Mystery

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young

Fresh out of the gate this month is the debut of a charming new cozy series:  Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young.   The characters reflect the laid-back southern style and swagger that’s found on Georgia’s Peach Cove Island.

The Peach Diner has been in the Brown family for generations.  They’ve been known for their home-style cooking and baking.  Jena Lynn has been running the family business while her sister, Marygene, began her married life away from her family in the big city of Atlanta.

Unfortunately for Marygene, her marriage to crummy hubby, Peter, didn’t last long.  In fact, Peter was very abusive, and sadly, she had the bruises to prove it.  One day Marygene had the guts to simply drive away with practically nothing, including a job.  She heads home to Peach Cove Island where friends and family greet her with open arms.

Luckily for her, she also has the family business to fall back on, and wastes no time in slipping on her apron and diving right into work at their 50’s retro diner.  Seems like her problems are quickly vanishing – her old life with Peter will soon be a thing of the past once the divorce papers go through.

She hasn’t been home long, but is happy to serve up some southern comfort friendliness to go along with the diner’s famous surf and turf burgers.  Ahhh – life is good in this small town – well, it “was,” until  one of the diner’s customers slumps over the counter.  He mumbles something to Marygene about not trusting anyone and proceeds to drop dead on the spot.  Soooo NOT good for business!

Suddenly the diner’s reputation is on the line – was this natural causes or perhaps even food poisoning?  As the saying goes, time is money and there’s nothing worse than having your place of business shutdown indefinitely.  Actually, I take that back:  having your sister, arrested for murder is worse.

Marygene’s sister, Jena Lynn, is in serious trouble.  The diner is in serious trouble.  And there’s more trouble when an out of town detective is called in to help solve the case.  Slowly shades of law enforcement corruption rise to the surface and then things really become unsettling.

Not knowing who to trust, Marygene, along with her mama, her old friend Betsy, and a nosey reporter, step up to the plate to clear Jena Lynn’s name and get her out of the slammer.

While the bodies keep popping up, Marygene’s mama tries her best to protect her daughters and help catch the cold-blooded killer.  But here’s the thing — mama has her limitations — after all, she passed away 2 years ago!

This is a terrific cozy with a touch of the supernatural.  Ms. Young knows how to quietly introduce one of the most interesting characters in her book, the sisters’ mama! I loved the feistiness of all the women in the Brown family, and their southern charm was as refreshing as a mint julep.  A great summer read – fun and entertaining with some surprising twists and turns.  Retro-slang:  in short, it’s a peachy keen cozy!  Can’t wait for the next installment!