Mama Does Time
Review: Deborah Sharp introduces Mason "Mace" Bauer, daughter to Rosalee Deveraux a.k.a. Mama, a multi-married, sherbet-colored pantsuit wearing, beauty parlor aromatherapist, in Mama Does Time, a delightful mystery set in Florida.
It's September in Himmarshee, a town so small it is virtually unheard of outside the county and even if a random visitor managed to find it they couldn't pronounce it. 62-year-old Mama's been taken to the jail by the new detective in town, Carlos Martinez from Miami, for questioning in the death of a man whose body was found in the trunk of her vintage Cadillac convertible. The victim, Jim Alpert, was the owner of the local Booze and Breeze drive-thru, and fiancÚ of Mama's new bingo buddy Emma Jean Valentine. Every one in Himmarshee knows Mama would never ever hurt any one, so the thought of her killing someone is ludicrous. Except for Detective Martinez who clearly thinks otherwise.
Although Himmarshee is certainly no tourist center, like most Florida towns it does have an animal park. Mace, Mama's middle daughter who loves the outdoors and the animals, is the caretaker of the park. Mace finds Detective Martinez's handling of the murder of Jim Alpert outrageous and decides to begin a search on her own for the murderer. Martinez warns her to back off and to let the professionals handle the case, but she knows her mother is innocent and wants her out of jail. For her efforts Mace is run off the road in her Jeep, she and her mother receive threatening notes, and her house is broken into. Each time Martinez warns her to back off. But Mace knows at least three persons who had a good motive for wanting to see Alpert dead, and she's pretty sure she's next on the list.
Much of the appeal of Mama Does Time is in the relationship Mama has with her daughters. This close-knit family of women argue with the best of them, but are fiercely protective of each other. The writing is sharp and the characters quick-witted. The situations Mama and her daughters find themselves in provide much of the humor which has an authentic Southern charm to it. That the plot seems to be secondary to everything else doesn't lessen the interest in the story.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Mama Does Time.
Acknowledgment: Midnight Ink provided a copy of Mama Does Time for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Mama Does Time: Florida
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Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp — A Mace Bauer Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2008
List Price: $13.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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