Lethal in Old Lace
By Duffy Brown
Consignment Shop Mystery #5
Crooked Lane Books, 2018
Reagan Summerside returns in national bestselling author Duffy Brown’s fifth Consignment Shop mystery, now for the first time in hardcover.
There are two social functions in Savannah guaranteed to get people talking: weddings and funerals. And just as consignment shop owner Reagan Summerside agrees to marry the hunky Walker Boone, her neighbors, sisters Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbot, step up their business as professional mourners. They are so successful that the Sleepy Pines Retirement Center has hired them as a part of their retirement package. But the celebration over good business is cut short when the residents at Pines suddenly begin dying at an alarming rate. And the sisters are the first suspects.
Reagan has her doubts, however, and begins to look into the strange phenomenon. But then something even stranger happens: a body winds up in the sisters’ pink Caddy. The evidence begins to pile up and the suspicious case of Willie Fishbine, who swindled the sisters out of a fortune and coincidentally died prior to the Pines case, is reopened.
Not wanting Willie to be buried until they can find the killer responsible for the murders, Reagan must catch the culprit in time to walk down the aisle.
Lethal in Old Lace is that perfect blend of crime, quirky characters, humor, romance, southern charm that doesn’t come along often. And did I mention humor?!
I love this story! I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything like Lethal in Old Lace, and it just might be the funniest cozy mystery I’ve ever read. Duffy Brown is not only a talented writer with a natural gift for humor, but she brilliantly captures the southern charm of Savannah, Georgia, a beautiful coastal city in my home state. I hate that it has taken me this long to discover the Consignment Shop series and can’t wait to start from the beginning.
This story can stand alone, but it’s obvious that characters have evolved throughout the series and I believe this story begins right after the previous one ended – with Walker proposing to Reagan, in fact. The author doesn’t rehash events from past books, but does give sufficient detail to keep readers from feeling lost.
Lethal in Old Lace is a fun, exciting ride – filled with southern mores, quirky characters and witty, snappy dialogue – and moving from one madcap adventure to the next. Corpses play a big part … one keeps appearing and disappearing, while another is kidnapped from the local funeral parlor. There’s no way my thoughts can convey all the wonderful humor, so I’ll just share a few quotes that I loved from some of the key characters …
-- Reagan’s mamma, the judge: “Normal people don’t have bodies popping up in their lives like this except for that Jessica Fletcher woman in Cabot Cove. I can’t understand why anyone in their right mind would want to be her friend. They all wind up dead, and now you’re getting to be the same way.”
-- Reagan’s loveable dog, Bruce Willis (BW): “Not that he was much of a watchdog; BW was more of a comfort dog. He was someone I got into trouble with and things didn’t seem so bad because there were two of us freaking out.”
-- Aunt Kiki, on her husband’s love of golf: “I need to be getting home before your Uncle Putter finishes up that DVD he’s been watching on 18 Ways to Throw Your Golf Club and starts wondering where I am. I tell you, men and golf are like a religion around here. Just put golf in the title and they believe.”
-- Mercedes, Reagan’s friend at the funeral home: “She was a respectable housekeeper by day, mortician beautician by night, and she had half of Savannah fighting over her for both reasons. Mercedes was a woman of many talents.”
I adored Lethal in Old Lace and hope this series continues for a long time, for I don’t believe I will ever tire of these characters.
I received an e-copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
While other girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy Brown longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. Today she conjures up who-done-it stories for Berkley Prime Crime and has two series, the national bestselling Consignment Shop Mysteries
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Duffy Brown is giving away a tote bag at several stops on this tour. Be sure to check out the tour list above, then visit and enter.
BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, March 21. Winner will be chosen by random.org and contacted by e-mail.
Eligibility: US residents