Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp

A Mace Bauer Mystery

Midnight Ink (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-7387-1329-5 (0738713295)
ISBN-13: 978-0-7387-1329-8 (9780738713298)
Publication Date: October 2008
List Price: $13.95

Review: Deborah Sharp introduces Mason "Mace" Bauer, daughter to Rosalee Deveraux a.k.a. Mama, a multi-married, sherbet-colored pantsuit wearing, beauty parlor aromatherapist, in Mama Does Time, a delightful mystery set in Florida.

It’s September in Himmarshee, a town so small it is virtually unheard of outside the county and even if a random visitor managed to find it they couldn't pronounce it. 62-year-old Mama's been taken to the jail by the new detective in town, Carlos Martinez from Miami, for questioning in the death of a man whose body was found in the trunk of her vintage Cadillac convertible. The victim, Jim Alpert, was the owner of the local Booze and Breeze drive-thru, and fiancé of Mama’s new bingo buddy Emma Jean Valentine. Every one in Himmarshee knows Mama would never ever hurt any one, so the thought of her killing someone is ludicrous. Except for Detective Martinez who clearly thinks otherwise.

Although Himmarshee is certainly no tourist center, like most Florida towns it does have an animal park. Mace, Mama's middle daughter who loves the outdoors and the animals, is the caretaker of the park. Mace finds Detective Martinez’s handling of the murder of Jim Alpert outrageous and decides to begin a search on her own for the murderer. Martinez warns her to back off and to let the professionals handle the case, but she knows her mother is innocent and wants her out of jail. For her efforts Mace is run off the road in her Jeep, she and her mother receive threatening notes, and her house is broken into. Each time Martinez warns her to back off. But Mace knows at least three persons who had a good motive for wanting to see Alpert dead, and she's pretty sure she's next on the list.

Much of the appeal of Mama Does Time is in the relationship Mama has with her daughters. This close-knit family of women argue with the best of them, but are fiercely protective of each other. The writing is sharp and the characters quick-witted. The situations Mama and her daughters find themselves in provide much of the humor which has an authentic Southern charm to it. That the plot seems to be secondary to everything else doesn't lessen the interest in the story.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Mama Does Time and to asdf for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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Synopsis (from the publisher): 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.

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  1. I just finished this book and it was a hoot to read. Pick up the book and enjoy the ride.

  2. Hi, there ... You've definitely made my New Year's Day with this wonderful review. I know as an author I'm supposed to say ''I NEVER read reviews!'' But I'm still a newbie, so it's a thrill to read that someone enjoyed my book and got a smile (which is all I really set out to do.)
    Deborah Sharp, author MAMA DOES TIME


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