Wednesday 13 July 2022

Book ~ "To Live and Die in Dixie" (1993) Mary Kay Andrews (Kathy Hogan Trocheck)

From Goodreads ~ From her time on the Atlanta police force, Callahan Garrity, house cleaner and private investigator extraordinaire, has excelled at mopping up messes - of all kinds. But she has no idea what she's getting into when she agrees to work for infamous antiques dealer Elliot Littlefield.

The first day on the job she and her crew discover the bloodied body of a young woman in a bedroom - and are soon on the trail of a priceless Civil War diary stolen by the killer. As if two crimes aren't enough, deadly serious collectors, right-wing radicals and impulsive teenagers make the case even more difficult to tidy up ... and more dangerous.

Callahan used to be a police officer and changed careers when she bought House Mouse, a cleaning service that she runs with her mother, Edna ... but she still does private investigating on the side.

House Mouse is hired to do a large last minute cleaning of a mansion.  When they arrive, they find a murdered young woman in one of the bedrooms.  The owner of the house is an antiques dealer and the woman, Bridget, was his shop assistant.  In addition to the murder, some Civil War artifacts were stolen and the owner hires Callahan to find them which taggles her into the police's murder investigation.  There are many suspects including the mansion owner himself, who was acquitted of murder many years ago of a young woman but everyone suspects he did it.  Or perhaps it was Bridget's secret boyfriend because she thought she was pregnant.

The writing style and storyline were okay.  It is written in first person perspective in Callahan's voice.  Because it was originally written in the early 1990s, they are still using pay phones, VCRs, etc. and there are references by Callahan of growing up in the 1970s.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

This is the second in the Callahan Garrity Mystery Series ... I read the first one in 2018 and for some reason never went back to continue the series though I liked it enough.  As with the first one, because there is enough going on with the storylines, I find it odd that the author includes health issues like Callahan recovering from cancer and Bridget's sister having eating disorders.  Though part of a series, it works as a stand alone as there is enough background provided.

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