Murder In the Corn Maze by G.A. McKevett

Over the years there have been a lot of spinoffs, especially in movies and TV.  In general, they usually aren’t as good as the original, and many times, downright disappointing.  But that didn’t stop G.A. McKevett from jumping in head first into the spinoff whirlpool with her Murder in the Corn Maze, A Granny Reid Mystery.

Fans of her Savannah Reid series may have been a bit skeptical when they heard she was spinning off her feisty Granny character, Stella Reid.  But it’s a BRILLIANT move and — oh my – works so darn well, that now I don’t know which of her two series I like the best!   YES, it’s just that good!

What gives this new series a fresh take is the time warp.  This is about Granny “Stella” Reid when she was raising seven young ‘uns – including spunky and precocious little Savannah, her brother, Waycross, and 5 others.  It gives you the how and why our grown up Savannah became the P.I. that she is today.

It also comes with an incredible story:  It’s got to be frightening for anyone, especially a little girl (Savannah), finding a dead body in the supposedly “fun” Halloween corn maze.  The tale is brimming with southern swagger, southern warmth and downright sassy sayings that are sure to put a smirk on your face.

Widowed Granny Reid is tough as nails – she has to be.  She’s raising her seven grandchildren because her own daughter and son-in-law were both worthless and neglectful.  But even Stella’s early past was shrouded in dark secrets and unsolved mysteries, including answers as to why her mother ran off and abandoned her a long time ago.  Stella’s oldest and dearest best friend, Elsie Dingle, is also haunted by sinister shadows of her youth, but together through the years, Stella and Elsie stayed strong for each other.

The humble southern setting is sure to please.  McKevett, as usual, took her time developing and refining every one of her characters.  Each of the grandkids has their own special personality.  Stella’s own mother and father are fully depicted down to the finest detail.  There’s also an old Cherokee Shaman, a wealthy “old-money” judge and his family plus lots of other towns folks and friends, all meshing beautifully to bring McKevett’s twisted tale to life.

Then there’s Sheriff Manny Gilford.  Stella and the Sheriff grew up together.  Now they are both widowed and it’s obvious they kind of got a hankerin’ for each other.  Heck, Sheriff Gilford is so utterly charming, I’ve taken a shinin’ to him myself!  When it’s discovered that the body young Savannah found in the corn maze is someone close to Stella’s heart, she’s got no choice but to hang out with Sheriff Gilford to try to help solve the murder…and little do they know, there’s more on the horizon!

Little Savannah was always the sleuth of the family.  At thirteen years old, she made the literary leap from Nancy Drew Mysteries to the likes of Agatha Christie and P.D. James.  While most young girls finding a dead body would have a total freakout, Savannah’s inquisitive personality comes shining through.  She’s helping Granny Reid AND Sheriff Gilford put the pieces together of a very intricate puzzle (think jigsaw puzzle 1,000 piece double-sided all black pieces!).

And don’t forget, we’re in a time warp – home computers?  NO!  Cell phones?  NO!  Facebook?  NO! So it’s old-fashioned detecting and legwork when it comes to “digging up the dirt” from the long forgotten past.  And when it comes to suspects, there’s also plenty of low-down varmints to choose from.  More skeletons than there are closets and more twists and turns than a corn maze, makes this one of my TOP 5 Halloween cozies and favorite mysteries I’ve read this year.  As Jan and Dean used to say in their Little Old Lady from Pasadena:  Go Granny, Go Granny, Go Granny Go!

This is the 2nd installment in the Granny Reid Mystery series (I haven’t had a chance to read the first).  It’s a great cozy to read any time of year.  Check out my other cozy book reviews (including G.A. McKevett’s:  And the Killer Is…) under this books/mystery category.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

 

HEAD’S UP:  Wonder Women Sixty is picking up the pace on Holiday Mysteries and other Holiday and NON–Holiday book reviews!  You’ll also find ideas for early holiday shopping and gift-giving, EZ DYI crafts and ideas.  So check back soon!

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