New Orleans has been the favorite setting for so many mystery series (I stopped counting after two dozen) that it could easily become just another colorful crutch. But in his fourth book about lawyer Tubby Dubonnet, Tony Dunbar artfully turns the location on its head. A major character emerges from a huge rainstorm that drowns the city and threatens to wash out its entire Mardi Gras celebration. Tubby, who starts the book short of money, work, and self-esteem, literally rises--along with the water level--to the occasion. He loses a client in the flooded streets; shares a hotel room with a friendly, slightly larcenous female tourist from Chicago; and then stumbles on a trio of bank robbers whose agenda is linked to an old New Orleans property swindle. By showing the damage that a couple of days of rain can cause to the city's fragile ecosystem, Dunbar makes us really care about its fate. The same can be said about our feelings for Tubby: he's a lazy, corner-cutting, slightly shabby, occasionally reckless but decent man who turns out to be much more than a passing tourist attraction. Previous Tubby tales in paperback include City of Beads, Crooked Man, and Trick Question.
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Used availability for Tony Dunbar's Shelter from the Storm
December 1997 : USA Hardback
April 1999 : USA Paperback
December 1998 : USA Mass Market Paperback
January 1998 : USA Paperback
November 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition