Can't Never Tell: A Southern Fried Mystery

Cathy Pickens, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne $24.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-312-35444-2

Summertime and the living is frightful for South Carolina lawyer Avery Andrews in Pickens's fifth Southern Fried mystery, a less successful entry than the previous one, Hush My Mouth (2008). First, there's the chain-saw wielding mannequin her niece sees in a fair's chamber of horrors that turns out to be a mummified corpse. Next, a pre–Fourth of July picnic at Bow Falls turns deadly when Rinda Reimann, a professor's wife, falls into the falls. When Rinda's husband is too distraught to cope, an overprotective friend asks Avery to file an insurance claim on the professor's behalf. Avery's suspicions about Rinda's “accident” deepen after the postmortem raises some serious questions. While Avery's sassy assistant, Shamanique, easily tracks down the carny corpse's identity, the effort to discover who pushed Rinda to a watery grave gets bogged down in too much financial detail. Cozy readers looking for escape from reality may want to skip the concluding tips on how to avoid consumer fraud. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/01/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 318 pages - 978-1-60285-457-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-312-35445-9
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4299-4217-1
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