Sunday, June 28, 2009

Southern Peril-T. Lynn Ocean

Southern Peril
T. Lynn Ocean
Minotaur, Jun 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312383473

Wilmington, North Carolina bar owner Jersey Barnes has sworn off for what seems to her the zillionth time no more “SWEET” investigative work; government or private. This time she swears she means it with the only SOUTHERN POISON coming from the drinks she serves.

The best laid plans of mice, men and Jersey Barnes always goes astray. This time her friend the Judge needs a favor. She is worried that her younger brother Morgan is in trouble seemingly connected to inheriting their father’s popular restaurant Argo. Jersey takes a quick peak and sees nothing out of the ordinary for someone who recently lost his parents suddenly and was dumped by his fiancée. She digs deeper since she has time on her hands as the Barnes Agency and her bar work too perfectly without her and her boyfriend Ox Oxendine is spending quality time with his daughter. Jersey revises her opinion when someone assaults her and Morgan. Jersey soon learns what is behind the Argo’s famous Green Table and uncovers undercover DEA agent Brad the hunk Logan who matches her chutzpah for chutzpah even down to matching weapons to wardrobe. They team up and soon find evidence that Argo is part of a drug ring, which impacts the late parents of Morgan unless Jersey with her befuddled father’s help can prove otherwise.

The fun story line is obvious yet no one will care as the cast make for an amusing impish investigative tale. Jersey is terrific as she works the case, tries to contain her libido wile salivating over Brad, and has her dad advising her. Fans of the series will enjoy the latest lighthearted Jersey hospitality overwhelming North Carolina (see SOUTHERN FATALITY).

Harriet Klausner