Each story in this cozy mystery series provides a great combination of hijinks and humor and one can’t help but chuckle while trying to figure out the killer’s motive and identity from the clues being gradually uncovered. The flavor of the south is vividly conjured and it was fascinating getting a more in-depth look at Reagan’s mom, and realizing that KiKi and Reagan are not the only ones in the Summerside family who have delightfully quirky personalities. The tension mounts as the action escalates and one can’t help but wonder if Reagan will finally back herself into a corner that she can’t find a way out of, especially since some of her allies are easily distracted by…hot dog wrappers or donuts. The maddeningly enigmatic Walker Boone continues to display unexpected depths that both comfort and frustrate Reagan even as she continues to ponder whether she can depend on him or not. I love meeting some of the fascinating secondary characters and trying to figure out what new tangles Reagan can create with her single-minded pursuit of the truth and each of these stories has an iconic humorous and sometimes vaguely horrifying scene that stays with me long after I have finished reading. I look forward to solving more mysteries with this entertaining heroine and seeing more facets of the darkly mysterious Walker.
“Pearls and Poison” by Duffy Brown is part of the ‘Consignment Shop Mystery’ series that follows the adventures of perpetually curious Reagan Summerside. The fatal end to one of her mother’s competitors for an alderman’s seat on the city council and the suspicion cast on her mom leads Reagan (and, naturally, her ebullient Aunt KiKi) to initiate their own investigation. Danger escalates, even as Reagan enlists additional unlikely assistants in her quest to clear her mother, and her unconventional methods stir up more than she is anticipating and proves that there can be a limit to southern manners when the situation warrants. The undeniable loyalty that binds the Summerside women may not be enough to keep them all safe and out of jail, but they certainly will do their utmost to support each other, even if it requires a bit of creative interpretation of the law.
It’s election time in Savannah, Georgia, and Judge Guillotine Gloria?aka Reagan Summerside’s mom?is neck and neck in the polls with Kip ?Scummy” Seymour. But the already dirty campaign is about to get downright filthy?with one candidate getting buried six feet under?
With her strong opinions and knack for getting into trouble, Reagan is not an ideal volunteer for her mother’s alderman campaign. Plus, she’d rather be running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, and eating doughnuts with her dog, Bruce Willis. But when her mother’s opponent, Kip, is found poisoned and her mother is pegged as a suspect, Reagan nominates herself as lead murder investigator.
Reagan is intent on finding Kip’s killer and clearing her mother’s good name, but she soon finds herself on the bad side of Kip’s enemies-turned-suspects. This time, no amount of costumes and makeup can keep her inconspicuous and out of danger. Because the closer Reagan gets to the truth, the hotter things get