cover image Elvis and the Grateful Dead

Elvis and the Grateful Dead

Peggy Webb, . . Kensington, $22 (233pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-2591-7

Webb's slap-happy second Southern Cousins mystery featuring Elvis Presley reincarnated as a basset hound (after 2008's Elvis and the Dearly Departed ) is as corny as all get-out, but Elvis fans are in for a treat. Hair-stylist Callie Valentine Jones and Lovie, her best friend and caterer, are each doing their bit for the annual Elvis Festival in the king's hometown of Tupelo, Miss. A highlight of the festival is the rockin' Elvis impersonator competition. Alas, when the impersonators start dropping dead, all poisoned by peach tea, Lovie becomes the prime suspect. Elvis the hound dog sniffs for clues as Callie and Lovie slip into detective mode. Meanwhile, Jack Jones, Callie's husband from whom she's almost divorced, and amorous vet Luke Champion vie for Callie's heart—and Elvis, who shares narrative duty with Callie in this comic crime caper, worries which dog “parent” will win custody of him if their divorce ever becomes final. (Oct.)