Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hush My Mouth- Cathy Pickens

Hush My Mouth
Cathy Pickens
Dunne, Feb 2008, $23.95
ISBN 9780312354428

Atlanta resident Fran French asks Dacus, South Carolina lawyer Avery Andrews to find her missing adopted “sister” Neanna Lyles who came to the small town to learn more about the Wenda Sims murder in 1985; Avery agrees. However, when the attorney finds Neanna, it is not a welcome home scenario; instead the police report the missing person committed suicide.

A stunned Fran tells Avery no way would Neanna kill herself. Fran admits that Neanna was despondent over the recent death of her grandmother and horrified to find a picture of corpse of Aunt Wenda in a family scrapbook. Not long afterward Avery finds that same photo in Neanna’s car. She believes the niece was murdered with the motive to keep her from finding out who killed her beloved aunt.

The latest Southern Fried Mystery (see HOG WILD, DONE GONE WRONG, and SOUTHERN FRIED) is a wonderful regional cozy that fans of the series will appreciate. The case is difficult enough for Avery to solve only to have comic relief (for the audience not for the heroine) caused by a ghostbusters trio interfering with the investigation as they hope to make contact with any of the late Lyles as a ticket to appearing on reality TV, paranormal style. No slim Pickens with this author as HUSH MY MOUTH is a fabulous South Carolina whodunit.

Harriet Klausner