Sunday, September 13, 2009
" Margarita Nights", by Phyllis Smallman
A Sherri Travis Mystery, book 1
This is a light but cute and quite captivating summer read: a story of bartender Sherri Travis, a crafty sleuth, who became the prime suspect in her husband's death.
This first book in the series is set in a small town on the west coast of Florida. Sherri is estranged from her upper-crust husband Jimmy because of his addiction to gambling, drugs, liquor and easy women. Jimmy was always known to play with danger so it was no surprise when one day his boat blew up with him in it.
Sherri knows how attuned Jimmy's survival skills are and finds it hard to believe that the body found is that of Jimmy's. However, the investigators discover that she is the beneficiary of a big life insurance making her a prime suspect. With Sherri's freedom and credibility on the line, she is determined to prove otherwise.
This crime fiction is made up of charming characters, with Sherri as a smart protagonist working in a classy bar, dressing in a manner that pays, "the white trash look". She plays well the part and is amazingly well described. Sherri's people skills have attracted professionals from various walks of life who come forward to offer their help, one in particular a journalist ( they may be a future romantic escapade on the horizon). The writing can be a bit wry and the narration fragmented however the story is entertaining enough to have kept me turning page after page.
I found this novel a pleasant change, but it does not rate at the top of my list.