Title: Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mysteries #1)
Author: Kate Young
Publication Date: 28th May 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Marygene is back on the Peach Cove Island. After a tiff with her mama, Marygene left the place, leaving her sister Jena Lynn to look after the family business Peach Diner. Two years ago, her mama died of cancer. Marygene is now out of an abusive marriage and wants to start a new life in her hometown, Peach Cove Island.
But moving on isn’t easy, is it? Marygene struggles with the nightmares of her abusive husband. She sees her mama in her dreams, or, was it a dream? Mama seemed to be in the room with Marygene. Mama warns her that a murder would take place in the diner the next day so Marygene and her sister should close the diner for a day. Marygene pooh-poohs it as ghosts/spirits really don’t exist.
Had she heard her mama’s warning, she wouldn’t have been in the muck that follows at the diner the next day. A man dies in the diner and Jena Lynn is arrested for the murder. Marygene decides to prove her sister’s innocence. Soon later, the diner’s reputation is in the drain, Marygene must save their age-old family business. Mama’s spirit has some soul-healing in her kitty so she decides to help her daughter in solving the murder mystery.
Let me start the review by saying that Southern Sass and Killer Cravings is one of the unique cozy mystery that I have ever read. With spirits that can speak, a murderer on loose, women coming to terms with domestic abuse and/or mental illness, relationships that need healing, second chances in finding ‘the one’ and loads of yummy dishes, this book is a complete package of everything sweet, salt and spice!
I love stories with strong female characters. Marygene is coming to terms with her ex-husband’s domestic abuse. She’s strong enough to walk out of an abusive relationship. She wants to start over again. She has hope of finding ‘the one’. She’s also ready to do whatever it takes to mend the relationship she has with her sister and father. Jena Lynn, Marygene’s sister, had to take care of their mama and the diner after Marygene left Peach Cove Island. It wasn’t an easy job, especially when she had to take care of her ailing mother – sleep deprivation had taken a toll on her overall well-being. But she’s strong. She handles the family-run Diner with the help of her half-other, Sam.
The character that sees the most transformation as the story proceeds is Mama’s spirit. Mama regrets certain decisions she made when she was alive. She’s back to make amends. Roy Calhoun is a freelance reporter who has the hots for Marygene. She refuses his advances and yet the guy doesn’t take a no for an answer. This was a tad annoying – a no means a no and I just couldn’t understand why he still pursued in spite of being refused/rejected. But he seemed to be a good man – he helped Marygene with the investigation a tad.
Alex, Marygene’s first love, is a cop now. He plays a very interesting role in the story – no spoilers here. 😀 The ending was superb and unexpected. The same goes to the identity of the killer – totally unexpected. Overall, the story was entertaining and engaging. A lot many characters are introduced as the story starts and I had trouble keeping track of who is who. But as the story proceeded, the characters and their respective roles in the story becomes clear. Also, there are loads of recipes at the end – drool-worthy recipes!
Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young is an entertaining and promising cozy series debut. I am looking forward to reading more of Marygene’s adventures.
A PRE-ORDER CONTEST with fabulous prizes. A Coach Bag with matching wristlet and $120 in gift cards and autographed copies of the book. Pre-order here. (Takes you to author’s website.)
Grand Prize winner receives a gorgeous Coach Avenue Tote and Coach wristlet (value $450) and a $100 gift card to either Amazon or B&N.
2 Runners up will receive a $10 gift card to either Amazon or B&N and an autographed paperback copy of Southern Sass and Killer Cravings.
(For more details, check the author’s website)
Thank you, Lori, from Escape with Dollycas for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this blog tour.