As the Moonlight Magnolia Agency revisits old memories on Christmas Eve, Granny Reid takes the reins back thirty years to the 1980s—back when she went by Stella, everyone’s hair was bigger, and sweaters were colorful disasters. But murder never went out of style . . .
Christmas has arrived in sleepy McGill, Georgia, but holiday cheer can’t keep temperamental Stella Reid from swinging a rolling pin at anyone who crosses her bad side—and this season, there are plenty. First an anonymous grinch vandalizes a celebrated nativity display. Far worse, the scandalous Prissy Carr is found dead in an alley behind a tavern. With police puzzled over the murder, Stella decides to stir the local gossip pot for clues on the culprit’s identity . . .
Turns out Prissy held a prominent spot on the naughty list, and suspects pile up like presents on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, the more progress Stella makes, the more fears she must confront. With a neighbor in peril and the futures of her beloved grandchildren at risk, Stella must somehow set everything straight and bring a cunning criminal to justice before December 25th . . .
About the Author
G.A. McKevett is the pseudonym of a well-known author, Sonja Massie. She is currently working on the next Savannah Reid mystery. Readers can visit her website at www.sonjamassie.com.
Read an Excerpt
"Ain't Christmas just the best, Gran? It's like the magic in fairy tales, only real!"
Stella Reid looked down at her eight-year-old granddaughter Alma, whose eyes sparkled with holiday wonderment as she gazed at the same old battered tinsel stars and ragged streamers that were strung across Main Street every year in tiny McGill, Georgia. Since it took so little time and money to decorate the dinky three-blocks-long town, Stella wondered, not for the first time, why the town council didn't splurge and shell out a few bucks for some new ones once every quarter of a century or so.
But the glow on her grandchild's lovely face gave Stella reason to rethink her position. Magic, the real kind, was born in innocent, open hearts, who sought it everywhere. And found it. Even in tattered tinsel decorations.
"Yes, Alma sugar, Christmas is the best," Stella told the child as she squeezed her small, warm hand. "It plumb dazzles the eyes and the heart alike. A time when most anything can happen."
"Good," piped up Marietta, the restless eleven-year-old who was tugging at Stella's other hand. "Maybe I'll finally get them sparkly dress-up high heels I been asking for. Ever' year I write Santa a letter and tell 'im I want 'em, but when I look under the tree ... nothin'! Diddly-squat! I don't know why. Lord knows, I'm always good as good can be."
Stella heard a throat clearing behind her. Her oldest grand-angel, Savannah, whispered, "Yeah, Miss Contrary Mari's good, all right. Good for nothing."
The third oldest, Vidalia, clapped her hand over her mouth to stifle a giggle. She almost always agreed with Savannah about Marietta's shortcomings, but she knew a reprimand was forthcoming.
Casting a disapproving look over her shoulder, Stella said, "I heard that, Savannah girl. If you can't say something nice, then —"
"I know. Sorry, Gran."
Marietta stuck out her lip and whirled around to face her accuser. "What're you saying sorry to Gran for, Vannah Sue? I'm the one you insulted! Gran, make her say sorry to me, too. I'm the one who was wounded."
Stella halted the entire entourage of her seven grandchildren in the middle of the sidewalk and cringed a bit to see her fellow McGillians having to walk around the blockage.
Stella had just collected her grandchildren from their mother's house and hadn't had a chance to give them baths or wash their hair and clothes, as she usually did once she got hold of them, a time or two per week.
She saw the disapproving looks of some of her neighbors as they passed the Reid gang, and she couldn't blame them. From the chocolate that was smeared on the face of the youngest, little Jesup, who had just turned six, to nine-year-old Waycross's wild mop of dirty red curls and second grader Cordelia's torn blouse, they were a motley mess, to be sure.
The oldest, twelve-year-old Savannah, did her best to keep them clean and neat, but it was a heavy burden and a losing battle for any child.
Stella's daughter-in-law, Shirley, had surrendered long ago — if, indeed, she had ever fought at all. She possessed a talent for bringing children into the world, at the rate of one per year, and she had a knack for naming them all after towns in Georgia where she had lived at one time or another. But that was where her mothering skills and maternal interests ended. No one who knew her could say they had ever seen her pick up a hairbrush, a bar of soap or a bath towel, or, heaven forbid, an iron.
