Saturday, October 11, 2008

REVIEW: To Live and Die in Dixie

Title: To Live and Die in Dixie
Author: Kathy Hogan Trocheck
ISBN: 0061091715/Harper
Protagonist: Callahan Garrity, ex-cop now owner of the cleaning service House Mouse
Setting: present-day Atlanta, Georgia
Series: #2
Rating: B

First Line: The lump under the sheet stirred, ever so slightly.

Things are looking up for Callahan. She's got someone to keep her warm at night, House Mouse is running smoothly, and her health is good. Things are looking up...until she agrees to clean Eagle's Keep, an old Victorian mansion owned by one of the more obnoxious citizens of Atlanta. When she and her team show up to clean, they not only find three stories of mess and clutter, they find a body. Callahan decides to be good and leave the police to take care of the murder, but Elliott Littlefield, the owner of Eagle's Keep, hires her to find a priceless Civil War diary that was stolen when the murder occurred. Callahan does her best, but it's not easy to track down stolen goods when the murdered girl's sister decides to tag along.

This is one of the few cozy mystery series that has been able to hold my attention lately, and it's due to the characters. Callahan is smart, funny, and she doesn't go off half-cocked and take stupid chances. Her mother is cranky, but not to the point where I want to stuff a sock in her mouth, and the House Mouse cleaning crew is a cast of characters all by its lonesome. Trocheck throws in plenty of reasonable red herrings that kept me scratching my head until I'd read about three-quarters of the book. This is definitely one cozy series that I'll continue reading.

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