Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Peach of a Murder -- Livia J. Washburn

Okay, this is a cozy. So much for my street cred. The truth is, however, that I read a lot of different kinds of books, including books that have recipes in the back, like this one.

What we have here is a fine small-town mystery with interesting characters, plenty of secrets, and murders. Phyllis Newsom, a retired teacher, is the main character. After her husband's death she converted their big old house into a boarding house for women, and she now shares it with three other retired teachers, including one who's quite old.

Two of the women, Phyllis and Carolyn, are intensely competitive when it comes to cooking up peach dishes for the annual festival in Weatherford, Texas. This year things get a little tense when two men die, one while Phyllis and her friends are picking peaches and another during the judging of the contest.

Phyllis's son is a deputy sheriff, so Phyllis gets to keep up with the investigation, and when one of her friends looks like the leading suspect, Phyllis decides she'll have to solve the murders herself. And she does, with the assistance of Sam Fletcher, a male boarder who's just moved in to complicate life in the formerly all-woman boarding house.

Great small-town atmosphere, entertaining characters, humor, and even recipes. How could you go wrong? Check it out.

3 comments:

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I read this one , too, but only because Livia wrote it and I know she's a very talented author. To my everlasting shame I have to admit I liked it. All these years of cozy bashing wiped away in one moment. On the other hand, it didn't have any of the cloying coziness I'd expect to find in a book of this type.

Livia said...

Both your comments made my day. Thanks.

Bill said...

Always glad to plug a good book on the blog.