Friday, April 25, 2014

Beginning ~ with Ed dead, not Fred

My best friend's sister, Jane — who let me stay at her house when I visited St. Louis last week — introduced me to a series of cozy mysteries she loves enough to have collected the whole set of eight after the author died.  The series is the Southern Sisters Mysteries by Anne George.  The first one in the series is my offering today for Book Beginnings on Fridays.  The first page in the book, which is actually a teaser rather than the story's beginning, is what made Jane buy that first book — and the one that convinced me that I wanted to read it.  So I want to start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.  (Oops!  Sounds rather like a song we all know.)

Murder on  a Girls' Night Out (Southern Sisters Series #1)  ~ by Anne George, 1996, mystery
Fred handed me the phone.  "It's your sister.  She says I'm dead," he  said sleeply.

"What?"  I grabbed the phone.  "Mary Alice?"

"Oh, Mouse, Fred's dead!"

"No, he's not.  He's right here.  You're having a bad dream."

"Not Fred.  Ed.  It's Ed who's dead.  Oh, Mouse!  I meant to say Ed.  Did I scare you?  I know I scared you.  It's Ed.  He's dead.

I put my hand over the phone.  "It's Ed who's dead, Fred.  Not you."

"Thank God," he said.
Isn't that delightfully ridiculous and funny?  I think the author must have chosen Fred as the name of the husband just so she could write "It's Ed who's dead, Fred.  Not you."  Here are the actual opening lines of chapter one.
Mary Alice flung her purse on my kitchen table, where it landed with a crash, pulled a stool over to the counter and perched on it.  "Perched" may not be the right word, since Mary Alice weighs two hundred and fifty pounds.  The stool groaned and splayed, but it held.  I began to breath again.
And finally here's the description from the back cover.
Buying the Skoot 'n' Boot makes perfect sense to oversized, overimpulsive multiple widow Mary Alice.  Her serious, respectable ex-schoolteacher sister Patricia Anne thinks Mary Alice is out of her cotton-pickin' mind, but Mary Alice insists that Country Western is hot and the Skoot 'n' Boot is where she and her current boyfriend hang out anyway.  But not even sensible Patricia Anne could imagine that the day after Mary Alice shows her around the Skoot 'n' Boot, a body would be found strangled, stabbed, and dangling in the pub's wishing well.  The sisters were the last to see the unfortunate victim alive, so the sheriff has more than a few questions for them.  And they had better get some answers, because a killer with some unfinished business is sending them some mighty threatening messages.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.


Juli Rahel said...

That teaser at the beginning is absolutely hilarious! Imagine hearing on the phone that apparently you're dead and just accepting it because it's the middle of the night. Also, being a multiple widow sounds exhausting!
Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great weekend!
My Friday post
Juli @ Universe in Words

JC Jones said...

That has a great fun sound. My Post

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Multiple widow? No, Ed is not related to either of these sisters. Ed is the guy who sold them the Skoot 'n' Boot, I think. My friend, who borrowed her sister's copy of the book (I don't have it yet) says there's also a character named NED in the book.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

This sounds like such a fun series! I already like the characters. I'll read these for sure.
Here's the link to my Friday post: RESCUE MY HEART.

Elizabeth said...

This book sounds quite funny. I am laughing just reading the first few lines.

THANKS for sharing.

Silver's Reviews
My Book Beginnings