Southern Fried Trouble

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Southern Fried Trouble

A Hannaford Twins Mystery

Ace and Deecey Hannaford are twins.  Ace and Deecey aren’t their real names but that is what they go by.  Their father is a Florida state senator and loves to try and control their lives even though they are grown.  Ace is a private investigator that works for a divorce lawyer.  Deecey is an aspiring actress who works in dinner theaters around southern Florida.  She also helps out her brother when she can.  
Troy Whitfield has been Deecey’s love interest since they were children.  They have never dated anyone else even when Troy did a tour with the Marines.  Troy is now a deputy with the county sheriff’s office.  He won’t ask Deecey to marry him because he’s afraid that her father will get him appointed to some desk job that he doesn’t want.  Troy is also good friends with Ace.
The trouble starts when Ace asks Deecey to climb over the fence at a sex club to take pictures of a millionaire.  His wife needs them to help with a divorce agreement.  Deecey gets the pictures but also knocks a Russian into the pool.  She is then forced to pull him out, as he doesn’t swim.  A day or so later, the Russian is found dead.  The police say it’s an accidental drowning but Ace thinks its murder. 
This book reminded me of a children’s mystery series.  I think part of the reason is the maturity level that the main characters express.  Ace and Deecey are suppose to dislike their father yet when he asks Deecey to be his hostess, she does it without argument similar to a child who wouldn’t think to disobey their parent.  Ace gets up set when his father has talked to the lawyer he works for making a comment about how close he and Deecey are.  Even Troy seems to act intimidated by Mr. Hannaford and he’s suppose to have done a tour with the Marines!  Based on the characters actions, I would have placed their age around 19 or 20, not older, which is what the book is trying to get you to believe.
The characters and the situations seem to lack depth and detail.  The readers are told things but doesn’t necessarily read about them such as Ace and Deecey’s relationship is a close one yet you don’t get that feeling when they interact or in what they do.  Likewise, Troy and Deecey have a loving relationship but they act more like friends with a few fringe benefits.  In fact, if not for the sexual side of their relationship, Troy and Deecey’s relationship greatly resembles Troy and Ace’s relationship. 
Most of the situations seem a bit unrealistic.  While I know this book is fiction, the situations that occur have to be somewhat believable.  While Deecey is thinking about what she’s missing from her relationship with Troy, it’s hard to imagine that she would even consider having sex with someone she’s not in a relationship with much less just to see what it would be like.  You would think if she was going to do that she would have when Troy was in the service.  When Mr. Hannaford decides to have a cocktail party, he’s able to just call the Miami symphony and have them come up with a jazz combo within a few days.  He even has the combo change music styles while at his party with no problems.  I guess they are magic musicians and don’t need to practice or have music.
While this could be a cute book, I just felt it wasn’t sure what kind of book it wanted to be.  The characters, writing style and most of the situations read like a book a young teen would enjoy.  The sexual situations while not graphic were a bit much for a young teen so that would place this book as an adult mystery.  Either way, this book needs to figure out whom it’s being written to.

Book Blurb for Southern Fried Trouble

Adultery, divorce, murder.why did Deecey Hannaford let her twin brother, Ace, embroil her yet again in his off-again/on-again private investigator business? As an aspiring actress, she couldn't keep placing herself at risk in his ridiculous capers. Their father, a Florida state senator, was driving them both nuts.Ace trying to win his approval, Deecey trying to break away from his manipulative tactics. Throw in handsome Deputy Troy Whitfield.can Troy and Deecey's relationship last-or will events forever tear them apart? Yet Deecey once again succumbs to Ace's pleas to help with a case-complete with gypsies! Will this be the case that puts both her and Ace's lives at risk?

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2008 2.00