Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pretty is as Pretty Dies by Elizabeth Spann Craig

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.

22 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

It means a lot to me that you enjoyed my book, Lesa! Thanks for featuring "Pretty is as Pretty Dies" today.

Elizabeth

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Elizabeth. I just love Myrtle. She and Red together are priceless. And, I love poor Elaine, but I didnt' want to give the entire book away. Let people discover Elaine for themselves!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Thanks for sharing the work of this terrific author. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and follow Myrtle around town. How fun!


Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Molly said...

Darn it! Now I have another book that I simply have to read because of one of your awesome reviews. It I could only add about 6 more hours to the day, I might make a dent in the mountain of books waiting for me to read.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Galen. I hope you can keep up with Myrtle! She sets quite a pace.

Lesa said...

I'm not really sorry, Molly, so I can't apologize. Sorry about the toppling TBR pile, though. I totally understand that! But, I think you'll like Myrtle.

Terry Odell said...

I love fiesty characters, and this book sounds like a winner.

Lesa said...

Terry,

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I think people will HAVE to like Myrtle. Those of us who had feisty grandmothers will see them in her.

Chary Johnson said...

Thanks for the review. I just bought the book for my daughter. She is a teen who loves mysteries. This will be a very interesting read. I just may borrow it and read it myself.

Eileen said...

This I HAVE to read. (I wonder if she's anything like Diana in "Waiting for God".)

Thanks for another enticing review!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I love laugh aloud books! I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Lesa said...

Chary! What a nice idea to buy it for your daughter. She should get a laugh out of Myrtle and Red. And, isn't it great to have a daughter who likes to read?

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Eileen. I haven't read Waiting for God, so I have no idea if Myrtle is like that. If you stop back, you'll have to let me know what Diana is like in that book.

Lesa said...

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Jane. I just loved Myrtle.

Chary Johnson said...

Lesa,

Yes, it is wonderful having a daughter who loves to read. I actually have three children who love reading; my son (15), daughter mentioned above (13), youngest daughter (6). They have all inherited this characteristic from both mom and dad. The trick is to read to them from when they are very young and surround them with books. Eventually, they pick them up.

Again, great review. Can't wait until the book arrives.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Chary! Last year, I did a reading challenge with one of my nieces. We had a lot of fun. As you said, her mother reads, and takes them to the library. My other sister has a husband who put the kids on the back of the bike to take them to the library as soon as they were old enough to hold their head up and ride on the bike. Those kids are all readers, too.

LadyPI said...

Myrtle sounds like another great female-sleuth. I just added this book to my reading wish list. Thanks for the nice review.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, LadyPI. I hope you enjoy it when it makes it to the top of the TBR pile! Myrtle is terrific.

caite said...

Wow, I love that cover..actually, it is a bit creepy, isn't it...lol

Lesa said...

And, can you imagine, Caite? That's what Red gets to look at in his mother's yard when he looks out the window? Of course, I doubt if there's an ax in a gnome's hand in her frontyard. Yes, great cover, if a little creepy.

Kay said...

I finished this one a couple of days ago. What a great book! I loved Myrtle and her whole clan. Look forward to more stories about this bunch!

I'm really enjoying the books that Midnight Ink publishes. I went to our annual meeting with the collection sellectors yesterday and talked with the fiction person about including books published by Midnight Ink especially for our mystery section. I did that last year for Poisoned Pen Press. She already buys a lot of them but I wanted to be sure that we got a copy at our branch.

Lesa said...

Very good, Kay! Like Poisoned Pen Press, Midnight Ink is publishing some very good books.

I'm glad you liked Myrthe and the family. It was a fun book, wasn't it?