Oh my, June 7th and I haven’t posted this month. Let’s just say it wasn’t a great week but at least I had something fun to read. The Mace Bauer Mystery Series by Deborah Sharp is told in Mace’s ‘voice’ but her Mama, Rosalee, gets top billing in the titles. Also along for the ride are Mace’s two sisters, Maddie and Marty, Rosalee’s fiancé then husband, Sal, and Mace’s on again off again boyfriend, police detective Carlos along with a regular cast of colorful characters. The series is set in the fictional Florida city Himmarshee which is based on Okeechobee, one of my favorite places and so much fun to say. All the books are funny and have a good mystery to be solved. From the first, where Mama finds a body in her car trunk, to the third where she gets married to Sal in a Gone With The Wind style wedding, to the fourth where she gets a bit part in a movie where Mace is the animal handler. But my personal favorite is the second which takes place along the Cracker Trail which is real and on my bucket list along with the annual cattle drive . Hey, what can you say, you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I also like the term ‘cracker’. While considered pejorative, it is a term many take pride in. My son is a double cracker. He was born in Florida, so a native, hence a Cracker. But growing up in Ireland, a friend called him a cracker, from the Irish term craic, because he was a funny little kid. Only two things bothered me in reading the books. Mace’s two sisters are married. But despite the fact the three sisters and Mama are practically joined at the hip, and Sal and Carlos are always around, the two husbands don’t exist at all as characters. And the on and off relationship between Mace and Carlos is ridiculous. It makes him seem weak and he isn’t, or shouldn’t be. It is not right for the character but, spoiler alert, that looks at the end four, to be changing. There is a new book coming soon, Mama Gets Trashed (available for preorder), and I can’t wait. ♥♥♥♥1/2

Meet Mama: a true Southern woman with impeccable manners, sherbet-colored pantsuits, and four prior husbands, able to serve sweet tea and sidestep alligator attacks with equal aplomb. Mama’s antics — especially her penchant for finding trouble — drive her daughters Mace, Maddie, and Marty to distraction.

One night, while settling in to look for ex-beaus on COPS, Mace gets a frantic call from her mother. This time, the trouble is real: Mama found a body in the trunk of her turquoise convertible and the police think she’s the killer. It doesn’t help that the handsome detective assigned to the case seems determined to prove Mama’s guilt or that the cowboy who broke Mace’s heart shows up at the local Booze ‘n’ Breeze in the midst of the investigation. Before their mama lands in prison — just like an embarrassing lyric from a country-western song — Mace and her sisters must find the real culprit.

Mama’s fixin‘ to get hitched to Husband #5. But first, she coerces her daughter, Mace, to saddle up for some country-gal bonding on the Florida Cracker Trail. The trek takes a deadly turn when Lawton Bramble—wealthy rancher and one-time beau of Mama’s—keels over in his Cow Hunter Chili.

Lawton had a horde of enemies and a famously bad ticker. Could a grudge-wielding rival have “spiced” the cattleman’s chow? With (or maybe despite) the help of her sisters and her sexy ex-beau, Detective Martinez, Mace sets out to corral a low-down varmint who’s determined to kill again.

According to Mama, a Gone with the Wind-themed wedding—complete with Scarlett O’ Hara bridesmaid gowns and a ring-bearing Pomeranian—is fine and dandy for her fifth trip down the aisle. But what’s a bridezilla to do when her caterer is murdered? Thanks to the nonstop gossip train in their small Florida town, Mama’s gator-wrestling daughter Mace is getting the dirt on who did it.

Unfortunately, the suspect list is longer than the gift registry. Right at the top are the groom’s East Coast Yankee cousins—who may have Mafia ties. With her on-again, off-again beau, Detective Carlos Martinez, Mace must track down the killer before Mama’s Special Day turns especially deadly.

My stars and garters—Hollywood has descended on little ol’ Himmarshee, Florida. As animal wrangler for a cowboy film, Mace is on the set when she discovers the arrogant executive producer shot dead, his body on display in the horse corral. With everyone from spoiled starlets to conniving crew members cursing the man’s name, who in blue blazes didn’t want to kill Norman Sydney? As Mama’s head swells to diva proportions, thanks to her miniscule movie role, Mace shines an unwelcome spotlight on the big-city film folk to reveal a killer.

Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

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