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Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies

(Romaine Wilder #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Romaine Wilder, big-city medical examiner with a small-town past, has been downsized and evicted. With few other options, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Roble in East Texas, leaving behind the man she’s dating and the life she’s worked hard to build.

Suzanne Babet Derbinay, Romaine’s Auntie Zanne and proprietor of the Ball Funeral Home, has long since traded he
Kindle Edition, 268 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Henery Press (first published March 22nd 2018)
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Chatting About
I felt right at home reading this story. I’m a native East Texan and could’ve stepped right out of the pages of Abby L. VanDiver’s story. Set around the awesome pineywoods area of Roble, TX, we find protagonist—Dr. Romaine Wilder—traveling home with her Aunt Zanne (Babet). Home being the Ball Funeral Home & Crematorium. They arrive to find Josephine Gail, Babet’s ditzy best friend, all in a tizzy saying there’s an extra dead body in the funeral home. Sure enough, there’s a suited corpse laying i ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Downsized from her job as a medical examiner in Chicago, Romaine Wilder returns to Roble, TX to live with her Aunt Suzanne who raised her. Auntie Zanne is a bit of an eccentric, practicing Voodoo herbalism to help those around her. The family business is the Ball Funeral Home and Crematorium. Her auntie spent 2 weeks in Chicago helping Romie get ready to move. They arrive in Texas to a surprise, but not the kind people enjoy receiving. The funeral home has a guest -- an extra dead body. Not only ...more
Monica **can't read fast enough**
SECRETS, LIES, & CRAWFISH PIES features Romaine Wilder, a medical examiner in her early forties being forced into making big changes in her life. She's moving from a successful and fast paced life in Chicago back to her hometown of Roble, Texas where life moves at a slower pace but with deeper connections. Romaine's professional and personal life is in flux and she is none too happy about it. Torn between believing that she has outgrown her small town roots and wanting to be respectful of where ...more
Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, netgalley, arc
Romaine Wilder is a medical examiner living in Chicago who seems to have the perfect life until she is evicted and has to move back to her hometown in Texas. Romaine moves in with her Auntie Zanne "Babet" who owns and runs a funeral home. Death is no stranger to this medical examiner who comes from a line of morticians, but when a body is found at her family's funeral home, Romaine, cousin Sheriff Pogue, and Auntie Zanne join forces to try to solve the mystery in time for the Tri-County Annual C ...more
Kimberly Reads Books
Secrets, Lies and Crawfish Pies is the second book from Abby L. Vandiver that I've read this year. Written under the name Abby Collette, A Deadly Inside Scoop was an egalley arc I received earlier this year. While I liked A Deadly Inside Scoop, there were several issues I had with how the characters resorted to violence to obtain information and how certain characters were portrayed. However, none of those issues were present in Secrets, Lies and Crawfish Pies. In fact, this was a funny and deli ...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
What a refreshing cozy mystery! I loved the East Texas setting and the French Creole culture infused in the story. Bonus points for a female protagonist (medical examiner) who is NOT a baker, quilter, librarian or bookshop owner - while those are all enjoyable, I love how this does "cozy" differently. I'll definitely be reading more in this series. I'm so happy that I found this author during my deep dive into "non-issue books by authors of color" research in January.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, cozy-mystery
Secrets, Lies & Crawfish Pies by Abby L. Vandiver was a fun beginning to a new mystery series.

Romaine Wilder has returned to her roots in East Texas after losing her medical examiner position in Chicago. She has returned with her Aunt Zanne to the funeral home where she grew up after her parents died. Aunt Zanne is truly over the top throughout the book and caused many humorous moments throughout the story. The writing flows smoothly and there were enough twists and turns in the mystery to keep
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
First in Series

This is the first book in the Romaine Wilder series, and the first book I’ve read by Abby L. won’t be the last. As a Texan, I loved the small town East Texas setting. Romaine Wilder and her family are great characters, especially her Auntie Zanne. I found myself laughing out loud at Auntie Zanne’s antics. I am looking forward to reading Book 2 in the series — Love, Hopes, and Marriage Tropes.
Jamie Canaves
Romaine Wilder, a medical-examiner, is saying goodbye to big city life and begrudgingly moving back to her small East Texas hometown with her aunt. Her Auntie Zanne raised her, sticks her nose in everything in a funny zany way, and owns the funeral home where a dead body is found. Yes, dead bodies belong in a funeral home, but not this one. And since Auntie Zanne doesn’t trust the Sheriff to solve it properly, she decides her and Wilder are going to solve this murder whether Wilder wants to or n ...more
Almost the moment Romaine Wilder arrived in Roble, she wanted O U T. A few years, plenty of education and a good job in Chicago with the obligatory showy apartment and a man in her life that is exciting, if not exactly free, and Romaine has it all. Until the city’s budget cuts eliminate her position as a medical examiner, and her life suddenly goes pear shaped. When you add in the not so subtle distance that her doctor-boyfriend is displaying, partially due to his marital situation, no incoming ...more
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

