Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: Killer in Crinolines

Summary: It’s August in Savannah, Georgia—hardly the season for a traditional Southern wedding with hoopskirts and crinolines. One could die from the heat—or from a cake knife in the back...

Reagan Summerside should be devoting all her energy to her consignment shop the Prissy Fox. But when her dear friend Chantilly Parker is arrested for murder, Reagan vows to clear her name. The victim is Simon Ambrose, who’s found lying in his own wedding cake with a knife in his back.

Chantilly has motive (Simon broke her heart to marry wealthy Waynetta Waverly) and opportunity (crashing the wedding in her UPS delivery truck). And she has cake on her face, and the stolen bridesmaid dress the killer wore is in her truck. But Chantilly would never wear crinoline to kill a man!

With the help of her flamboyant auntie, KiKi, and vexing but attractive attorney Walker Boone, Reagan is determined to save her friend—before she’s forced to turn in her brown uniform for an orange jumpsuit… -- Berkley Prime

A few months ago, I reviewed the first book in a new cozy series called ICED CHIFFON by Duffy Brown. I thought the book was cute and the mystery was a good one, so when the second book was released in the Consignment Shop Mystery series, I knew I wanted to read it. The second book is titled KILLER IN CRINOLINES, and it picked up right where the first book left off. I enjoyed this light, fun mystery just as much as the first one!
KILLER IN CRINOLINES centers around a murder of the groom at a fancy Savannah wedding. Reagan, the owner of the Prissy Fix consignment store, finds herself (once again) involved in solving the murder. This time, it's her good friend Chantilly who seems like the most likely suspect; and Reagan is pretty sure she's innocent of the crime.

However, the police and everyone else think Chantilly stuck a cake knife in the groom's back. And for good reason... Chantilly used to date the groom prior to being dumped for the wealthy bride, and there's nothing like a woman scorned. Can Reagan, with the help of her crazy aunt KiKi and the sexy lawyer Walker Boone, help to prove Chantilly's innocence?

KILLER IN CRINOLINES was a fun read and exactly what I needed. Sometimes, I just like to curl up with a cozy and escape for a few hours, and this novel definitely provided that. Not only was the mystery interesting, but the book managed to entertain me for a variety of other reasons. I just love the setting and the characters in this series. Plus the book was pretty darn funny!

First, the setting of KILLER IN CRINOLINES is perfect for this series. The books take place in Savannah and I honestly can't think of a better place. The author does a good job of bringing Savannah to life, both through the characters and the various local businesses; and both times I've read these books, I've wanted to take a trip to this beautiful city.

I also love the characters in these books. Reagan is definitely a likable character and a great narrator, but it's the one-of-a-kind characters that surround her that make these books even more special. Reagan's spunky friend Chantilly, the local UPS driver, is featured in this book because she is the main suspect, but it's Reagan's wild Aunt KiKi that really steals the show. She is downright hilarious and, while she does help Reagan solve the murder mystery, neither Reagan nor the reader ever know what's she's going to say or do. And then there's Walker Boone, the attorney who left Reagan with almost nothing after her divorce. There is some definitely sexual tension  between Reagan and Walker, and he always seems to be one step ahead of Reagan in her crime solving capers.

Finally, I should mention the mystery storyline in KILLER CRINOLINES. I'm the first to admit that I don't spend a lot of time trying to solve the mysteries when I read cozies, but I did have a gut feeling as to who was responsible for the crime. Having said that, I totally flubbed up the motives as well as the other person (or persons) involved. So, I guess you could say that the author did manage to surprise me a bit!

I really enjoyed both books in the Consignment Shop mystery series and I look forward to the next installment. KILLER IN CRINOLINES is recommended for fans of cozies who appreciate a little humor thrown in with their murder mysteries!

Thanks to the author for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

As I know I enjoy these kinds of books also, especially when they involve fun side things, like bakeries, weddings, bookclubs, etc.!

Duffy Brown said...

Thanks for reviewing Killer. I agree, Rhapsody, nothing more fun than wedding and a rotten groom facedown in his own wedding cake.
Have a good week.
Hugs, Duffy

Beth F said...

I've been wanting to read this series. So glad it is fun and good.

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a lot of fun to me since I was just in Savannah!

Beth Hoffman said...

I don't often read cozies, but when I first saw the cover of this book and then read a synopsis, I knew I'd enjoy it so I added it to my list.