Thursday, January 21, 2010
Murder on a Girls' Night Out, by Anne George
I picked this one up at my new book club. The ladies don't just vote on a book to read and then discuss it, they bring books from their own shelves to loan out/exchange and otherwise chat about their families. It's a small group, and they are all further along in life than I am, but that's okay. They have a low tolerance for sexual situations, profanity, and violence, so I'm guaranteed a mild read.
This has been out for 15 years or so. The ladies thought it was funny, and it was in a mild PG way. It's one of a series of books called "A Southern Sisters Mystery". There are two sisters, Patricia Anne, aka "Mouse", and Mary Alice, aka "Sister", who find themselves unwilling investigators of a murder in the Skoot n Boot Bar which Mary Alice has just purchased. The prior owner, Ed, is found with throat slit, hanged, and soaking in the bar's wishing well. Patricia urges Mary to cut her losses and bulldoze the place but Mary just can't give up the idea of running a hot country line dancing venue. The bar is later vandalized, and if that weren't enough, a tornado hits the dance floor and wrecks it. Later a neighbor winds up dead, and despite everything Patricia and Mary do to just get on with life, the events surrounding the bar trap them in ever more dangerous circles.
It was a quick read. I appreciated the light hearted humor and how the author focused on the relationships between the extended family members and the murder investigation took a back seat to the everyday routines, despite it's disrupting influence. This wasn't like other mysteries I've read where the investigation takes over the life of the protagonists completely - these women were worrying about their single daughters' love lives and "what should I wear to this upcoming social event" and how their pets were doing in their absence. It was a more laid back approach to a mystery. I could stand to read another in the series, but it wasn't so captivating that I HAVE TO read the others right away.
One thing that I have to vent about were the typos. One I can forgive, but when there are more than that I have to wonder who the copy editor was. I expect better from publishers. These are not high school English papers, these are books you want people to plunk down hard earned money for.
Now I have to get back to Paradise Lost.