On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Rest in Peach
(A Georgia Peach Mystery)
by Susan Furlong
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B011IVWSEA
Rest in Peach by Susan Furlong – The annual Peach Cotillion, Cays Mill, Georgia’s biggest event, is fast approaching and Nola Mae Harper is just as excited as the rest of the town—even though she’s busy juggling both the cotillion dinner and the grand opening of her new shop, Peachy Keen. But she never expected that plans for the cotillion would end up in the pits because of the cutthroat competition between local debutantes.
When Vivien Crenshaw, insufferable church organist and despised mother of the town’s spoiled-rotten Peach Queen, is stabbed to death, the police turn to Nola’s friend Ginny as prime suspect. Apparently the two had fought over a one-of-a-kind cotillion gown. As Nola steps in to prove Ginny’s innocence she soon finds herself picking through a bushel of suspects, twice as many motives, and at the mercy of a killer all too keen on killing again.
I am not from the south and have never attended a cotillion, but from everything I have seen and read I know the debs and especially their mothers can be pretty cutthroat. So when one of the mothers was found dead, stabbed in the throat with a sewing shears, I must say I wasn’t surprised. Beyond that this story was full of surprises.
Our victim, Vivien Crenshaw, mother of debutante Tara, gets into a spat with Nola’s friend Ginny over a dress. Seems the owner of the dress shop made a huge mistake and Ginny’s daughter, Emily and spoiled brat Tara ordered the same dress. Vivien feels the dress belongs to her daughter and that Emily can choose a new dress. Ginny is not backing down but Emily and Nola convince her to just let it go. The argument happened in front of a store full of people and Ginny did threaten Vivian so when she is found dead Ginny is targeted as the prime suspect faster than you can slice a peach. Nola has her new shop, Peachy Keen opening soon and has so much left to do but she has to set this half baked idea that her friend is a murderer to rest as quickly as possible even if it means putting herself in danger.
Susan Furlong has written another strong story. She has captured the craziness that surrounds a cotillion from the dresses to the dinners and the dances in such a fun way. Each chapter even starts with a debutante rule.
Debutante Rule #032: Like a magnolia tree, a debutante’s outward beauty reflects her strong inner roots…and that’s why we never leave the house without makeup on.
Debutante Rule #067: A debutante is like a tea bag. Ya never know how strong she is until she is sitting in hot water.
Main character, Nola Mae Harper, continues to grow and evolve. She has decided to stay in Cays Mill and help her family’s peach business grow by opening up her own little store to sell products made with peaches from their orchard. She already has an online presence and some local customers. She is hoping the tourists will become more than just one time buyers. While she does have a plan for the business her own personal life is not so smooth. I love some romantic drama.
The murder mystery was top shelf. So many suspects and a few secrets make this a mystery I could really sink my teeth into. I was right there to the end with Nola trying to figure out whodunit.
The entire book is full of Southern charm and laced with humor. It was a “perfectly peachy” read. I am excited for book #3, War and Peach, set for delivery February 7.
About Susan Furlong
During her writing career, Susan has worked as an academic writer, freelance writer and novelist. Currently she’s busy working on The Georgia Peach Mysteries. (Berkley Prime Crime/July 2015) She also writes under the pen name Lucy Arlington. To learn more about her writing, visit her website at www.susanfurlong.com
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”