A Kenni Lowry Mystery by Tonya Kappes
Review: Sheriff Kenni Lowry investigates the murder of a man found in a greenhouse, sprawled over the ownerís prize-winning tomato plants, in Southern Fried, the second mystery in this series by Tonya Kappes.
The dead man turns out to be Owen Godbey, a delivery man for Myrna Savage, who grew the now squished tomatoes she had planned to use in an upcoming cook-off. Though Myrna isnít a suspect in the crime ó after all, sheíd hardly sacrifice her own tomatoes ó she sure is acting suspiciously. But then again, so are several people in the community, all of whom Kenni quickly learns seem to have had a reason to knock Owen off. The cook-off seems to be a central focus of all ó Owen had planned to participate as well ó but Kenni canít quite pin down what it is about it that would lead to murder.
Southern Fried is a paranormal cozy featuring the ghost of Kenniís dead grandfather, Elmer. It can be tricky incorporating a ghost in a seamless manner in a story and make it seem natural in the process, and it isnít quite handled well here. There are two primary problems. The first is Elmerís commentary about Kenniís new boyfriend (who also happens to be her deputy). There is something inherently creepy about having oneís grandfather watching over oneís love life. The second is that Kenni is up for re-election, and is being accused of not keeping the peace in town. Elmer was also a sheriff there, and takes his role as guardian of Kenni (and implicitly the town) seriously. Yet whenever Kenni gets into trouble, instead of working through it herself (and showing her strength), she sends in Elmer. True, in the end Kenni solves the mystery of Owenís murder, but it would have been more satisfactory (to the reader) had she shown more personal initiative in the process.
Though a fast-reading book with a strong mystery storyline, itís a little hard to get past some of the character flaws.
Acknowledgment: Henery Press provided an ARC of Southern Fried for this review.
Review Copyright © 2017 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Southern Fried: Kentucky
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Southern Fried by Tonya Kappes — A Kenni Lowry Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2017
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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