Genre: cozy mystery
There's always something to gossip about in Savannah, Georgia, and Reagan Summerside always seems to be in the middle of it. She's busy enough running her consignment shop, The Prissy Fox, with her vivacious Auntie KiKi, but now the gossip - and the sales - are about to pick up after a gruesome discovery...
Reagan's messy divorce has left her with nothing but a run-down Victorian and a bunch of designer clothes. Strapped for cash, Reagan makes use of the two things she has left, turning the first floor of her home into a consignment shop and filling it with the remnants of her rich-wife wardrobe.
Thanks to his cunning lawyer Walker Boone, her ex got everything else, including the Lexus - not to mention a young blond cupcake. When Reagan finds the cupcake dead in the Lexus, she's determined to beat Boone to finding the murderer. As it turns out, the gossip fiends flooding Reagan's shop will give her a lot more than just their unwanted clothes - they have information more precious than a vintage Louis Vuitton...
After her messy divorce a few months ago, Reagan has nothing left but a run down old Victorian house that she fell in love with as a child, and is in the process of fixing up. Her husband took it all, the house, the car and the business, and he even has the new cupcake on his arm, all thanks to his smarmy lawyer Walker Boone. Reagan has a pile of bills to pay, and so she is ready to bring her designer clothes to a consignment shop nearby. Until the UPS lady and her vivacious aunt KiKi change her mind, and she decides to open up her own consignment shop.
When her ex Hollis and the new cupcake, Janelle, stroll in, demanding her set of keys to the Lexus, she really doesn’t want to give them up. After all, she paid for the car. But as she was so stupid to sign a prenup, and the car is in Hollis’ name, she has no choice. Especially as Hollis still hasn’t signed over Cherry House in her name, as was determined in the divorce settlement. She will have to play nice for now. But when cupcake wants to buy her favourite pink chiffon dress, she really doesn’t want to sell it to her, but she agrees to the outrageous price without blinking her eyes, and Reagan really needs the money to pay some bills. Hollis and cupcake will be attending a social event Reagan always loved, but she is no longer invited now she is just a poor divorcee instead of a rich wife who can donate to charity.
The next day, Raylene Carter wants to buy Reagan’s fountain for her garden, she is determined to win the next Best of Show. And she wants it home delivered that very same day. But Reagan has sold her car to pay some bills, and she cannot borrow her aunts car, as she is out to lunch with her mother in law, and she doesn’t want to ask her own mother. Gloria is a judge, and has warned her about marrying Hollis, signing a prenup, and putting only Hollis name on the Lexus. So she decides to just sneak into the real estate office, and borrow the cars to the Lexus to haul to fountain over to Raylene’s. IdaMae, who has been Hollis’ secretary and some kind of cousin, has been working there for many years, and doesn’t mind helping Reagan out. She really doesn’t like cupcake, who tries to have her fired so she can take over the office.
But when Reagan asks KiKi to help her get the fountain in the trunk, the trunk is already filled with something. Cupcakes dead body, wearing Reagan’s pink chiffon dress, wrapped in plastic. The police immediately suspect Hollis, as they were seen arguing at the party last night, and it is his car. And Reagan could really cherish the thought of Hollis in prison for a while, until he threatens to sell her precious Cherry House from underneath her, to pay for his lawyer. Which means there is only one thing to do, to find the killer herself.
And the more she learns, the more people she finds who had a big reason to hate Janelle. With a lot of help from her aunt KiKi, her nosy neighbours (a duo of professional mourners) and the unsuspected help from the sleazy lawyer, Reagan sets out to find the truth. So many suspects, so many motives, but in the end the killer knows she will figure it out soon, and tries to kill her as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in a new series. Reagan and KiKi are a hoot, real southern ladies with a lot of quirks, and a lot of energy. Reagan does her best to just survive, to pay her bills and earn some money for food, and to take care of her new found dog. She is reckless, but she is determined to safe her house and not let Hollis sell it, or let the lawyer triumph in solving the case before her. Still, Boone can be very nice, and he really saves her butt a few times, but he is also very closemouthed and irritating at other times.
The story is very well written, and nicely paced. With some bits about the consignment shop business, but mostly about Reagan being out looking for clues and answers and alibis. She discovers a lot of dirt on some of her acquaintances, but she handles it all very well. I did see some things coming, but it was well done. A nice mystery plot, with a lot of humor and Southern sayings. I did make me laugh out loud a few times.
I do recommend this cozy mystery series to all lovers of cozy mystery series with quirky Southern characters and am looking forward to reading the next book soon.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian