A very cozy mystery, this story is set
in an almost impossibly Southern town and concerns a beauty queen, a librarian, a ton of Southern gossip and a small town's distrust of newcomers and change. It's a smooth, entertaining read, especially for those who like their stories light, and the mystery is clever. Settle down with some tea and a nice piece of red velvet cake and enjoy yourself.
Librarian Tori Sinclair moves to Sweet Briar, S.C., to escape thoughts of her cheating ex. There, she discovers many things: She's a Yankee in a place where that still means something suspicious; Tampa, Fla., where she was born, isn't part of the South; her acceptable name is Victoria; and she was hired over the metaphorical dead body of the woman who had been the librarian forever and hadn't intended to retire. Oh, my!
When a former beauty queen is murdered, Tori is the favored suspect. She was "flirting" with a teacher the queen had crowned as hers. Will the evil former librarian turn the town against her and run her into jail? Will joining the sewing circle be enough to fit in? (BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, Aug., 288 pp., $6.99)