Melissa Rees, Miss Pettybone´s First Case (2011)

This American cosy mystery is a debut, and the first in a planned series.

Meet Warren Jones, a Mississippi blackmailer:

“He rolled over on his side and peeked through matted eyelashes serching for his glass of whiskey. Spotting it on the floor, he plucked the glass off the stained carpet, took a sip and then leaned back onto the rumpled double bed.”

Aaron Wagner and Otis Keel are antique dealers (gay, but not exactly merry). They are Jones´ victims, and they decide that killing him will solve all their problems, but of course life is never as simple as that.

The setting is Beatty in sweltering Mississippi, a quiet small-town feel with whisky-drinking men, women who are gossips and busybodies and absolutely love sticking their noses into everybody else´s business.

Miss Pettybone is one of the local postwomen, a thirty-six-year-old ´neat freak´ who is growing so tired of her daily routine that she jumps at the chance to play sleuth when she finds the body of Warren Jones.

Another feisty character is dumpster diving Mary Alice McKidding:

“This country would be better off if we kept some men for breeding and castrated the rest. The government would be able to think a lot better, let me tell you that!”

All in all a nice southern mystery with a dash of irreverence. I bought the e-book myself.

Finally I think I should tell you that there were several typos and other errors in this edition, but the writer has uploaded a new version which should be better. I know some of you would not forgive this as lightly as I did, but I found many things to like in this light and entertaining debut. 

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The Cosy Knave baton has almost run its course, but today it goes to José in Spain.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in American, Melissa Rees, review, review 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Melissa Rees, Miss Pettybone´s First Case (2011)

  1. Kelly says:

    Although I can forgive the occasional typo in a book, it surprises me how often I find them – even in print editions!

    This sounds like a fun cozy that I would really enjoy. My part of the world, too!

  2. Kelly: I have probably been paying more attention since I read this one. Yesterday I read another debut on the Kindle, and though it was not self-published, there were several errors in it. Well, I know there were some typos in the first edition of “Candied Crime”, but I hope I have improved since then.

  3. Dorte – Thanks for bringing this to our attention. That’s the thing about e-publishing. There are so many good books I’ve not heard of. I’m glad, too, that the author did some editing; I think that always adds to a book…

  4. Barbara says:

    This book sounds awfully funny. I liked “gay but not exactly merry.” I love quirky characters in a cozy.

  5. Margot: I hope she improved a lot of those errors, but there is no way I can check it.
    Barbara: the gay guys were not the funny part, really, but the woman who ran about wanting to castrate all and sundry was quite amusing, and so were many of the other female characters.

  6. Liz says:

    I am reading this book right now on kindle. The typos are many… as in “flew the coup” instead of coop and too many more to mention. But besides that, I find that this author, who is new to me, must be from another century. Her description of the characters is so old fashioned for the 21st century… and not in a good way. Since when are 30-something women OLD? Why does she make everyone call Lorraine Pettybone Miss Pettybone – ridiculous. These characters must not have TV or internet or any 21st century conveniences in Beatty, MS. She dresses her female characters as though they reside in a senior community. Struggling to get through this book. Glad it only cost me .99. Don’t think I will read any more from this author.

  7. Hi Liz.
    Nice to meet you.
    I am sorry to hear she did not take my advice and make sure her new version was properly edited. I still think the series has potential, but I agree 100 % that there were many things to sort out, and I am glad I at least mentioned this in my review.

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