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A Tisket, A Tasket, A Fancy Stolen Casket (A Callie Parrish Mystery #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  556 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Bubbles meets Six Feet Under in the new Calamine Parrish mystery series.

Mortuary cosmetologist Calamine Parrish stares death in the face every day. But when she finds a hypodermic needle in the neck of an "accidental" drowning victim, and the victim's fancy casket is stolen, Callie finds herself in over her head-and in the way of a killer.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Berkley
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Best Cozy Mystery Series
283rd out of 1,467 books — 1,529 voters
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Cozy Mystery Series
304th out of 745 books — 1,851 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,616)
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Olga Godim
Aug 09, 2014 Olga Godim rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This nice and slightly funny mystery didn’t make a lasting impression on me but it was a nice, diverting read. The protagonist Callie works in a morgue as a beautician: she applies cosmetics to corpses to make them look pretty. The humor and originality inherent in such a profession (does it really exist?) permeate the story and make the banal murder investigation more interesting than it would’ve been otherwise.
Callie doesn’t actually investigate. She just stumbles onto clues and always appear
Oct 04, 2016 Di rated it really liked it
More like a 3.5
Read as part of #Book1CoziesClub

I really enjoyed the look into Callie's job. It was the fact that she was a Mortuary Cosmetologist that made me buy this book in the first place. This did not disappoint and those scenes were some of the most interesting in this book for me. I also enjoyed her relationship with her family, and her relationship with her blind friend Jane. I thought their friendship was very realistic, especially in the aftermath of an argument or disagreement. I als
Jun 05, 2009 Leeankh rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! I liked that the main character works in the funeral business because it's a bit quirkier than usual. I love that her best friend is blind, wonderfully flawed, and holds an unusual job as well. I enjoyed the mystery and most of the resolution. There were a lot of references to other books, or shout-outs if you will, and I liked that. There was very little that I didn't like about the book. It was a little bit quirky, a lot of fun, and even a little informative at times. ...more
May 20, 2009 Amanda rated it it was amazing
The first in the Callie Parrish series, this was a great cozy mystery. It was fast-paced from the first page. Callie is a true southern gal, who loves to shop at Victoria's Secret and eat at Bojangles. She works as a mortuary cosmetologist and enjoys her job a lot. One of the bodies that comes into the funeral home causes a whole lot of trouble though, which leads to a stolen casket, two fighting wives, and Callie finds herself on the receiving end of threatening phone calls and even gets knocke ...more
Nov 10, 2015 Rina rated it it was ok
Writing wise, this was an OK book. Interesting characters (not one-dimensional characters, either!), smart and witty dialogues, funny moments, lots of pop-culture mentions, a little bit of mystery to solve.

However, I looked at the paperback's publisher which said PRIME CRIME - and I sort of had a certain expectation of how much mystery-slash-crime-solving I'd get to see in the book.

So putting aside how quite predictable the whodunnit factor is, I have trouble with how little real 'investigation'
Jul 17, 2010 Melinda rated it it was ok
Overall it was OK. Decent characters, OK mystery structure. Had a bit of trouble trying to idnetify with protagonists reaction/relationship to/with her bff. The protagonist's continuous "puh-leeeze" got old fast and kept distracting me from the story, causing me to roll my eyes and stifle my gag reflex. Other than that, it wasn't bad... Not great, but definitely not horrible either.
Nov 15, 2010 Vicki rated it it was ok
Annoyingly overdone on the kindergarten swear words and the syrupy Southern pronounciations, but somehow readable.
Mark Baker
Mar 19, 2014 Mark Baker rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2008
Mortuary cosmetologist Callie Parrish is preparing the body of car salesman Bobby Saxon when she finds a needle stuck in his neck. Since his death was ruled an accident, that sure doesn't seem to belong. What's really going on? The mystery was decent, although I did guess the killer early. But I really didn't care for the amoral characters, especially Callie's best friend.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Jan 25, 2011 Myhotstylist rated it it was amazing
*****5 star rating*****
This was by far one of my favorite cozy mystery's to date.