Shirley's time and life energy were spent sitting on a barstool at the Bulldog Tavern on Main Street in downtown McGill, beneath a picture of Elvis, listening to sorrowful jukebox songs and bemoaning her perpetual rotten luck.
Stella tried to keep the anger she felt for her daughter-in-law to a minimum. After all, Stella's own son, the children's father, did even less for his brood than his wife. A truck driver who came home only a few times a year and stayed just long enough to impregnate his extremely fertile wife, Macon Reid wasn't the sort of son that Stella bragged about at church socials. She was fine with him driving a big rig. It was honest, hard, skilled work. But she'd be a lot prouder if he hadn't stashed a girlfriend or two in every port of call. Or if he'd put out at least a little effort to be home for the important stuff. Like Christmas.
Wondering how Macon had turned out so badly when he'd had such a fine daddy kept Stella Reid awake at night. It also kept her from judging her daughter-in-law too harshly.
Stella liked to think that most people tried the best they could. Some came up a mite light on the All Things Virtuous side of the scale, but Stella refused to believe that anybody started out in life determined to be good for little, if anything, to their fellow man.
At least, that was what Stella told herself when she collected her seven grandkids from Shirley's filthy house, with its empty refrigerator and unused washing machine. When she was carting the youngsters out the door and wishing Shirley well with the brightest fake smile she could muster, Stella was often enjoying the fantasy of snatching her daughter-in-law off that barstool, shaking the daylights out of her, and then finishing the job with a smack upside the noggin.
Stella felt guilty about entertaining such violent imaginations, but just a little. She figured it was better to think it than do it.
Hey, whatever works, Stella frequently told herself while indulging in those satisfying daydreams. Resisting temptation was an art that took many forms.
Stella drew a deep breath, summoning her patience, and told Savannah, "Tell Marietta sorry, too, darlin'. Nobody should ever be called 'good for nothin',' because the good Lord made ever'body good for somethin'." She added under her breath, "Though it's sometimes more obvious what certain folks are good for than others."
She turned to Marietta, whose lip was back in place and curled into as ugly a sneer as Stella had ever seen.
"Miss Marietta," she told her second oldest, "you wipe that nasty look off your face. If you don't cotton to bein' called 'good for nothin',' you might try bein' good for somethin' come dish-dryin' time. Hear me?"
The lip shot out again as the child gave her grandmother a hateful glance that could have peeled the paint off a freshly polished fire engine.
"You stick that lip back in, girl," Stella added, "before a crow flies overhead and poops on it."
Demanding sparkly plastic high heels and showin' a heap o' disrespect to her elders, indeed, Stella thought. Lord, have mercy. That young'un's not even a teenager yet, and she's already giving me fits. I can see trouble comin' a mile off.
With some effort, Stella got her troops reassembled, and they continued their march down the Main Street sidewalk, toward the drugstore.
History had taught Stella that taking her grandchildren from their mom for an "overnight" usually meant a week's worth of Grandma babysitting, at least. The medicine chest was low on Merthiolate, castor oil, and bandages. In a house filled with active, accident-prone children, a well-stocked bathroom cabinet took precedence over holiday shopping.
The army of Reids rounded a corner, and too late, Stella saw him.
Elmer Yonce. One of her least favorite McGillians.
He was between the Reids and the drugstore, blocking their path. Something told her that he had been waiting there for quite a while, intending to do exactly that.
It wasn't the first time she had tangled with Elmer.
She noted with some amusement that his hands were on his hips in what might appear to be a grandiose and authoritative stance. But Stella had known Elmer since elementary school, and she could tell he was taking the opportunity to hold up his britches, which were in danger of heading south, due to him sucking in his belly overly much.
For her benefit, no doubt.
An unsettling thought.
Any guy in the habit of pullin' in his gut and puffin' out his chest to impress womenfolk should probably invest in a pair of suspenders, she decided as he approached their group.
"Merry Christmas, Sexy Stella. You're lookin' ever' bit as sweet and tasty as a plate of your best fudge," he said, waggling his right eyebrow in what was, no doubt, an effort to appear flirtatious and irresistible. "Got plans for Christmas Eve? If not, I could slide down your chimney and leave a little something in your stocking, if you know what I mean."
Stella bristled. This was a bit over the top even for the town degenerate. If she weren't surrounded by her wide-eyed grandkids, ol' Elmer's left cheek would be glowing red and her palm would be tingling.
