Ally's kitchen and the stalker that's caused no end of trouble, but, at least, it's a start. Right?
But I really don't think poor Carter knows what he's getting into with Fortune. I mean, between Gertie's and Ida Belle's antics, I don't think he's ready to handle Fortune who is just as strong-willed, hard-headed and a trained killer. He's out of his league--he just doesn't know it yet.
Swamp Team 3 also has many of the things I didn't like about the series: crazy rednecks, unexpected mishaps, unnecessary tangents on why Sinful is suddenly imploding, and even more unnecessary situations that could have been avoided if Gertie would just get some glasses.
I can't take so many of these misadventures. After a certain point, it's just too ridiculous to bear--and I usually start skimming. There's not a lot of substance to Fortune's adventures. It's just taking up time, because there doesn't seem to be anything else to say, and I'm really not a fan.
More murder. But add in a dash of arson and you have a whole new recipe for disaster.
For a small town, Sinful definitely sees a lot of action. Kind of like Cabot Cove, Maine, in Murder She Wrote or Sparta, Mississippi, in In the Heat of the Night. It has a very small population that seems to be dwindling all the time with all the crazy things going on in town and on the bayou.