Title: Dead as a Doornail Author: Linda P. Kozar Narrator: Michelle Babb Published: May 15, 2015 Format: Audible.com Genre: Cozy Mystery Source: Michelle Babb Series: When the Fat Ladies Sing #3
I do not know if it is possible for a book to be too southern, but for me, I think that the mystery got lost somewhere in the quirks of this southern tale. From the names to the people to the odd situations, this was almost too much to handle.
Granted, I have come into this series in the middle and after having a conversation with Michelle Babb, the narrator, I agreed to take a listen. She did a wonderful job in separating the characters and making each voice their own person – which was necessary since they are all new to me. I am not sure if author Linda Kozar intentionally made this book or series an exaggeration of the south, but I went with it anyway. There is a simplicity and innocence that confused me from the beginning. What year did this book take place? I am sure that it is modern day, but at the same time, it felt like 1950. The characters are that quaintly naïve and simple.
What begins with an apparent accidental death of a contractor working on Sue Jan and Monroe’s home quickly goes downhill when Monroe is considered the prime murder suspect. Small town politics are thrown into the mix and money is missing from the high school band fundraiser. Add to that a new woman is in town and wants to open up her own beauty parlor that just might put Lovita and Sue Jan out of business. Plus troubling relatives that have moved in, complete with their own trailer, and have dug a “swimming pool” without permission.
From the outside, the town of Wachita is in a mess of trouble. Lovita has no plans for this to ruin her wedding day so with the help of Sue Jan, she sets off to set her town and her friends to right. It may involve the reinforcement of seven types of ribs from the Chinese restaurant, but that is all doable.
Once you get past the exaggerated southern-ness and quirky characters, the small town of Wachita does begin to grow on you. This is a place that takes care of their own and when you have two women that are best friends for life looking out for you, no one stands a chance of ruining their plans.