"Reckon I know exactly what you mean, Elmer Yonce, you filthy-minded peckerwood," she told him. "You best watch what you say to me. Specially when my grand-young'uns are within earshot." She reached out and pulled her brood close, like a hen gathering her chicks when a hawk soared overhead.
"Yeah!" snapped Savannah. "Her name's not Sexy Stella. It's Gran or Granny, or Sister Stella, or Mrs. Reid."
"That's right," Marietta chimed in. "She's pretty, but she ain't sexy. She's our grandma!"
"Well, I ..." Elmer coughed and stared down at his mud-caked boots. "I knowed your grandma for years, kids, and I always thought she was mighty, um ... Oh, never mind. I didn't mean no disre —"
"Our gran's strong, too," nine-year-old Waycross added, equally indignant. "If she decides to smack you upside the head with her big ol' black skillet, you'll know you've been beaned one for sure!"
"Yeah, Granny's fierce. She'll work you over good fore she's done with you," threatened little Alma, with the fury of a much-riled second grader, "and we won't lift a finger to save your mangy hide when she does it, neither."
In her peripheral vision, Stella caught sight of a figure, a large figure in a sheriff's uniform, moving toward their sidewalk assemblage.
"Have we got a problem here, folks?" asked a deep, rich male voice — the voice of law and order in McGill, Sheriff Maniford Gilford. Though, the citizens whom he protected and served knew better than to call him Maniford.
Born as he was on Saint Patrick's Day, rumor had it that his daddy had been deep in a bottle of Irish whiskey when he saddled his innocent baby son with that awkward handle. Those whom Sheriff Gilford arrested on a fairly regular schedule opined that this might be the source of his contrariness.
Though, Stella had never thought of her old schoolmate as difficult. Quite the reverse. For as long as she could remember — which was her entire life, since both of them had grown up in McGill — Manny Gilford had treated her with only kindness and respect.
Since Stella's husband had passed away six years earlier, the sheriff had developed an almost uncanny talent for appearing out of nowhere the moment she needed a friend. Especially one with a badge.
"No, Sheriff Gilford. We got no problem a'tall," she said, deciding to cut Elmer some holiday season slack. "Mr. Yonce here was just wishin' us a Merry Christmas. He'd 'bout wrapped it up and was fixin' to move along."
The sheriff fixed his pale gray eyes on Elmer, causing the older guy to squirm. Under the lawman's suspicious, unwavering gaze, Stella's wannabe suitor withered like a well-salted slug and slithered away. He limped slightly from an old war wound — a battle that had raged many years ago between himself and a mule he had attempted to harness. Elmer had consumed the better part of a six-pack. The mule, on the other hand, had been stone sober, so he'd won the fight with one well-placed kick, which Elmer was too inebriated to dodge.
Gilford watched Elmer until he disappeared around the corner, then turned back to Stella. "If that knucklehead brings you grief, Mrs. Reid, you just let me know, and I'll put a stop to it right away. I know how he is. I get complaints on him all the time."
"He called Gran 'Sexy Stella,'" Alma piped up. "That's not her name!"
"But we fixed his wagon," Waycross added proudly. "I warned him how good she is at skillet smackin'."
Sheriff Gilford's gray eyes twinkled. "Yes, son, your grandmother's skill with a cast-iron frying pan is pretty much legendary in these parts. If I could do what she does with a skillet, I wouldn't need to carry a gun."
Savannah stepped forward. Her bright blue eyes glowed with admiration and something akin to infatuation as she looked up at the sheriff, who, even though he was in his fifties and had silver hair, was still an attractive man who cut a handsome figure in his sharp, crisply pressed uniform. "He said something downright disrespectful to my grandma," she said solemnly, "but we stuck up for her."
"I'm glad you did," Gilford replied, with a sober expression that matched the child's. "We have to look out for each other, and especially our kinfolk. What did he say that was outta line?"
"It doesn't matter," Stella interjected. "You can't take anything a weasel like that says to —"
"He said something not nice about coming down her chimney and leaving something in her stocking," Savannah replied with a knowing look that, sadly, was beyond her tender years. "We don't have a chimney, and I'm pretty sure ol' Elmer knows that. So, I reckon he meant something naughty."
It hurt Stella's heart to think of the environment her granddaughter was being raised in, one where she would understand a double entendre at her young age. The girl was growing up far too fast, thanks to her mother and the characters Shirley exposed her children to on a daily basis.
A look of anger crossed the sheriff's face, and it occurred to Stella that he was thinking the same thing.
