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Margarita Nights (A Sherri Travis Mystery #1)

3.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  236 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Margarita Nights is a cozy with grit, serving Jack Daniels instead of tea.

In a small Florida beach town, Sherri Travis is a bartender with an inconveniently murdered husband who turns out to be as much trouble to her dead as he was alive.

Sifting through the debris of Jimmy's life, Sherri finds more than a few people who wanted her lying, scheming, scam artist husband g
Kindle Edition
Published (first published November 16th 2009)
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Mar 19, 2016 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok! This is by no means a bad book but I really can't think of why it has so many high ratings and has won awards. The writing is OK but not spectacular but there are too many superfluous characters that don't really have any bearing on the main plot and I found it difficult to like many of the characters including Sherri. To me she appears as the stereotypical dumb, stubborn, bumbling amateur detective that is the main character of many cozy mysteries and I think the self-pity and hangover mode ...more
Toni Osborne
A Sherri Travis Mystery, book 1

This is a light but cute and quite captivating summer read: a story of bartender Sherri Travis, a crafty sleuth, who became the prime suspect in her husband's death.

This first book in the series is set in a small town on the west coast of Florida. Sherri is estranged from her upper-crust husband Jimmy because of his addiction to gambling, drugs, liquor and easy women. Jimmy was always known to play with danger so it was no surprise when one day his boat blew up wit
Sep 12, 2010 UKDana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sherri is a fiesty young woman who works nights as a bartender in a small town in Florida. so she can spend her days playing golf. The novel begins with Sherri receiving the news that her husband, who she's separated from, has been killed when his boat exploded. Sherri has doubts about what has happened since she is well aware that her husbands isn't whiter than white.

Sherri is a thoroughly modern heroine, willing to stand up for herself but also well aware of the dangers she puts herself in. Sh
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
*Reviewed for NetGalley*

When her husband's boat explodes in Jacaranda Bay, Sherri doesn't believe he was on board. Detective Styles however is convinced that Sherri had finally had enough of the cheating, lying, manipulative b**d. A videotape , buried in the pot plant on Sherri's balcony seems to provide some clues but before she can figure out just what it means, the tape is stolen and someone tries to kill her.
Margarita Nights is the first in The Sherri Travis Mystery series by Phyllis Smallma
Lou Allin
May 17, 2012 Lou Allin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phyllis Smallman won the first Unhanged Arthur Ellis Canadian Crime Writing
Award, earning a contract with prestigious McArthur and Company, who
published her novel this spring.

It's a winner from page 1, where we are introduced to feisty bartender
Sherri Travis in Jacaranda, Florida. She's separated from her husband Jimmy,
but when his boat blows up and she's named on an insurance policy, Sherri
finds herself swimming with the sharks in blue waters streaked with blood.

Jimmy was no prince; a legion of
Jan 04, 2010 Marlyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Phyllis Smallman was kind enough to send me a copy of Margarita Nights, and I'm so glad she did! This was definitely a read-all-at-once book, which I did while on my Thanksgiving vacation last week.

I was feeling a bit sniffly, and it was a good excuse to retire early, but stay up waaay too late.

Sherri Travis describes herself as "white trash" (which is really just a persona she adopts when she doesn't want people to see how smart she really is). She tends bar at the upscale Sunset in Jacaranda,
Alexander Inglis
Getting an unpublished first novel noticed is challenging but in Phyllis Smallman's case, mystery solved. Margarita Nights, about amateur detective (ok, she serves drinks in a Florida bar for a living) Sherri Travis came to the notice of Louise Penny, and other members of the Crime Writers of Canada. In 2007, it instituted a new prize, the "Unhanged Arthur" to recognise best unpublished first crime novel; Smallman was the inaugural recipient. The CWC's main Arthur Ellis award is granted annually ...more
Barbara Nutting
A bit of John D MacDonald with a little Dave Barry thrown in!!! How can you not enjoy a book when the main character is poor white trash. Only in Florida!!! Glad I started with book one - will look forward to the sequels!! The only thing that grated on my nerves was her calling the road Tamiami all the time - locals refer to it as 41!!! Otherwise, an accurate picture of the Sunshine State!!
Dec 03, 2010 Ladiibbug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
#1 Sherri Travis Mystery

4.5 stars

What a great mystery read! Sherri Travis is a bartender in Jacaranda, Florida. Her world is turned upside down when her estranged husband's boat explodes and the police investigate.

