Shelleyrae at Book'd Out's Reviews > Margarita Nights

Margarita Nights by Phyllis Smallman
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Sep 07, 10

bookshelves: netgalley-reviews
Read from September 04 to 05, 2010 — I own a copy

*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 Smallman. Sherri lives in the small coastal community she grew up in, bartending at the Sunset and helpless to resist her bad boy husband. Sherri is a character with spunk and is wholly likeable. She hides behind a wild-child persona, developed to protect herseld from her mother's chaotic love life. Fiercly independent and yet vulnerable, Sherri is satisfyingly complex.
She is supported by an array of equally flawed characters. Andy suffers schizophrenia, Evan and Noble share a secret, Peter and Dave prop up the bar at the Sunset dispensing advice and she can't figure out what Clay wants with her.
The premise is a mystery, as Sherri tries to unravel the mess her husband has left behind and Smallman sustains the who/why done it quite well to the conclusion. I did feel that the pacing circled itself a few times, going nowhere and then jerking ahead, only to stall again. I think part of the reason for that is the crowded cast and at times teh author sacrifices flow for character development.
For me, Sherri and the quirky Florida beach town community of Jacaranda are appealing and the mystery held my interest. An entertaining mystery I look forward to reading the second in the series, Sex in a Sidecar
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