An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.
Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.
Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another—which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.
Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden…a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?
Frankie has other questions that need answering first—namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff—and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.
Full disclosure: I love Molly Harper‘s quirky–dare I say eclectic?–style of writing. Her Jane Jameson, Half-Moon Hollow, and Naked Werewolf books rank up there among my favorite go-tos for feel-good reads. Even though there’s not a supernatural in sight here (people dressing up don’t count), I still had such a good time reading this book. The romance is extremely slow moving–Frankie’s got a plethora of issues to work through, several of them having to do with her relationship with her parents; Eric’s still got that new-guy-to-a-small-town thing working against him and has an election to (hopefully) win–but everything else that’s going on in the meantime is just so darn amusing you barely even notice that they’re not moving much beyond a slow burn.
(Until Eric goes swimming late at night in his birthday suit, of course. That was verrrrry noticeable, thankyouverymuch.)
Ms. Harper definitely has the small-town, close-knit family thing down, you guys. So many things in this story seemed kinda crazy and over the top, but at the same time I was thinking, yeah, that could totally happen. (Especially all those meetings with the moms over the trunk-or-treat thing…that was spot on. Obviously Ms. Harper has been at her share of parent meetings.) The ending is absolutely adorable, and given how much Margot and Kyle showed up here, I can’t wait to see Frankie and Eric make their own guest appearances in future books.
Please tell me Duffy’s getting a book 🙂
I haven’t yet read the first book (Sweet Tea and Sympathy) or the related novellas (the description of Peachy Flippin’ Keen seems awfully similar to this one…a prequel, I guess?), though they’re absolutely on my list. It worked okay as a standalone, but I have a feeling you’ll be a but more comfortable with the slightly crazy family dynamic here if you’ve at least read the other novel first. I did have a few who is that character again? moments from time to time (50% of the time the answer was “Frankie’s cousin”) but it didn’t really take away from my enjoyment at all. I always figured out who they were…eventually 😉
Book one, here I come!
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.