gumbo justice
Nights in New Orleans can be as dangerous as they are steamy. Especially for a smart-mouthed, competitive Assistant District Attorney like Ryan Murphy. If the criminals she prosecutes aren't trouble enough, she has an overprotective police captain daddy and four cop brothers to contend with, as well as a possible romance with a hot detective--or two. And then there's the small problem of a psychotic serial killer, who may or may not be trying to help her on her way to the top.
At first, Ryan isn't concerned when defendants on cases she lost are murdered--after all, street justice has a way of catching up with the bad guys in New Orleans. When the killer turns his attention on her, she realizes climbing the ranks at the D.A.'s Office is the least of her problems.
Between her family and friends, she should be the safest prosecutor in the city. But the killer in someone she knows and never suspects, and in the end, she'll have to face her demons and outsmart a serial killer to avoid being his final victim.
Read a Review:

GUMBO JUSTICE, Holli Castillo’s debut novel set where else but New Orleans (pre-Katrina) certainly lives up to its title! It’s hot and meaty and just the right blend of spices to give any lover of police procedural mysteries something great to sink our teeth into!

Ryan Murphy is an assistant D.A. with a father and brothers who are cops. She is the only girl in her family and is used to being the center of attention and really doesn’t like life when she is not noticed. However, sometimes being noticed by the wrong people and for the wrong reason is not such a good thing—as Ryan finds out when a serial killer starts murdering defendants who were not convicted when she was the case prosecutor. Just how close is this connection to Ryan and her aspirations to join the elite Strike Force? Or is this connection even older than Ryan herself realizes?

With meticulous precision, Holli Castillo crafts a novel with just the right elements to give her readers a lot to savor! GUMBO JUSTICE certainly left me hungry for another serving!

Laine Estep

"Ryan couldn't keep her thoughts from drifting back to the homicides on the short drive home. L'Roid Smith had been killed in a way common among gangs members - beaten, shot in the head execution style and left naked. It was the ultimate humiliation, and the same way he had committed his own gang murders, including the one Ryan had tried to prosecute. And Jeremiah had been beaten, the same way he had beaten his wife on the case Ryan had handled."
Ryan Murphy is a New Orleans Assistant District Attorney working to build a winning case history in the hopes of being promoted to the "Strike Force." But she has a problem. The die-hard criminals that she prosecutes are turning up dead in the same fashion of pain and death that they bestowed on their victims. Even though this may be getting the criminals off the streets, it's not helping Ryan with her promotion. Especially when news leaks to the media that there is a connection between Ryan and the deaths.
Gumbo Justice was a book that I actually sat up until 1:00 in the morning to finish. I had to know who was trying to ruin Ryan's career and why. This book is so well written that as I read along I actually started seeing Ryan and the other characters in action. It could easily be made into a movie and I know the perfect actress to play Ryan. Holly Hunter plays in a TV series called "Amazing Grace." In my opinion "Grace" is the perfect Ryan. She loves to party, get down right dirty but still get her job done.
I thoroughly enjoyed Gumbo Justice and recommend it to anyone who loves a good murder mystery. Holli Castillo's experience as a prosecutor and public defender in the New Orleans court system comes through with the full knowledge as to how the courts really work.
 Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
Holli Castillo has the pulse on law enforcement beyond the headlines in pre-Katrina New Orleans. Her background as a public defender lends her debut novel authenticity and a strong voice to prosecutor Ryan Murphy. Part police procedural, part legal drama, Castillo is a welcome addition to both genres.

Sunny Frazier, author of WHERE ANGELS FEAR and others in the Christy Bristol Mystery Series