Friday, March 14, 2014

Review, Author Chat, Giveaway, & Book Spotlight: Pearls and Poison (Book 3 in the Consignment Shop Mysteries) by Duffy Brown (A Great Escapes Book Tour)

It’s election time in Savannah, Georgia, and Judge Guillotine Gloria—aka Reagan Summerside’s mom—is neck and neck in the polls with Kip “Scummy” Seymour. But the already dirty campaign is about to get downright filthy—with one candidate getting buried six feet under….

With her strong opinions and knack for getting into trouble, Reagan is not an ideal volunteer for her mother’s alderman campaign. Plus, she’d rather be running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, and eating doughnuts with her dog, Bruce Willis. But when her mother’s opponent, Kip, is found poisoned and her mother is pegged as a suspect, Reagan nominates herself as lead murder investigator.

Reagan is intent on finding Kip’s killer and clearing her mother’s good name, but she soon finds herself on the bad side of Kip’s enemies-turned-suspects. This time, no amount of costumes and makeup can keep her inconspicuous and out of danger. Because the closer Reagan gets to the truth, the hotter things get….

I'm happy to welcome Duffy Brown on the blog today!!!  I'm a huge fan of her Consignment Shop Mysteries!!

Southern Belle or Northern Deb? Which are you?
Granola or Grits…Big hair or Flat…Pearls or Beads

I live in Cincinnati, right on the border of granola and grits. The Ohio River is not very wide I mean people swim across the thing...usually after a few beers but that’s another blog.
On the south side of the Ohio River sushi is and always will be bait and granola is squirrel food. On the north side if you order sweet tea they toss you a packet of sweet-and-low.  I don’t have big hair but I use hairspray, I love sweet tea and pork is the food of the gods but it has to be free-range pork where they treat the piggies nice.
So, am I North or South? The reason this is important, is my book is set in the South, so what part of my life goes into to the story and what gets ditched? I made a checklist to find out want part of me was Belle and what part was Deb.
So my question is... Who are you? Are you a Deb or a Belle?

-Do you never wear white after Labor Day or before Easter or do you go by the weather

-Do you own a strand of real pearls and wear them with pride or are you into beads

-Do you drink sweet tea and love it when they have it on the menu or do order Coke Zero

-A part of you truly believes in damn Yankees or are the Yankees the baseball team in NYC

-Civil War? What Civil War? That there was the unfortunate Northern Aggression!

-Do you have Lee as part of your name or your children’s name or is it Kaitlin

-Is GWTW and Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes, Something to Talk About your favorite movies and you recognize all the places or are you a Sex and the City girl and watch The Wire

-Do you have a tiara hidden in your panty drawer? Do you know how to twirl a baton, or do you have a hockey stick in the closet beside your down coat

-Do you have a dad or a daddy

-Do you have an umbrella that looks a bit like a parasol or a North Face rain jacket

-Does the term red-eye go with gravy or taking a picture

-Biscuits from the bakery or from you grandma’s cookbook

-Prime real estate is NYC or the mall, country club and the beauty salon

-White gloves or black leather

-Southern Living or Martha Stewart

-Shorts or sundresses

-Pineapple doorknocker or lion’s head

-Mind your business or mind your manners

-Follow NFL or NASCR

-Drive a hard bargain or drive an SUV

So, how do you measure up? Is a part of you a Southern Belle? Part of you Northern Deb? All of one or the other? Do you know someone who is?

I am definitely a closet Southern Belle! I do make fried chicken and bathtub gravy. That’s what my kids call my cream gravy because they could eat a bathtub full of it. I do make my own pies, have white gloves, crab at my kids if they don’t mind their manners, buy extra-hold hair spray, subscribe to Southern Living, have a fancy umbrella that I’ve been known to twirl from time to time and I do know how to twirl a baton for real. I even took lessons and still have the baton!

On the Southern Belle scale I’m about a 7. Well, maybe an 8. Guess that’s why I wanted to write a book and set it in Savannah. What is your Southern Belle Score? Your Deb score?

