cover image PEACHES AND SCREAMS: A Savannah Reid Mystery

PEACHES AND SCREAMS: A Savannah Reid Mystery

G. A. McKevett, . . Kensington, $22 (252pp) ISBN 978-1-57566-711-9

Savannah Reid makes a good showing in this strong series' latest volume (Just Desserts, etc.) when she travels home to small town McGill, Ga., for her sister Marietta's third wedding. Before the rehearsal can start, unpopular Judge Patterson is found shot to death, and his valuable collection of Confederate war medals has vanished. Worse is to come—the missing medals turn up in the toolshed Savannah's youngest brother, Macon, has fixed up for his private apartment. Worst of all, prosecuting attorney Mack Goodwin, the late judge's son-in-law, is determined to see Macon "strapped to a table with a needle in his arm." Before standing up with her sister, Savannah must stand by her brother and clear his name. Certainly none of her seven other siblings is capable of lifting a finger to help do the laundry, much less some legwork. But her best friends, Detective Sergeant Dirk Coulter and Tammy Hart, factotum at Savannah's Midnight Magnolia Detective Agency in California, ride (in a rental car from the airport) to the rescue. Some of the secondary characters are merely sketched in, like the shiftless, lazy Macon, but the main characters are carefully portrayed, their actions realistic and engrossing. In particular, Savannah's increasing exasperation with her siblings and devotion to the grandmother who raised her, as well as a nostalgic flirtation with her first beau, strike a chord with anyone who has sighed for the might-have-been. The pseudonymous McKevett also delivers a surprise ending with panache—the clues are there! (Jan. 8)

Forecast:Like previous titles in the series, this novel boasts eye-catching jacket art, though the black cat, an incidental figure in the plot, would seem to be there chiefly to lure cat cozy fans.