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Matt Isch lives and works in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
During a thirty-year career in fundraising, he's worked for clients as diverse as the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Baton Rouge, Cummer Gallery of Art in Jacksonville, the Orlando Science Center, the London Symphony Orchestra, St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Wichita, Louisiana Republican Party, Tulane University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Mississippi and various candidates for political office.
He's an active volunteer with the American Red Cross, and he's thinking about getting a dog.
on Sep. 06, 2015 :
Captain Richard Burton, renowned English explorer and student of world religion, accepts an invitation from Brigham Young to travel by coach through Indian territory to visit Salt Lake City. Before he can depart Washington, DC, the British consul summons him to a meeting with the Secretary of State who convinces Burton to go via New Orleans and investigate rumors of a slave insurrection to be incited with the aim of triggering the Civil War. Naturally, the adventurer accepts. On arriving in the Crescent City he falls in with a trio of drinking buddies who style themselves the ‘Saints’ because their given names are Patrick, Louis and Augustus. Clearly saints they are not, but with their help and hindrance, Burton becomes embroiled in a murder, a voodoo ritual, a duel and indeed a plot to incite a slave uprising.
In City of the Saints, Matt Isch weaves a tale as twisted as the delta, yet one that is closely aligned with actual events. The reversals, dead ends and red herrings keep the reader engaged, as does the witty first person narration. The Burton character is highly engaging and it is easy for the reader to identify with him. The setting is also delicious. One can see, feel and smell the Old Quarter as it was on the eve of the Civil War. The pace of this book is as languid as a bayou on a summer afternoon, which would usually turn me against it, but here it works and I found myself savoring the slow walk to the cool refuge of the barroom where the Saints plus Burton reviewed the revelations of the day. A final observation: some of the dialogue sounds a trifle too modern for the period, however, it can be forgiven and the story enjoyed for its pure goodness.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)