Ya’ll have a good day now, ya’ hear.

Hugs, Duffy Brown

Book Details:

Pearls and Poison
(A Consignment Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 4, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252482

Purchase Links:

Amazon:  Pearls and Poison (A Consignment Shop Mystery)


Sapphyria's Review:

My Review of Book One, Iced Chiffon, can be found HERE!

My Review of Book Two, Killer in Crinolines, can be found HERE!

Reagan is back at it in Book 3 in The Consignment Shop Mysteries.  This time though, the murder suspect is none other than mayor-elect, Gloria Summerside - Reagan's mom, who's also a local judge.  After meeting with another mayoral candidate, Gloria tells the public that she's going to extend the olive branch to her competition and not long after she goes to his headquarters, Kip Seymour is found dead.  And the bottle of wine Gloria has given to Seymour as a gift is the murder weapon, having been laced with poison.

Humor abounds in this novel about murder, set-ups, deceit, and family chaos.  The humor was well placed and kept the book from becoming overly serious.  The death of a mayor candidate and a judge being the main subject are pretty heavy situations that could have easily sent this book over the edge of cozy mystery right into the jagged rocks of a suspense or thriller mystery.  I find that I love the balance between the humor and elements of the mystery and wouldn't want the author to change her style.

The heroine, Reagan, is snarky, funny, and very enjoyable. Her love/hate relationship with Walker Boone is written so well. There are definitely dynamics at work between them but do we get to see more from them in Book 3?  You'll have to read the book yourself.  

Her aunt KiKi, a southern socialite that teaches dancing classes in her home, is Reagan's partner-in-crime-solving.  She's married to a cardiologist and said crime solving has to be done on the sly.  Thank goodness he's gone a lot at "conferences" (aka golf outings).  Kiki is a martini-aholic and is just as humorous as Reagan.  

Walker Boone sounds like a typical lawyer but he has made huge strides as a friend and protector as the series progresses. He definitely has some redeeming qualities and shows up at some of the best times to help/save/annoy Reagan.  His love/hate relationship with Reagan sometimes reminds the reader of the little boys on the playground in elementary school - they pull pigtails or tease because they like the girl on the receiving end of the negative attention.  All-in-all Boone is a fantastic hero/nemesis to Reagan's heroine character.

I wasn't at all clued in to who the the culprit(s) was/were until the end when all was revealed. Duffy places some strategically placed red herrings that successfully take the reader down another avenue.  The world building continues in this pretty close Savannah town but Duffy does a great job keeping most things new and fresh.  Reagan Summerside, amateur detective/trouble maker/murder magnet was exhausting in a couple of places (you can only take a heroine making the same dumb decisions over and over before getting to that point) but they are minute in stature.  I find that now that I'm writing this review, I can't even place exactly where the problems were in the novel; they are there but I haven't been dwelling on them, so they must not fully drag away from the story (and I didn't write them down when I was taking notes - yes, I take notes).

Duffy is an excellent writer and just gets better with this addition to the series.  This third installment of the Consignment Shop Mysteries does not disappoint!

I'm a big ban of cozy mysteries - they are one of my favorite genres, in fact - and this book fits in nicely. No sex, no language issues, no gory details, very little violence.

Paperback Review Copy Courtesy of the Author, Duffy Brown, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Sapphyria's Rating:


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About the Author:

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, her license plate is Sherlock and she conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Duffy’s national bestselling Consignment Shop Mystery series is set in Savannah and the Cyclepath Mysteries are set on Mackinac Island. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell and is a USA Today bestselling author.


Lisa Brown said...

I am a Northern Deb

Alicia said...

I'm a Southern Belle....

Sapphyria said...

Thank you both for stopping by and entering the giveaway contest.


Brooke Bumgardner said...

I am part Southern Belle and part Northern Deb. :)

VampedChik said...

Im a little bit of both. :)

traveler said...

A Northern Deb. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Sapphyria said...

Thank you all for stopping by! :)