Thursday, February 26, 2009

Forgotten Books: Kathleen Taylor's Tory Bauer Mysteries

South Dakota resident Kathleen Taylor is a freelance knitwear designer who's written one of the funniest mystery series I've ever read, yet few people have heard of it. With the popularity of mystery writers such as Janet Evanovich, this just doesn't set well with me!

Taylor's main character, Tory Bauer, is a waitress in a small South Dakota town. She's overweight, divorced, and lives in a trailer with her femme fatale friend and co-worker, Del, and Del's young son, Presley. What sets this series apart is its razor sharp characterizations, its spot-on depiction of life in small town America, and the witty (and often hilarious) repartee. Taylor isn't afraid to have "real" characters. These people have faults. They don't always make the right decisions. As a result, I cared about them all the more.

The books in the series are:
  1. Sex and Salmonella (1996)
  2. The Hotel South Dakota (1997)
  3. Funeral Food (1993)
  4. Mourning Shift (1998)
  5. Cold Front (2000)
  6. Foreign Body (2001)
If you're in the mood for a cozy mystery series that's heavy on characterization, setting and humor, you can't go wrong with Kathleen Taylor's Tory Bauer. The books may be a bit more difficult to track down, but they are well worth the effort. It's been five years since I've read these books, yet the characters and Delphi, South Dakota, are still with me. (I've also not been able to hear Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass without a twinkle in my eye and a big smile on my face!)

If you'd like to see more recommendations of books that deserve never to be forgotten, don't forget to check out Patti's weekly series on her blog, Pattinase!


  1. This series sounds truly promising. I wish I could chose sex OR salmonella, though.

  2. I JUST randomly picked up a copy of Funeral Food at HPB - now I'm excited for it!

  3. Dorte--you have to admit it's a catchy title, though! :)

    Elizabeth--WOW! How's that for serendipity?!? I hope you enjoy it!


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