Novelist Anne George injects murder, mayhem, and laughs into her popular mysteries. Nominated for an Agatha Award, this hilarious tale of two “60 something” sisters reveals the deadly consequences of a hasty real estate purchase.
Retired Alabama school teacher Patricia Anne thinks her older sister, flamboyant Mary Alice, has lost her cotton-pickin’ mind. On a whim, Mary Alice bought the Skoot ’n’ Boot, the local country western night spot where she and her boyfriend hang out. Mary Alice insists it will be easy to run the club - until the previous owner is found executed, gangland style, in the club’s wishing well. Suddenly the sheriff is demanding answers, and a killer with unfinished business is sending messages even optimistic Mary Alice can’t ignore.
With her dramatic sense of timing, narrator Ruth Ann Phimister brings out both the wise-cracking fun and the nail-biting suspense.
©1996 Anne George (P)2000 Recorded Books
This book was a great break from some of the more serious reading I’ve been doing. The pace is relaxing, but not too slow and as soon as you settle into the seemingly mundane life of two older ladies, things change and you are swept into a crazy mystery with two wild women at the helm. There’s one crazy situation after another in this first book, but I won’t go into that detail here for fear of ruining the ride for you. Just trust me that things get crazy! I don’t know about you, but I absolutely enjoy reading about wild women (or wild men) with good hearts!!
At first glance the two sisters are entirely different and annoying in their own ways. One is a pedantic, persnickety, somewhat judgmental, former English teacher who insists on correcting everyone’s grammar. The other is a man-chasing, glutton who clearly sees everyone else’s faults and has no qualms about telling everyone exactly what they are doing wrong.
There are enough husbands, boyfriends, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors to bring depth to the story. As you get to know these “annoying” ladies, you can’t help but fall in love with them. It turns out that they are funny, loving and though different, they both have equally good hearts and souls so it’s easy to overlook and actually smile at what initially seemed like annoying traits (especially for those of us who are perfect and never annoying…lol).
I am now listening to the last audio book in this series (seems there’s at least one more not in audio) and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these books. The narrator does an awesome job of bringing the 60-something pair and the rest of the cast to life. She also does a fabulous job of conveying the wry humor that’s scattered throughout and in this way she helps the author evolve our view of the women from annoying to heartwarmingly fun.
To be fair, I expected southern comfort food. This is more like southern gothic. The mystery is unmemorable, but savagely bloody, just inexplicably brutal. The retired sisters were not comfort-food type southern ladies, more like Scarlett O'Hara all grown up, the sort of infuriating person who gets the vapors at the thought of blood, but is otherwise completely unaffected by a gruesome murder of an acquaintance. The second they're over the vapors they start playing power games with the sheriff because they don't like him. They carry on planning the renovation and re-opening of the bar, playing matchmaker, and shopping for clothes. The ostensibly more level-headed one gets all gooey over a handsome politician.
The mystery is bizarre. The murders are so violent as to imply something really horrible behind them. There's foreshadowing or the appearance of clues that are never followed up on, and the secrets at the bottom of it all, which our detectives never really figure out, but have to be told in two long narrations, hardly merit the crime at all. I still don't understand the whos and whys of some of the deaths.
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This book was thoroughly enjoyable. I haven't laughed out loud like that in a long time. It catches you off guard because you're listening intently to the plot, it gets interesting and bam you're laughing. It's very witty and I'm sure a lot of people can relate to the sisters.
The author gives enough details for you to easily imagine the scenario but doesn't overdo it so that you become bored with the details and forget what was going on.
I think the narrator is perfect for this story and has the ability to keep the suspense going and in an instant with an almost English irony bring you to laugh out loud unexpectedly.
Can't wait to get started on the second book.
both are great.
When Mary Alice calls and says "Fred's Dead" but means "Ed is Dead".
She seems to have the perfect accent and way of saying things that just make it perfect.
I think the author is great and the reader just adds to it. I will listen to her books over and over.
God bless the talent of Anne George and Ruth Ann Phimister. This series is the reason I joined Audible. I have literally listened to 100's and 100's of audio books and I revisit this series regularly. The characters are so good I wish I could blink them into existence. So sorry Mrs. George left this world way too early.
One conversation between sisters Patricia Ann and Mary Alice is about Patricia Ann's husband, Fred, describing the gusset in his boxer shorts as the "ball room"! Too funny.
Her voice interpretation of the characters is brilliant!! The talent of the narrator makes the books characters leap off the page.
The books are funny, original, southern and loveable. Through Anne George's mysteries I have learned about genealogy, sea turtles, snake handlers -and- that a great book can be interesting, endearing, funny and all without salty language, explicit sex scenes etc.!! And I am a fan of kick butt, action, hard core detective novels!
If you're southern and grew up in the 50's, then this will strike a familiar note. Anne George has a unique and entertaining way of combining humor, old fashioned Southern mores, and murder in such a way that you can't put it down. Can't wait for the next book about these two mismatched yet loving sisters. And as a plus: the reader/narrator is fantastic.
Yes. I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.
None. She did an excellent job
A very enjoyable start to the Southern Sisters Mystery series. All the characters are very enjoyable and Patricia Ann is particularly entertaining with her internal commentary on her sister, husband and all the events and people around her.The narrator does a fine job with the accent and personalizing each character she portrays.
The sisters personalities and relationship as well as the supporting characters, the whole series is excellent! I have read them all many times over. The narrator really brings it to life. This is one of my favorites series of all time!
This series is a MUST READ! Very fun and captivating.
Read the whole series a few years back and Laughed so hard! Mystery wrapped with much family humor - Southern Charm! Listening to the story still sends me into chuckles and lots of laughter. Lighthearted mystery for an enjoyable listen!
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