With a name like Calamine Lotion Parrish, (Callie, hey... her dad is just an older version of Larry the Cable Guy) Whats not to love about a southern bell who works as a cosmetologist in a mortuary with twin owners? Her best fiend Jane, (who is blind) is histerical on her "shopping sprees" and Callie keeps finding herself in trouble after finding a hyperdermic needle in her most current corpses' neck.
After she is a
Melissa (Take Joy)
Jan 18, 2013 Melissa (Take Joy) rated it it was ok
In this book we are introduced to the Parrish family, including main character Callie. She is a mortuary cosmetologist as well as an avid mystery reader and as she discovers as the books moves along- a part time investigator. Before long she's thrown into the line of danger as a killer thinks she knows too much. She's going to have to get those detective training wheels off in a hurry and figure out who the killer is before she winds up a victim.

The lead character Callie is not extremely likeabl
Nancy Ellis
Nov 24, 2014 Nancy Ellis rated it liked it
My friend's timing was perfect for her to have left this for me to read. Recovering from a miserable head cold, I needed something fun and light to read, and this fit the bill perfectly, plus it was quite entertaining. Well written, full of quirky characters, with lots of interesting detail about the funeral business (something which has always fascinated me), it didn't take me long at all to zip through this and make me look forward to reading the next book in the series!
Georgiann Hennelly
Nov 01, 2015 Georgiann Hennelly rated it it was amazing
Calamine "Callie" Parrish is a Mortuary Cosmetologist . She usually relaxs after work with Moon pie and episodes of Six Feet Under she also loves her mystery novels. But whe the body of Bobby Saxon comes into Middleton's Mortuary with a Hypodermic needle broken off in his neck Callie gets suspicous. Than when Callie gets knocked unconcious and Bobby's Casket is stolen. Things get confusing than you have two wifes fighting over his Life insurance seems he never divorced the First Wife so none of ...more
Mar 15, 2010 Suzanne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: M is for Mystery group
Recommended to Suzanne by: March Circle of Friends read
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This was an engaging, fun cozy read. I really liked Callie Parrish and the twin funeral directors Odell and Otis. You have to love a funeral cosmetologist who loves to read mysteries and watches Six Feet Under! Daddy and The Boys were great supporting characters. I wasn't so keen on Callie's friend Jane, but maybe I'll warm up to her in later books.

Nice plotting. I couldn't figure out who done it until later in the book, but there were clues throughout, that I only saw in retrospect. The "filler
Oct 16, 2014 Kshydog rated it it was ok
A book that is more a fun read than solving a mystery. There is a range of unique characters with their quirk-some behaviors: twin brothers as owners, a blind BSF, the doctor date, her family of brothers, the Dane puppy, and more. Enjoyed Callie's outlook on life at the funeral home, having been a kng teacher, and the blow up bra.
Diane ~Firefly~
Jul 30, 2010 Diane ~Firefly~ rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Ah, it had been a while since I read a mystery, so this was a nice change of pace. I actually picked up this book on accident, for some reason I thought it was the Garnet Lacey series by Tate Hallaway.

Callie is a pretty likable lead, with the unusual job of mortuary cosmetologist. I was liking her best friend until the scene in clothes store which just put me off her for good. Callie's family situation is a little weird. Her favorite brother calls her "Little Sister" all the time, makes me thin
Apr 09, 2015 Trish rated it liked it
I had a bit of trouble - I don't normally expect mysteries to start with a discussion of inflatable bras, and writing out "Puh-leez" and "Buh-leeve" outside of speech seems to be overegging the southernness of it. However, I persevered, and ended up quite enjoying it.
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Jun 26, 2011 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
This was especially funny murder mystery to me, due to the fact of my having worked for a funeral parlor in my early twenties. I was in accounting but also had many funny and poignant tales to tell.

This book had me laughing out loud, reading passages out loud and just generally following each twist and turn as they came. I found I was not guessing the 'who done it,' as I was enjoying the ride in the Mustang too much.

