Rhonda Johnson
June 09, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Swamp Gas

Current Status
In Season
St. Martin's Press

We gave it a B+

The New Orleans Branch of the Polish-American Small Businessmen’s Association has a problem: Stanley Kowalski is the only famous local Polish American, and he’s a fictional character. Their efforts to raise Polish-American visibility lead them to sponsor bosomy redhead Lana Pulaski for state attorney general. A hustling lawyer overly fond of tight miniskirts and stiletto heels, Lana runs an unconventional campaign that lands her at the altar with a senile old judge who might be able to pull votes in Cajun county — if a secret from his past doesn’t get her killed first. With its corrupt politicians, bumbling criminals, and audacious schemers, Nicole Paolini’s Swamp Gas is sometimes too evocative of Carl Hiassen. But it rises above mere imitation with its own brand of Louisiana eccentrics and a laid-back Big Easy ending. B+

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