Not only does Elizabeth Spann Craig have one of the most amusing covers of the year for her cozy mystery, but she also has one of the funniest stories and characters. It's going to be hard for anyone to beat Myrtle Clover in Pretty is as Pretty Dies.
Talk about feisty! Nothing is going to slow down Myrtle. Her son, Red, might be the Police Chief of Bradley, North Carolina, but Myrtle isn't going to allow him to put her out to pasture at the age of eighty-five. There are laugh aloud scenes as the two of them spar. And, it only takes the murder of the most disliked woman in town to set Myrtle and Red at each other.
Myrtle was already mad at Red for signing her up for the United Methodist Women's group since he thought she was bored. She took her anger out by placing giant gnomes all over her yard, where her son could see them out the window of his house. Then, she stomped down the street to the Methodist church. Once Myrtle found the body of Parke Stockard at the church altar, she had a new purpose in life. Myrtle was determined to find the killer in the small town of 1,500, before her son and the state police. Now, she just needed a sidekick as all those other detectives had.
It seems as if everyone in Bradley had a reason to hate the realtor/developer, including Myrtle. She lost some of her valuable newspaper column space to the "wicked" newcomer. And, despite Red's best intentions to send Myrtle on wild goose chases, Myrtle needed to prove to her son that she was still sharp, and get back at him for his high-handed treatment.
It's easy to guess the killer in Pretty is as Pretty Dies, but who really cares? Myrtle Clover is a hoot. She's a special character, and it's fun to read about her war with her son. I haven't even touched on her daughter-in-law, and the French foreign exchange student. But, I hope Myrtle and her family will be back in future mysteries. She's a gem, a terrific addition to the cozy mystery field. If you're looking for an amusing treat, pick up Pretty is as Pretty Dies.
Elizabeth Spann Craig's website is www.elizabethspanncraig.com. She blogs at www.mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com, and at www.mysteryloverskitchen.com
Pretty is as Pretty Dies by Elizabeth Spann Craig. Midnight Ink, ©2009. ISBN 9780738714806 (paperback), 216p.