The characters were amusing and well put together. I have lived near Beaufort, S
Mar 27, 2015 Dahrose rated it liked it
First up - the title of this book completely sucked me in. The read itself was average to good. The main character reasonably likeable.
I liked it, I didn't love it.
Perfectly good rainy day light reading material
Sep 03, 2012 Phyl rated it really liked it
So didn't realize but this was book 3 in series (haven't read books 1 and 2) and there is a 4th. Well, having read this one.... i will be going back to read the first two and then get book 4. A "light" mystery but really quite interesting and enjoyable read. Callie, the main character works in a funeral home which is unique from other books i have read and she is a fun spitfire i can relate to abit LOL.
And there is even abit of romance mixed in with the requisite idiot dates too.

Recommend - i wo
Jul 30, 2011 Lbaker rated it it was amazing
I truly loved this book. The humour was great, the characters ones that I look forward to getting to know much better in future books.

The descriptions were vivid and drew specific pictures and emotions from me. ie Callie's describes her apartment as: "I can describe my apartment in one sentence: It has avocado shag green carpet. A second sentence completes the picture: The kitchen appliances match the carpet."

Jane is a character I hope to meet again and again. Employers Otis and Odell are intere
Apr 13, 2014 Katrina rated it liked it
I liked this story; I liked Callie and her family and her background, etc. I don't find some things, such as Callie's full name and her kindergarten cussing as particularly realistic. Writing style aside, this is a cute little whodunit that I'm sure you'll solve before Callie does.
Jul 16, 2015 Amanda rated it it was ok
I liked the style but it didn't keep my attention.
Cindy Kerschner
Jan 08, 2012 Cindy Kerschner rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a new BFF or a mate with a twisted sense of humor and can take a punch, then maybe Callie Parrish is your gal. She works in a mortuary as a cosmetologist and seems to have trouble follow her everywhere she goes. Murder and mayhem abound in this enjoyable tale involving a girl, her puppy and her bra.
Rizer's plot twists are worth overlooking the slightly overdone southern euphemisms. I am curious to see how this series progresses and characters develop.
All in all, this book
Feb 10, 2013 Athena rated it liked it
It wasn't one of the most intesting cozies I've read but it wasn't to bad. I felt the guilty one was kinda obvious. I didn't come away feeling like I had a handle on the mc's personality since certain aspects of it went against others. It had its moments that were a little humorous and others where the mcs reactions were extreme esp when it came to Jane. I honestly don't see how they can be bestfriends, since it looked like calamine never likes anything jane does except cook, so yeah pretty lame ...more
Apr 26, 2013 VJ rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This was quite an interesting read. I sort of guessed who the perp was but I had no idea why. The only reason I suspected this person was because of the odd insertion into the story. It somewhat made sense, but not really. At first, I thought it was just for drama's sake.

In any case, this was a decent first book of another cozy series. I will be on the lookout for further installments, but I wouldn't make a special trip to the library to find them.
Apr 18, 2014 Elyse rated it really liked it
Absolute brain candy. Very fun.
Jun 02, 2014 Shayne rated it it was amazing
GREAT!!!!! can't wait to read more of the series!
Evelyn Porter
Feb 01, 2009 Evelyn Porter rated it liked it
When traveling, I always enjoy looking at the 'Regional' books. Fran Rizer is from South Carolina and I discovered this book on a recent trip. The title caught my eye. LOL. A fun, fast read to relax with on a snowy Northern winter day. Imaginative, colorful characters that keep the reader engaged. There are elements that are rather corny, but they just contribute to the charm of this series.
Norma Huss
Jul 13, 2012 Norma Huss rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This mystery is definitely in the cozy class despite the main setting of a funeral home. It has a plot that keeps the reader absorbed, despite, or maybe because of an originally unusual best friend, a whole lot of other odd characters, and an amateur sleuth who rotates her little black dresses and pumps up her inflatable bra a little more each day. All in all, a fun read.
Barbara McGowan
Jan 28, 2015 Barbara McGowan rated it really liked it
Good read
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Other Books in the Series

A Callie Parrish Mystery (4 books)
  • Hey Diddle Diddle, the Corpse and the Fiddle (A Callie Parrish Mystery #2)
  • Casket Case (A Callie Parrish Mystery #3)
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, There's a Body in the Car (A Callie Parrish Mystery #4)

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