Thursday, August 3, 2017

One Fete in the Grave (A Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery)

Author:  Vickie Fee
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback, Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781496700667
Kensington Publishing
352 Pages
$7.99; $5.99 Amazon
May 30, 2017


Party planner Liv McKay has outdone herself this time.  She's put together an unforgettable Fourth of July celebration for the town of Dixie, Tennessee - including breathtaking fireworks and an exciting Miss Dixie Beauty Pageant.  Maybe a little too exciting.

As the party is winding down, Liv's sense of triumph fizzles when the body of councilman Bubba Rowland is discovered on the festival grounds.  And now the prime suspect in his murder is Liv's mother's fiancé, Earl, who had a flare-up recently with Bubba.  To clear Earl's name, Liv and her best friend Di burst into action to smoke out the real killer before another life is extinguished...


Liv McKay is a party planner in the small town of Dixie, Tennessee.  She's very pleased with the way her Fourth of July celebration has been going - everyone seems to be having a good time, and enjoying the day.  Well, almost everyone - town councilman Bubba Rowland has just been found dead in a porta-potty, shot through the rear of the receptacle, and with so many people attending the event, it seems Sheriff Dave Davidson has his work cut out for him trying to find a killer.

Liv McKay has a habit of finding bodies.  Well, not really, but they sure have a habit of finding her, and this time is no different.  While she didn't technically find the body of Bubba Rowland, she's thick in the middle of it, because the day after his murder, Liv's mother Virginia announces her engagement to Earl Daniels, who's been Bubba's business rival and a thorn in his side for years.  When it's discovered that Bubba was killed with Earl's shotgun, which was in his locked truck, it looks as if the sheriff has the crime locked up as well.  But with Liv's Mama pleading for her help to free Earl, Liv enlists the aid of her best friend Di Souther, and while the Fourth ended with a bigger bang than was what originally intended, their plan to unearth Bubba's real killer could send them both permanently underground if they're not careful...

What a delightful mystery to unravel.  It appears that it's already solved, with no access to the murder weapon by anyone except Earl, and he's so forthcoming about that information that he's practically putting himself in the electric chair.  But Liv believes he's innocent, and isn't about to have her mother's heart broken, so once again she enlists the help of her best friend Di to find out who got his gun and framed him for the crime.

It could have been a number of people who were attending the celebration, but sorting through the suspects isn't going to be easy, since there were so many there.  And to top things off, her mama's now decided she wants Liv to plan her over-the-top wedding, complete with swans and a gondola.  It also doesn't help that her sister Emma is dead-set against the wedding, and her father-in-law is acting strange to everyone.  So will Liv be able to set Earl free or will Emma get her way and the wedding will be called off due to imprisonment?

What a delightful read this turned out to be.  While I have enjoyed the series from the beginning, I believe this one is my favorite.  The characters are rich and lively, their growth apparent as the series progresses.  The interaction between them is realistic, and with just enough brass on Liv's part to be convincing without being exaggerated.

When we find out who the murderer is (because we know it just can't be Earl), it's believable and deftly done; the ending is satisfying and even a hint of the next book is given.  Ms. Fee is a talented writer and in this book she serves up a real slice of southern charm, wit, and humor.  I look forward to the next in the series.  Highly recommended.


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