Gilford reached over, placed his big hand on Savannah's shoulder, and gave her a quick reassuring pat. "Thank you, young lady, for reporting that offense to me. Now that you've given your statement to a law official, you don't have to worry about it or even think about it anymore. I'll deal with it now, and I assure you that Mr. Elmer Yonce will regret that he showed your grandma any disrespect. In fact, after I get done givin' him a proper talkin'-to, I reckon he'll be scared to say boo to a fine lady like your grandmother anytime in the near future."
Satisfied and happily reassured, Savannah slipped back in place behind her precious gran.
Stella was about to thank Sheriff Gilford when she saw a familiar figure sprinting up Main Street in their direction.
"Pastor O'Reilly," Gilford said when the out-of-breath runner reached them. "What's going on? Is the church on fire?"
"Worse than that," replied the minister, trying to catch his breath as he leaned on one of four municipal garbage cans evenly distributed for shoppers' use along the three-block-long city center.
"Worse than the church bein' afire?" Stella said, trying to even imagine such a thing.
"Reckon it's not quite as bad as that," Hugh O'Reilly admitted, wiping an overly abundant amount of perspiration from his brow, considering the chilly nip of winter that hung in the air. "But it's a sacrilegious felony that's been committed. That's for sure! You've gotta come see for yourself!"
The pastor and the sheriff took off down the street toward the town square two blocks away. Stella could see that a group of her townsfolk had gathered near the gazebo, with more joining by the moment.
Whatever felonious mayhem had been committed, the much-revered town square appeared to be the scene of the crime.
She felt one of her grandkids tugging at her sleeve. When she turned to them, she saw a look of nearly rapturous excitement and curiosity on her oldest grandchild's face.
"Please, oh please, can we go see what it is, Granny?" Savannah begged. "Pastor O'Reilly said it's felonious! We don't hardly ever have anything felonious to look at here in McGill!"
"No!" Waycross shouted at his sister, his ruddy face flushing red. "We was on our way to get Merthiolate and bandages. Gran said so."
Savannah gave her brother a suspicious look and said with all the grim authority of an FBI agent questioning a suspected serial killer, "Since when, Mr. Waycross Reid, did you get all hot 'n' bothered about buying Merthiolate?"
He scowled up at her. "Ain't hot 'n' bothered 'bout nothin'. Just sayin' we should tend to our own bizness fore we go tendin' to other people's."
At that moment, Stella saw one of her two best friends, Elsie Dingle, join the knot of lookie-loos gathering in the square. She could tell by the way feisty Elsie was elbowing her way through the crowd to get a better view that she considered the sight to be worth the effort. The diminutive black woman might be only five feet tall, but Elsie knew how to use her otherwise abundant proportions to her advantage in a rambunctious crowd.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Murder In Her Stocking"
Copyright © 2018 G.A. McKevett.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed learning more about Granny Reid and how Savannah & her siblings came to live with her. Well written, fast paced. I couldn’t put it down. Read it in an evening. Hope for more!
I loved this story. It would be great to learn more about Granny, and her grand-angles, as they were growing up. Maybe more antics of Waycross. G.A, McKevett tells great stories about the Reid’s and their extended family. Can’t wait until the next book.
This is a spin-off of a long-running and popular mystery series. I haven’t read the original series (but I will having already bought several of the first ones after I read this book.) I noted that the very beginning and the very end of this book contains potential spoilers for individuals like me, who have not read the first series. Granny is a granny; however, in this series she is known as Stella Reid. Stella lives for the days when she has her seven grandchildren with her. It doesn’t happen too often as she and her daughter-in-law do not have a good relationship. The grandchildren are living a hard life and their father, Stella’s son, has all but abandoned them. Their mother is a drunk and a bit of a floozy, going so far as to bring her male friends home with her. Stella spends her time trying to help her grand-angels (as she likes to call them.) They are not quite angels, though, and they get into all kinds of trouble. In the midst of her personal turmoil, a murder occurs. The town bad girl has been found in the alley behind the local tavern. Stella gets involved trying to be a Good Samaritan and then helps the Sheriff look for clues and a solution to the murder as well as to how to help her grandchildren. I’m looking forward to this series, having now also read the second book in it. While I wait for new books in this series, I will be reading up on the first one.