Romaine Wilder moves back to her home town after losing her job in Chicago due to downsizing. She soon finds herself reluctantly helping her Aunt Zanne find out who left an extra dead body in their funeral home.

Aunt Zanne is that aunt that we all have. The one who everyone loves and she makes you feel guilty when you try to tell her no after she asks you to do something you both know you shouldn’t do.

I really like Romaine as the lead. Unlike other cozy mysteries that I’ve read she act
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Abby Vandiver introduces Romaine Wilder in this Mystery. Romaine is forced to leave Chicago and return to the source of her roots. A small town in East Texas called Rebel. Aunt Zanne is focused on making sure that Romaine stays in Rebel permanently! Ball Funeral Home owned by her Aunt makes perfect place for Romaine to practice her medical examiner training. When a dead body is discovered complete with his own coffin in the funeral home Sherlock skills have to be employed to find out who it is. ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, cozy, e-books
The first book in a new series and a new author to me. It well was written and the descriptions will take you to Louisiana and French Creole culture.. The protagonist, Romaine Wilder is a medical examiner, she had been working in the Chicago area but lost her position. She has returned to her hometown Robel in East Texas. She is planning on leaving Robel as very soon and missing Her married boyfriend. Her Aunt Zanny owns a funeral home there. Aunt Zanny's antics had me laughing. After a storm, a ...more
Debi Paglia
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a strong first novel in this new series (A Romaine Wilder Mystery Book 1) by Abby L. Vandiver! The setting of a small town in East Texas, the spunky characters of Romaine and her grandmother and the great storyline of a new sheriff having his first murder case all combined to make a great book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good, clean mystery! It was a great read! This book was gifted to me by the author for purposes of an unbiased review.
RO G'ma
Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies is the debut of Abby L. Vandiver’s Romaine Wilder Mystery series. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed her humorous writing style. The characters are well developed and there’s an intriguing mystery to solve. The storyline flows smoothly at a steady pace and there were enough twists and turns in the mystery to keep me engaged and guessing. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good, clean mystery.

After losing her medica
Laura Hill
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Henery Press and NetGalley for an early review copy of Secrets, Lies, and Crawfish Pies by Abby L Vandiver, which will publish June 12, 2018.  All thoughts are my own.
Writing: 3.5 Plot: 3.5 Characters: 4

A fun, cozy, mystery - full of colorful Southern characters surrounded by good food and music.

Romaine Gabriela Sadie Heloise Wilder is a medical examiner in Chicago, in love with the married Chief of Staff of her hospital. When she loses her job and man through one swift act of downs
Lisa Morin
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies is the first book in the Romaine Wilder Mystery series. Romaine Wilder has recently lost her job as a medical examiner in Chicago. She returns to her small hometown in East Texas, and stumbles upon a dead body in her aunt’s funeral home. This should come as no surprise, since it is a funeral home, but this body was dumped there.

This is a cute first in a new series that has good bones and can quickly become a hit series.
I volunteered to read and review an ARC of thi
Cinda Inman
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When Dr. Romaine Wilder, loses her job as a coroner in Chicago, she has a going away party, stores her belongings and goes home with her Auntie Zanne, Suzanne Sophia Babet St. Romain, to Nacogdoches in East Texas for a visit.
When they arrive in East Texas at Auntie Zanne's Ball Funeral Home and Crematorium, they discover a body that doesn't belong there. Josephine Gail, a friend of Auntie Zanne's, who lives at the funeral home is the only one who was there at the time of the body dump, cannot ta
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story. I just knew that I knew who the murderer was and was totally surprised to find out who did it. The only reason I gave this book four stars was because of grammatical errors. A few I can absolutely understand because no one catches everything, but there were just a few too many and they became distracting. Other than that it is a great story and I am looking forward to reading the second one in the series.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, however, the techniques taken to solve the case were so far-out that they were unbelievable. Another issue is that one of the main characters who is suppose to be an eighty-year old,"spunky" grandma type came off as overbearing and rude. This book was just not for me.
“The amusing narrative zips along, providing a multilayered plot with loads of plausible suspects and possible motives. Cozy fans will look forward to Romaine’s future exploits.” – Publishers Weekly
Jennie Rosenblum
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This has everything that a good cozy mystery should have: Interesting characters covering a range of ages and lives, a good sideline story of food and music and most importantly a dead body. At least the murderer was nice enough to put the body in a casket at the funeral home. However it was just that, a good story. I liked it but did not love it. There are a lot of great cozy mysteries out there and this one was just not my cup of tea.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-mystery
This is a strong beginning to what will be a great series. I love the setting, a small town in East Texas. The author creates well developed characters, an interesting plot and a satisfying mystery. I loved the story so much that I didn't want to put it down!

