Monday, April 27, 2015

Elvis and the Dearly Departed

TITLE: Elvis and the Dearly Departed (A Southern Cousins Mystery #1):         
AUTHOR: Peggy Webb
PUBLISHER: Kensington
PUBLISHING DATE: October 1, 2008

FROM GOODREADS: Fried Green Tomatoes meets Stephanie Plum, in this sassy, Southern series starring the lovable and eccentric Valentines and Callie Valentine's failed show dog, a basset hound named Elvis.

MY THOUGHTS:  Ok. Let me first explain my rating a tad. Overall, I probably would have given this book 3 stars based on plot and characters. However, it has a dog...a funny dog...a dog who thinks he is (and may be) Elvis reincarnated. And in between some chapters, Elvis has his own chapters in which he is funny, endearing and snarky. Therefore, Elvis earned this book an additional star.

This is basically like a lot of other cozy mysteries and while there is no paranormal aspect, like I usually enjoy, there are some pretty hilarious characters. I love Callie and her cousin Lovie and some of the predicaments they find themselves in. The Valentine family definitely put the "fun" in dysfunctional and I believe they think anything can be fixed with family ties, humor, and booze. 

The family owns a funeral home and although Callie is a hairdresser, she works for the home on the side and runs a boarding house for any family members who visit the small town for the proceedings. Lovie is a sex-crazed, curvaceous caterer who has a way for landing into trouble and "working" her way out of it. In this first book, one corpse turns up missing and another suddenly appears and Callie and Lovie take it upon themselves to find out what is going on. 

The plot is fast paced and interesting enough and in general, this book was a quick read. I will definitely continue on with the series because I know my library has all of them available. I would recommend this for anyone who likes cozy mysteries or dogs - really cute dogs. It also wouldn't hurt to have an appreciation for Elvis, which I do not, but it didn't hamper my opinion of the book in any way.



I want to stand proud and give Elvis a 4 paw rating.  I think the cover did him justice and you might notice he is the only character that has a face.  I believe Elvis would be fun to hang around with.  He is always looking out for his owners, he is trying to get his mom and dad back together again, and he likes to eat and sleep.  I had a little trouble understanding the whole "I am the King...thank ya very much" thing, but Mom explained it has something to do with some guy who was famous way before our times.  The only issue I had with Elvis is he kept running away to be with a French Poodle.  Poodles just aren't my thing, although Cassie used to have a crush on the Giant Poodle who lived across the street named Lexie.  I think all dog lovers need to give Elvis a chance and give this book a try.  He is a lot of fun and I can't wait to get to know him better in future installments!

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