Jimmy's known for his lying, scheming and checkered, which leads Sherri to wonder if Jimmy was even aboard his boat when it exploded. Could this be just one more get-rich-quick scheme Jimmy devised? Is he running from an angry husband or maybe creditors?

Lots of colorful characters, ver
Jan 14, 2013 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to actually rate this book 3 1/2. Sherri Travis is a bartender, separated from her husband, Jimmy. The police tell her Jimmy's boat exploded and he was on board. She isn't so sure Jimmy is dead as he was meticulous about the workings of his boat. Jimmy came from a wealthy family and worked at a local golf course as their head pro. Sherri's mother lived in a run down trailer par; as a result she never was accepted by his family. Jimmy, unfortunately was out for a good time, even thou ...more
Jun 30, 2012 Cat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: silliness, fiction
Poorly written, confusing, and fails to follow key mystery conventions - particularly that the reader should have enough information that they could have solved the mystery themselves. The author tells the reader everything instead of showing through dialogue and action. Certain characters have little use in the plot beyond acting as an uninteresting subplot, the two gay characters being prominent examples. The one character who has a mental illness is treated as a plot device rather than a real ...more
Jan 12, 2013 Cindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sherri Travis Mystery #1? Meaning there is a Sherri Travis Mystery #2? Um, pass.

Maragarita Nights is just a cast of largely irrelevant characters combined with a dull plot and terrible writing. I can only assume that the author is setting up this series like one of those crime or courtroom tv shows where every episode can stand on its own but there's all this stuff going on in the background that has nothing to do with the case at hand but is needed to develop the characters for future episodes
Sep 29, 2012 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to give this one 3 1/2 stars. I liked it, but it moved slowly in places for me. I liked the characters & their relationships, & I did a lot of guessing throughout the book. The characters were interesting enough to make me want to read more of the series, but I'm a series addict who doesn't need much of a reason to move forward.
This book made me want to move to Florida or at least visit . It made me want to hang out in a bar with a group of regulars who would call out my name a
I got this as a free ebook for my kobo and I had a choice between two book- this one seemed the better choice over the two. I was pleasantly surprised how much i enjoyed reading the book and couldn't put it down. Sherri was an interesting character who was put in a bad situation. She had a bit of an attitude but there was an over all humbleness that surround her that made her likable and you could see why she had so many friends. I liked that you couldn't figure out the book in the earlier chapt ...more
Janet Barclay
I received an offer for a free e-book, and of the two choices, this one seemed more promising, though I didn't have high expectations. It took me far longer to read than it should have because it was so badly written. There were many pages of dialogue where it wasn't made clear who was speaking, and I had to read quite a few passages more than once just to figure it out. Despite that, I found myself unwilling to set it aside as I became drawn into the story, and I'd even consider reading another ...more
Apr 06, 2012 Flo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never heard or read this author before but it kept me interested throughout. I liked her style of writing enough to buy another book, Sex in a Sidecar, which is the 2nd in the series. Even though there were 50+ chapters, the chapters were so short (sometimes 3 pages long) you got through them quickly. The main character is a bartender with white trash roots. She's tough, intelligent and independant (I can't stand heriones that depend on the man to save their ass).
Mar 31, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book free on Kobo - a promotion. Wouldn't normally choose this kind of book - a light mystery - but found it engaging. It is set in southwest Florida, with lots of action taking place along the Tamiama Highway. Because I have been to Naples, Florida twice, I was able to somewhat relate geographically.

It is essentially a story about land redevelopment deals nd the mystery becomes "Where's Jimmy?"