While I’ve wanted to try them for some time, I’ve never read the Savannah Reid Mysteries by author G. A. McKevett. So, when I was given MUDER IN HER STOCKING to read, I wasn’t sure I could follow it. Stella “Granny” Reid is as formidable as I’ve heard her granddaughter Savannah can be. I’m thinking even more so. When it comes to solving this story’s whodunit, Granny throws herself into it and gets the answers. By the end of the book, I was out of breath trying to keep up with her! This cozy trip back to the 1980s was well written with just the right balance of mystery and fun. One never distracted from the other. And the fast pace made MURDER IN HER STOCKING a quick read. For Savannah Reid fans, I think this book is a must read for you.
Stella Reid remembers thirty years ago, back to the 1980’s when life was different. It was a time when a husband could get away with a lot and murders were just the same as it is now. Stella; a widow, beloved friend, and strong woman who showed her grandchildren how to live the life of a good person no matter what; becomes involved with the murder of the town’s naughty woman that Christmas. Prissy Carr may have had a heart of gold when it came to children but she didn’t do right by the wives or girlfriends of the men. The sheriff has his hands full with quite a few suspects. While Stella’s daughter-in-law neglects her seven children due to drugs and drunkenness to the point of endangerment and Stella’s son is on the road for his job (an absent father at best), Stella and the sheriff make sure the kids Christmas will be the best they ever had. The closer they get to solving Prissy’s murder, the more the evidence points closer to home than Stella wants. Author, G. A. McKevett, tells a story of a tough, caring woman. Narrator, Mil Nicholson, does a wonderful job of bringing out the humor, deep thoughts, frustration, awkwardness, anger and sadness of every character. It’s easy to find yourself laughing, smiling, and frowning with the many emotions as she tells it. I enjoyed the audio version of this book and look forward to another in the series.
Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this title. I usually don't enjoy books that are written with a dialect, however, this book was the exception I loved it. I will now begin reading the Savannah Reid mysteries. A very enjoyable book that is the prologue to the series.
Murder in Her Stocking by G.A. McKevett is the first book in the new A Granny Reid Mystery series. This is actually a prequel series to her successful Savannah Reid series. This series goes back to the 1980s when Stella, Granny Reid, is taking care of her grandchildren as her no-good son isn't around and her daughter-in-law is drinking and carousing instead of being home looking after her seven children. Those kids mean the world to her, and she will do whatever she can to keep them safe and make them happy. The children are fun, normal kids who are not bad, but do make some inappropriate decisions. When Stella, and two of the kids are out fixing a mistake made by Waycross, they hear a scream. When going to investigate Stella finds Prissy Carr in the alley behind the tavern, dying. She sends the kids to the sheriff's office and she stays with Prissy hearing her dying words. She feels bad about the murder, even though most of the women in town are rather happy that their husbands will no longer be stepping out with Prissy. With so many not caring about the death, Stella is determined not to let someone get away with murder. This is an introduction to a new series, as well as a prequel to another, so this book seems to spend more time on the family and their situation than on the actual mystery and sleuthing. That being said, I did enjoy the southern setting, expressions and situations. This story takes place during the recession of the 80s so there is a lot of financial issues as well, but the town comes together to make sure the kids have a wonderful Christmas. I loved the expressions used by Stella and the kids. "You don't have the sense God gave liverwurst, and your heart's nothin' but a thumpin' gizzard." "When that child has a mind to, she clams up tighter than a bullfrog's keister in a bucket of ice water." This is a book that although this is a mystery to solve, is also about a family dealing with financial issues, a dysfunctional mother, a loving grandmother who wants to help, and a town that sticks together to help one another. I will read the next book in this series to see if the mystery becomes the central part of the story or just a back story to the family situation. If you enjoy a book with a down home southern feel, some humour, family angst and a mystery, then this series will be for you. I listened to this book and enjoyed the author's narration, especially with the southern drawl, although many of the voices sounded the same.
