cover image Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse

Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse

Peggy Webb. Kensington, $23 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7582-4143-6

In Webb%E2%80%99s ditzy fifth Southern Cousins cozy (after 2011%E2%80%99s Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble), Webb%E2%80%99s titular hero, Elvis reincarnated as a basset hound, continues to seek to protect his owner, hairdresser Callie Valentine Jones, from the errors of her ways. An electrical mishap at a Santa display in a Mooreville, Miss., mall injures Callie%E2%80%99s Uncle Charlie, who owns %E2%80%9Cthe best funeral home in Mississippi%E2%80%9D and is playing Santa, and kills Steve Boone, aka Rudolph%E2%80%94but was it an accident or murder? And if the latter, just who was the intended victim? Callie and her zany companions%E2%80%94plus-sized cousin Lovie Valentine, mother Ruby Nell, and fountain of malapropisms Fayrene Johnson%E2%80%94investigate. Webb packs almost every other page with a reference to an Elvis song or factoid as the snack-loving basset shares narration chores with Callie. Elvis fans in need of a deep-fried farce may find this finger-lickin%E2%80%99 good, but the extremely broad humor won%E2%80%99t work for everyone. Agent: Jane Rotrosen, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Oct.)