Sunday, August 15, 2010

Elvis and the Memphis Mambo Murders-Peggy Webb

Elvis and the Memphis Mambo Murders
Peggy Webb
Kensington, Oct 1 2010, $22.00
ISBN: 9780758225931

None of the six hundred residents of Mooresville, Mississippi know that Elvis lives amongst them even though many see him almost every day. They are unaware of the presence of the King because Elvis has been reincarnated as a basset hound. Although a canine, he retains his human intelligence but is unable to communicate directly with the human species.

His earth mom, beautician Callie Valentine Jones, is going to Memphis to watch her mom Ruby Nell and her geriatric partner Thomas Whitenton participate in a dance contest as she does not trust the man as far as she throw him. Callie’s chaperone plan collapses when contestant Babs Mabry Mims dies from a fall off the roof of the Peabody Hotel. Ruby Jean tells her daughter she was pushed too. Callie’s frazzled nerves go into overdrive when she finds the body of contestant Gloria Divine in the hotel’s fountain. To protect her mom and the Mooresville contingent, Callie and her flamboyant cousin Lovie investigate with Elvis advising them hound dog style; while her estranged husband international consultant Jack arrives with a Burning Love to keep his wife safe.

Much of the story comes from the amusing perspective of Elvis, who sees the foibles of the human condition filtered by his previous life gig through canine eyes. He brings freshness to a fun cozy that at times seems too cutesy clichéd. Still with Elvis and Jack ready to kill anyone who harms their woman, fans will enjoy this entertaining amateur sleuth whodunit as three female corpses and several near misses make Memphis a dangerous place too stay. Peggy Webb provides her audience with a humorous whimsical Southern Cousins whodunit (see Elvis and the Dearly Departed and Elvis and the Grateful Dead).

Harriet Klausner

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