This is my introduction to the author and a new series entry intended as a prequel to the well-established Savannah Reid series. As such, this functions well as a standalone, although it took me a few chapters to get into the unique writing style. Very folksy; had me thinking it was not so much a cozy as literary fiction and slow southern, small town, down-home style of McGill, Georgia, at that. Not so sure it is as much mystery as it is the story of the Reid family. Strong characterizations--Granny is bigger than life. Granny Reid, is the self-proclaimed caretaker of her seven grandchildren, her grand-angels. And Savannah (who will grow up to be second generation sleuth), the oldest at twelve, has had to grow up very quickly due to the fact that her absentee trucking father is on the road--most of the time and their mother occupies her bar stool--daily--and almost exclusively. The story starts with Stella Reid (better known as Granny Reid) holding her great-grandchild at a Christmas gathering. She begins musing thirty years previous to more tumultuous times and a whole other Christmas. The artfully laid out plot is heavy with clichéd sayings and little glimmers of Granny's wisdom bestowed with love and guidance to the little ones. Heaven knows they get none from their mother, Shirley. There is a murder and Granny takes on some sleuthing, along with Sheriff Gilford, though I loved that the sleuthing doesn't control the story--the Reid family does. It's a sweet story told in slow, cozy style. It is, however, well paced, keeping the reader engaged. I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Recommended as a great Christmas season entry to your TBR. This narrative will captivate cozy readers, literary fiction readers, and those who enjoy the work of women sleuths.
Murder in Her Stocking is the first Granny Reid mystery, and it’s the first book I’ve read by G.A. McKevett. I loved the uniqueness of this cozy mystery. This story is set in the 80s and visits Stella Reid and her grandchildren during the Christmas season. There’s been a murder and Stella is trying to help the sheriff solve it. In addition to that, she is dealing with her daughter-in-law Shirley mistreating her seven children. There was a great deal of character and story development taking place outside of the mystery. This read a lot like an inspirational/women’s fiction featuring a mystery. Murder in Her Stocking dealt with heavier issues than you would typically find in a cozy and made for a solid story. The story is tender and full of Christmas magic. Being set in Georgia, there was plenty of Southern sayings and some had me laughing out loud. I am looking forward to visiting with Granny Reid and her grand-angels again.
Looking back a few decades, to a difficult time, we discover how Granny Reid became responsible for raising seven children. This is a heart felt story of taking responsibility, of loving family so strongly you will do whatever it takes to assure them the best life possible. This is also a tale of forgiveness and hope. There is danger and mystery, and a few laugh out loud moments. A story of a town and a family that makes a lasting impact. Maybe be a Christmas miracle or two.
This book is a little different from the other Savannah Reid mysteries in that it is Granny Reid remembering a Christmas in the past that was very special to her. The memory does involve a mystery... in fact it was the very first mystery that Savannah solved. The memory also includes the dire circumstances her grandchildren were forced to live under, the shameful excuse of a mother her daughter-in-law was, the town floozy, and a pair of Grinch underwear. Wrap all that up and you get a fun read and a cozy mystery to solve. I loved it!
Murder in Her Stocking is a great start to a new series that is an off shoot to the Samantha Reid series. I have not read the series but this story has gotten me interested in looking into it. As the story starts, Stella "Granny" Reid is spending time with her adult grandchildren and friends at Christmas time when she is thinking back to another Christmas thirty years ago in McGill, Georgia-a Christmas that was good but also had some sadness. I was drawn in from the beginning and laughing out loud at the dialect, witty conversation between Granny and her seven "grand-angels," all named for towns in Georgia where their mother had lived. Stella is the only responsible person in the children's life. Their father, Macon, Stella's son, is on the road all the time and never around to help with the children while their mother, Shirley, spends all of her time at the local tavern. Savannah is the oldest and is very mature for a twelve year old because she has to look after the others. Waycross is the only boy and second to the oldest. Savannah devours Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books and plans to become a policewoman when she grows up. She gets her chance at detective work when she and Stella along with Waycross hear a dying scream one night while taking care of some mischief that Waycross had gotten into. The local lady of the night, Priscilla Carr, has been injured and is dying when Stella reaches her after securing the kids at the sheriff's office. Many wives in the town have reason to kill Prissy but so do others-men who spent time with her. Besides the mystery of who killed Prissy, there is a secondary mystery when Bud, the abusive husband of Stella's friend Flo's, disappears after a big fight with Flo. This story is rich with small town colorful characters who love to gossip and know each other's business but also show support in a time of need. Stella and her son's family are poor as dirt but she is rich in love and respect for others, especially with her grand-angels. When Christmas Day arrives, Stella and the children have a special day with friends and a few lovely surprises. I received a complimentary ARC from Kensington Publishing through NetGalley for an honest review. The opinions stated are mine only.
This book was sooooo good! I loved reading about Granny Reid and her life when she was younger. I had no idea that she was a bit of a sleuth herself. I also enjoyed seeing what Savannah and the kids lives were like growing up. PLEASE write more of these! I need them in my life!