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Can't Never Tell (Southern Fried Mystery #5)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  219 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
It's another Fourth of July in Dacus, South Carolina, and the carnival fright house isn't impressing Avery's seven-year-old niece Emma. That is, until the leg falls off a mannequin posed with a chainsaw. Then even Emma recognizes the human leg bone protruding from the wizened limb. The next day, Avery joins her sister at a college picnic up on the mountain, but the festivi ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Linda Langford at Chatting About Cozies
I enjoyed this cozy which contains a murder mystery plus an unusual cold case murder mystery, also.
Shonda Franks
This is the 5th book in this series. Cathy Pickens may have redeemed herself in my eyes. This book held my attention long enough for me to actually enjoy it. I am not sure if its because I have become attached to some of the characters, or if its because of the unusual murders in this book.

Avery and her niece find a rare thing in a carnival sideshow. A woman goes over the falls and someone must have pushed her. While Avery is getting to the bottom of the story there is a ton of small town drama
Sep 14, 2016 Marty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
. It was Fourth of July and the carnival was in town. Avery Andrews, a trial lawyer who had returned to her small hometown after having a fit of temper at the large law firm in the big city, and her little niece Emma (a precocious 7-year old) were enjoying the day. They were going through the carnival’s “fright house” – just behind a group of 4 teenagers. The teenagers were goofing around and one of them bumped into one of the props --- a chainsaw-wielding “man” that looked like he would come af ...more
Jun 04, 2009 Kayeb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have read one or two of hers before. It was enjoyable, but not compelling. The view of family life iln a southern town is fun, the dating the killer part is of course, creeepy in hindsight. I might watch a bit more for her in the future

>It's another Fourth of July in Dacus, South Carolina and the carnival fright house isn't impressing Avery's 7-year-old niece Emma. That is, until the leg falls off a mannequin posed with a chainsaw. Then even Emma recognizes the human leg bone protruding fro
While well crafted and expertly executed, I find that my deep-down need to devour a suspenseful mystery where the pieces were expertly deduced while gradually weaving the threads of a world class "whodunit" into a fine and magnificent piece of fabric was simply not satiated. The light hearted Avery had a couple of interesting cases thrust upon her seemingly all at once; and just as quickly as the intrigue commenced, is as quickly it was neatly wrapped up...complete with the proverbial bow. And w ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This was a fun book. I usually find the themed mystery series trite and hard to get into but in this one the characters felt real and fleshed out...though that could be becuase I started a few books into the series...

I found both mysteries running through the book interesting and fairly realistic and I was glad that there was no attempt to blend the two together and I thought the brief glimpse of Carnie life was well done and jsut enough for the feel of the book.

I also REALLY liked how the endin
Mar 21, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Attorney Avery Andrews is having a heckuva Fourth of July weekend. She takes her young niece to the fright house at the fair, and they discover that one of the mannequins is really a mummified body. She goes to a picnic, and one of the other guests is killed in a fall. What's going on in her quiet home town? The police find some indication that the death was murder, and suspect the victim's absent-minded-professor husband. While I really, really like Pickens' books, and without revealing too muc ...more
Maggie Bishop
Jan 18, 2011 Maggie Bishop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawyer Avery Andrews attends a picnic near South Carolina’s Bow Falls, tallest waterfall in the east, planning for fried chicken, cole slaw and sweet tea. Instead, a woman slips or is pushed over the falls making it the second body in a week that Avery’s caught up with. “Cain’t Never Tell” is a mystery where carney life clashes with Southern small town culture and the academic world. Author Cathy Pickens keeps the reader guessing while shaking with laughter or puzzlement during Avery’s pursuit i ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Mary rated it liked it
I picked this up at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans this June. Cathy Pickens is a new author for me. I liked it. She writes Southern regional mysteries that are not truly cosies but they are not dark, or violent. I don't know if she does this with all her books, but this one has an appendix of references for people to learn about and avoid financial fraud, which I thought was terrific. It's the librarian in me, wanting to be educated even when I am being entertained.
Aug 03, 2013 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 3 and a half stars. This is the first of this series I have read and I like the main character, Avery, her little niece Emma and her investigator Shamanique but the others are just OK. I'll give the book a try and see if it's better. This book is basically a cautionary tale about investing and the old saying if it looks too good to be true it probably is. And a very interesting thing at the end of the book there are 3 pages of ways to avoid being shammed and things you can do to protect yo ...more
Debbie Maskus
Jul 12, 2009 Debbie Maskus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#5 in the Southern Fried series set in a small town in South Carolina, about a young female lawyer, Avery. In this tale, Avery encounters death twice in two days--a mummified corpse in a carnie horror house, and a death during a picnic. The story undercovers money fraud, such as the US has seen too often lately. Pickens does a wonderful job of exposing the warning signs, and ends the book with notes on fraud and identity theft. This is one of her most interesting books.
Nancy H
Dec 23, 2012 Nancy H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good quick mystery read for those who like their cozies set somewhere in the South. This one was set in Dacus, North Carolina and featured Avery, a lawyer who has returned to her hometown to practice law. She and her niece Emma discover a dead body in a fright house at a carnival, and later Avery has to deal with another dead body. A good story with some good red herrings!
Bonnie Drummond
May 18, 2016 Bonnie Drummond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Southern Fried Mystery Series is one great read if you are looking for a Good Series to read. Family, Friends, Lawyers and a mystery here or there to solve what else would a nice girl like Avery Andrews want in her home town of Dacus, South Carina.
Feb 27, 2009 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I lived in a small town like Dacus is described.

The mystery is not that breath-taking or exciting but I like the description of small South town life; the pace, how everyone knows everyone...
Mar 24, 2009 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started out really liking this, but then I found it was too predictable. However, it is a nice, light read I feel I can easily reccomend.
This author is fun to read. I even get a few laughs with reading this book, and sometimes that is just what you need.
Apr 30, 2009 Doris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was again disappointed in that I figured out whodunnit in advance. But it still read very well and was entertaining. One of the most interesting features is that it is set around Clemson, SC.
Heather Boxley
Apr 01, 2009 Heather Boxley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. It had me convinced it would end a certain way for most of the book and had a twist when I least expected it.
May 05, 2011 Shirley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Really coming to enjoy this author, and this was one of her best, I thought. Helps that I will soon be journeying to her part of the country so the locale especially of interest.
Marquita Parkan
Marquita Parkan rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2014
Sherry Stafford rowland
Sherry Stafford rowland rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2013
Solomong rated it it was ok
Jul 22, 2012
Baggleflap rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2012
Sandra rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2011
Debbie Venovich
Debbie Venovich rated it liked it
Mar 02, 2015
Susan rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2010
Lucy Frohn
Lucy Frohn rated it liked it
May 16, 2011
Yvonne Crawford
Yvonne Crawford rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2015
Lisa rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2011
Robert rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2014
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Cathy Pickens has been, under different names, a lawyer, a business professor, a university provost, a clog-dancing coach, a church organist / choir director, and a typist.

The most profound influences on her life have been her family, her faith, Nancy Drew, and Perry Mason. She grew up in a small town and, forced to move to "big cities" to support herself, first as a lawyer and then as a professor
More about Cathy Pickens...

Other Books in the Series

Southern Fried Mystery (5 books)
  • Southern Fried
  • Done Gone Wrong
  • Hog Wild
  • Hush My Mouth

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