Monday, May 06, 2013

Killer in Crinolines by Duffy Brown

First Line: Magnolia Plantation wasn't really a Southern plantation, the guests milling about the wide verandahs and lush green lawn weren't really extras from Gone with the Wind, and that wasn't Scarlett O'Hara descending the curved staircase but my auntie KiKi in a green flouncy dress with enough crinolines to cover all of Savannah.

Reagan Summerside should be devoting her time to her consignment shop, The Prissy Fox. Instead, she's raced to Magnolia Plantation on an errand of mercy, delivering a black bow tie so the wedding can get started. Since Reagan's luck is no better than mine, she manages to trip over a dead body. The groom has had a fatal encounter with a cake knife and now lies draped over his own wedding cake.

Unfortunately Reagan's best friend, UPS driver Chantilly Parker, is the prime suspect, since the groom jilted her to wed rich Waynetta Waverly. Chantilly even had plans to crash the wedding in her UPS truck. But even though Chantilly has both motive, means and attitude, Reagan knows her friend didn't commit murder and sets out to prove it. Little does she know that she's going to have two shadows throughout her sleuthing: her eccentric Auntie KiKi and Walker Boone, the lawyer Reagan loves to hate.

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Iced Chiffon, and I'm happy to say that the seeds author Duffy Brown planted in that first book have flowered beautifully in this second installment. The plot is filled with red herrings and humor, and I have to admit that I was enjoying myself so much that I forgot to put the clues together until just before the reveal. But the plot isn't the best part of Killer in Crinolines.

No, the prize for that would definitely go to Duffy Brown's cast of characters. From Reagan Summerside, a woman who can get more miles out of a huge yellow Target purse than anyone else I know, to her auntie KiKi, former roadie for Cher, dance instructor, and head gossip tweeter on the local kudzu vine, to Reagan's emotional best friend Chantilly, and on down to a pair of professional mourners, this is one group of characters to fall in love with and to laugh with. I think I had a big smile on my face almost the entire time I was reading.

Duffy Brown also has a light touch. This book is Pure-D Southern with a capital S without drowning in the vernacular speech that can turn some readers away. If you're looking for a cozy series that's light and fun, one with sparks of romance, a cast of characters you want to sit and gossip on the front porch with, and enough humor to keep you smiling for days, I have a recommendation for you: Duffy Brown's Consignment Shop mysteries!

Killer in Crinolines by Duffy Brown
ISBN: 9780425252154
Berkley Prime Crime © 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages

Cozy Mystery, #2 Consignment Shop mystery
Rating: B+
Source: the author


  1. Cathy - Oh, this does sound like a light, fun read. There are series like that I think that are to cozy up to. This sounds like it's intelligently written too, which is always a 'plus' for me.

    1. Thanks, Margot. A wedding that's not so blissful.


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