Aug 14, 2011 Judy rated it liked it
I had seen this series on the publisher's website but hadn't read it. Then, I was going on vacation and the Kobo edition was on sale. I couldn't resist. I got the first two - Margarita Nights and Sex in Sidecar. I enjoyed them both. The protagonist is NOT detective-like. She's quite different. I also enjoyed the author's descriptions of Florida fauna and flora.
I'm gonna get my hands on more books in this series.
Jia yousuf
Oct 28, 2012 Jia yousuf rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I got this book by chance...and never planned on reading it....but then when I started it had me in!its a great murder mystery...will capture you...although its too long to read,but the story line is really impressing and you wont regret was a change for me from same Young Adult books....great mystery!when you feel you know whats going at the same time there are various twists and turns!
Apr 19, 2012 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sherri Travis is a new breed of woman. Bartender at night, scratch golfer by day. Lucky with friends but not so lucky at love. We're thrown right into the thick of the story and my attention never waivered. She becomes a sleuth by accident when her husband's boat blows up and she is the # 1 suspect with the police. Can't wait to read her next book!
Sep 22, 2012 Rdonn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this light-weight mystery with bar tender, Sherri Travers, as the heroine. She is actually the prime suspect in the murder of her husband, and has many escapades, coming out on top of course. There are some interesting characters, it's a bit fragmented, but a good quick read after some heavy stuff lately.
This book, by a Canadian author, was recommended to me by an acquaintance at my monthly bookclub. The member raved about it and said that I must read it and I did, unfortunately it does not live up to its billing. A very easy read but the real mystery for me was how the author got this published in the first place.
I am partway into the second book in this series now, and I still can't decide if I like the protagonist. The mystery moves pretty well, but the writing is only OK so far. Definitely not a bad beach read, but I am withholding judgement until I have read a bit more in the series.
The story and characters bounce all over the place. I got a kobo version of this and am pretty sure that the formatting was screwed up because from once paragraph to the next, the setting, characters, and scene would change regularly. Needs a bit more editing.
Neliza Drew
It's pretty cozy, which isn't generally my thing. It's fun, though, and not a bad story. I would say, though if you can find it in paperback, go that route. The Nook e-book file had a few formatting issues that made conversations hard to follow from time to time.
Deb Stevens
Can't rate this very highly. The author hurries from scene to scene - one moment in a bar, for example, and the next at someone's apartment - without any connecting description. It's sometimes hard to keep up. I found the ending blunt and uninteresting, as well.
Oct 27, 2014 Susankelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this book. The character was a bit more indepth then most characters, in books of this nature. I loved the idea of the beach and bar setting. Sherri,is my kind of girl. She does not like to depend on men and is a take charge kind of gal!
Joe O'c
Sep 30, 2013 Joe O'c rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good; Continuing character: Sherri Travis (first in series); local waitress is thought to be involved in the killing of her separated husband by blowing up his boat; good story but too many indistinguishable secondary characters
Kimberly Martin
Did not like this book at all. Had a hard time continue to read this book. I didnt like the plot development nor the characters. This was a free book from KOBO's monthly book club. I try to stick with a book til the end but this was hard.
May 29, 2015 May rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, mystery
Quite a hard book for me to get through. I agree that the written style is a bit edgier for the genre and it is a nice change. But I can't stand most of the characters and that's a hint not to continue the series.
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Crime Writers of Canada award winning author, Phyllis Smallman, was short-listed for the Debut Dagger in the UK, and has been awarded both silver and gold medals by the Independent Publishers. She was a potter before turning to a life of crime. She lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, where she golfs badly and writes madly.
Visit to read excerpts from her Sin
More about Phyllis Smallman...

Other Books in the Series

A Sherri Travis Mystery (6 books)
  • Sex in a Sidecar (Sherri Travis Mysteries, #2)
  • A Brewski For The Old Man (Sherri Travis Mysteries, #3)
  • Champagne for Buzzards (Sherri Travis Mysteries, #4)
  • Highball Exit
  • Martini Regrets (The Sherri Travis Mystery Series Book 6)

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