Kristina's Reviews > Southern Sass and Killer Cravings

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate   Young
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bookshelves: 2019, 2019-netgalley-challenge, cozy-mysteries, netgalley

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young is the beginning of the Marygene Brown Mystery series. Marygene Brown is returning home to Peach Cove, Georgia after the end of her abusive marriage. She is looking forward to working at The Peach Diner with her sister Jena Lynn that was started by her grandmother. Marygene has a knack for knowing what is missing from a recipe or that something special needed to enhance a dish. On her second day at the diner, longtime Joseph Ledbetter collapses and dies. Mr. Ledbetter’s son, Carl uses his connections to bring in Detective Davis Thornton from Atlanta PD to head up the investigation. It turns out that Mr. Ledbetter was poisoned, and all evidence points to Jena Lynn who is quickly arrested, and their diner is closed. To save Jena Lynn and their family diner, Marygene needs to find the killer. She gets help from her friend, Betsy and, surprisingly, her deceased mother’s spirit. Someone, though, is not happy with Marygene’s digging into the case and attempts to warn her off (not that Marygene can be dissuaded). As everyone knows, there are no secrets in a small town. Marygene needs to uncover which one led to Mr. Ledbetter’s demise before the killer makes Marygene his next victim.

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings is set on a small island off the Georgia coast called Peach Cove. The Peach Diner was started by Marygene’s grandmother, Nanny after her husband gambled and drank away their money. Marygene has a natural talent for cooking and baking. She knows what is needed to elevate a dish and how to fix a wonky recipe. I thought Southern Sass and Killer Cravings was nicely written and it moved along at a steady pace. I liked the author’s conversational writing style which made the story easy to read. Southern manners and hospitality are the code in the South. Southern women are polite and always have sweet tea ready for guests (even if they are unwelcome). I liked that Marygene is a friendly yet flawed character (realistic) who has gotten herself out of a bad marriage. She has made mistakes and knows that she needs to make amends (to family and friends). There are an assortment of characters in the story that include Marygene’s sister, her half-brother, biological father, shop owners, residents, a reporter, and land developers. Betsy Myers, Marygene’s best friend, is over-the-top and boisterous (she is quite a characters). With Carl Ledbetter’s father dead, he is ready to let developers buy the land he inherited for high rise condos and a resort. Other residents do not want this type of development which leads to animated debates. There is plenty of action throughout the story, but I could have done without the repetition of case details. The mystery was mixed for me. The method of murder and the killer’s identity are easily discerned by avid cozy mystery readers. It was interesting, though, following the investigation to learn more about the victim and why he was killed. There are two potential love interests for Marygene. Personally, I thought it was too soon for Marygene to move on after her abusive marriage (she still had bruises on her neck). There is mild foul language in Southern Sass and Killer Cravings and references to the abusive Marygene suffered. My favorite phrase from the book is “the past always has a way of coming back and biting you in the keister” (so true). There are recipes from The Peach Diner included at the end. Southern Sass and Killer Cravings is a humorous cozy mystery that is perfect to read on the front porch in a cozy rocking chair with sweet peach tea on a table nearby. Southern Sass and Killer Cravings has Southern hospitality, friendship, sweet tea, gossip, tasty treats, a dead man, secrets, an island spirit and a new amateur sleuth.
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Reading Progress

September 10, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 10, 2018 – Shelved
March 20, 2019 – Shelved (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
March 20, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
May 13, 2019 – Started Reading
May 14, 2019 – Finished Reading
May 15, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
May 15, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-netgalley-challenge
May 15, 2019 – Shelved as: cozy-mysteries
May 15, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley

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