With a new era and genre of television shows like “Duck Dynasty” ,“Sister Wives” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” I knew it would be just a matter of time before the ‘good ole boys’ southern style made it into our books. And with this series it has…with a bang.
This is the fifth novel in this series and if I was a first time reader (and I am one), I sure wouldn’t start here. It was initially confusing because the author does not spend a huge amount of time with back-story. This is good for longtime readers and fans, since the books are under 300 pages and the new story might suffer from the repetition.
This book is so overly filled with the main story, a secondary story and several tertiary stories, that it might drive you to distraction trying to keep things straight. We have a wedding going on, which is a story all its own, a murder with the wedding singer being implicated, Stella has men problems and so does her assistant. Now throw in some long standing jealously, envy and hatred amongst the secondary characters and you really have a stew cooking up. It was just too much for me to try to keep straight.
A little back-story --- Stella is a widow in her fifties, who has killed her long-time husband with a wrench. Because I have not read the first novel, I have no clue how she got away with this. Now she and her pal run a little side business of dishing out punishments to abusive husbands. Nothing like a little vigilante justice to make it easy on us to suspend our disbelief! I snorted in disbelief and rolled my eyes when Stella stole the possible murder weapon right from the police department.
It was just too many stories into a too small package. I also disliked feeling so out of the loop, what with me being a Northerner and not a ‘good ole gal’- I didn’t understand a lot of the idioms and back-country Southern used. The clichés (like the name Goat and Novella) eventually got on my nerves too.
However, it is a good mystery with well-drawn characters and the author has an impeccable sense of timing. I also loved the fact that this was written for a different generation of women, yet didn’t paint them with the paint brush of us being unsexy at this age!