*I'd 👍 to thank the author/publisher/Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*
Ms. Woc Reader
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The cozy mystery genre is my favorite at the moment and I find myself constantly searching for new stories where the protagonist is not in one of the frequently used occupations. So it was nice to come across Romaine Wilder who is a medical examiner as opposed to a baker, restaurant owner, or homemaker. It added an interesting element that allowed her to be working closely with the sheriff on the case and receive key details to the case. She performs the autopsy and helps determine the victim's ...more
JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
Romaine Wilder has lost her job in a Chicago hospital and forced to return home to Roble, Texas, to live with her Aunt Zanne (Babet) at the family funeral home. She isn't happy but is convinced it's only temporary so is going to make it work.

The moment they return home they see a family friend, Josephine Gail, out on the lawn in the rain babbling about a dead body. Well, it is a funeral home, of course - but the dead body doesn't belong there. No one seems to know who it is or how he got there.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies is the first in a cozy mystery series that feature the fortyish-year-old medical examiner Romaine Wilder, who was born and raised in the small town of Roble (pronounced ro-BLAY) in East Texas. Crawfish festivals are a huge deal here, along with everyone knowing everyone else’s business, which is probably why Romaine left in the first place. Now, the loss of her job in Chicago is bringing her back until she figures out what to do with her life.

The plot of this book
Jennifer Ritter
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Secrets, Lies, and Crawfish Pies is the first story in Abby L. Vandiver’s new Romaine Wilder series. Recently downsized from her medical examiner position in Chicago, Romaine finds herself accompanying her Auntie Zanne by train back to her childhood home in Roble, Texas.

Romaine’s people are from Creole background, but when their home of New Orleans was ramrodded by racist bureaucracy in the mid twentieth century their was a mass migration to East Texas, first to the Houston area, later after tr
Randee Green
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

SECRETS, LIES, & CRAWFISH PIES by Abby L. Vandiver (published June 12, 2018 by Henery Press) is the first novel in the Romaine Wilder Mystery series. Romaine Wilder has recently lost her job as a medical examiner in Chicago. She returns to her small hometown in East Texas, and almost immediately stumbles upon a dead body in her aunt’s funeral home. Now, finding a dead body in a funeral home shouldn’t be that big of a surprise – except this body s
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A nice beginning to a new cozy series. Romaine Wilder is a Chicago medical examiner who has been "downsized" and is heading home to tiny Robel, Texas to figure out how she can get back to the big city. Her Aunt Zanne, who raised her, is the proprietor of Ball Funeral Home and a force of nature in the small town, and boy, does she have different plans for Romaine. Before Romaine even gets her foot in the front door, crisis erupts when an "extra" body is found in the funeral home with signs of mur ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a delightful read! Lots of great characters with quirky personalities. It's obvious that the author spent a lot of time developing them and wanted you to become a part of the town of Roble, TX.

Great mystery from the very first of the book and keeps you guessing until the end. I had a clue, but wasn't sure which person might be guilty of murder until the very end. But it doesn't matter if you can't figure it out right away, because the story is full of twists and turns and lots of crazy anti
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WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR, Abby L. Vandiver is the author of three cozy mystery series - Logan Dickerson, Normal Junction, and Tiny House, and one mystery sci-fi series, The Mars I Origin. She also penned a historical fiction book, At the End of the Line with Kathryn Dionne.

Recently, Abby contracted with Henery Press for the three-book Romaine Wilder series. The first book, Secrets, L

Other books in the series

Romaine Wilder (3 books)
  • Love, Hopes, & Marriage Tropes (Romaine Wilder #2)
  • Potions, Tells, & Deadly Spells (Romaine Wilder #3)

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