By Barbara Allan
Copyright May 2012
Publisher Kensington Books
Autumn has descended on Serenity, that quiet, cozy town nestled in the crook of the mighty Mississippi River—or, one might say, with crooks. For the rain and fog have also brought an undercurrent of chaos—and it’s not just because the fall colors clash alarmingly with Vivian Borne’s pantsuits. The only remedy is a trash ‘n’ treasures shopping spree. But the Bornes are about to get more than they bargained for…
Brandy Borne and her suspiciously well-informed mother, Vivian, have the winning bid on an abandoned storage unit’s “mystery” contents, which they discover includes a vintage cornet. But when they arrive to claim the rest of their loot, the space is empty—except for the recently stowed body of Big Jim Bob, Vivian’s tipster—a.k.a. former flame. Only one thing is certain: someone has definitely put the “rage” in storage!
Murder turns to mayhem when an intruder steals into the Borne home, tries to mete out some ruff justice to Brandy’s ferociously fluffy shih tzu, Sushi, and makes off with the cornet. But why is the horn worth killing for? Clues soon lead the sleuthing Borne duo to the next stashed victim—and some of Serenity’s juiciest secrets. Now Brandy and Mother will have to play a perilous game of cat-and-mouse droppings to catch the corpse-hoarding killer before it’s time to blow “Taps” for all concerned…
Brandy’s mother, Vivian is ready to do the storage unit auctions. She’s got a hot tip on one from a former “flame” (who comes off as rather shifty)and rushes them out to get there early. After greeting Big Jim Bob, and checking in… they wait for the storage unit’s locks to be clipped and the assembled bidders to take turns inspecting it visually from outside the opened gate.
Vivian, who thinks there is something valuable in the mix, bids it up. Surprisingly she is the winner and goes to pay her money and check out the unit. After packing Brandy’s big Buick with everything that would fit, they head home with their booty. After a short discussion Brandy has some lunch and then she and her sister rejoin Vivian to look at what they bought. In one of the boxes they find a Cornet (smaller then a trumpet) and Vivian decides that it is worth some money and has Brandy bring it out to lock in their garage storage area.
That is the beginning of an adventure that leads to multiple deaths and problems for Brandy and Vivian. They have unwittingly been sucked into a plot that crosses state lines and involves secrets in places they never wanted to be searching.
I love Brandy and Vivian’s adventures. Viv is a classic piece of work, and Brandy is the long suffering daughter. I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure and recommend it to all lovers of Southern Cozies.
FTC FULL DISCLOSURE: I received the ARC of this book from the publisher, who only asked for a fair and impartial review.