Champagne for Buzzards
Review: Bar owner/manager Sherri Travis has enough to deal with taking care of her business and planning a birthday bash for her beau that she definitely doesn't need the trouble that accompanies a dead body found in the back her pickup truck in Champagne for Buzzards, the fourth mystery in this series by Phyllis Smallman.
The dead man is identified as Lucan Percell, the father of waitress Lovey Sweets illegitimate daughter. Sherri's Uncle Ziggy becomes the most convenient suspect if only because he fancied the waitress as did, of course, the murdered man. The sheriff is hesitant in doing too much more investigating — isn't one suspect enough? — as he has a "business" on the side and fears that he may be the one being investigated if too much attention is drawn to the case.
Meanwhile, Sherri is spending a lot of time at Clay Adams's ranch seeing to the arrangements for his party. One night she sees a stranger in the forest outside the Adams ranch while out riding. She couldn't identify him, and he didn't seem to be doing any harm, so said nothing about him to anyone. But it isn't long before the sheriff and his band race out to the ranch and began looking for a man. He is said to be of medium height, dark hair and skin. It was exactly the description of the man Sherri had seen. He is most likely from Guatemala, the sheriff tells them. He also points out that the man is an escaped convict, guilty of murder. Just how he knows this he does not say. Sherri can't help but be interested, especially when shots are fired and she's in-between the shooter and the shootee.
Champagne for Buzzards is a very entertaining mystery, filled with humorous dialog and situations. The small town Florida setting is perfect for the eclectic mix of characters presented here, both recurring through the series and introduced just for this story. Just as important, the plot isn't overlooked amid all the mayhem, with the mystery of who killed Lucan Percell and why, plus the identity of the mystery man on the ranch, maintained right up to the end.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Champagne for Buzzards.
Acknowledgment: the author provided a copy of Champagne for Buzzards for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
TouchWood Editions (Trade Paperback), September 2014
ISBN-13: 9781771510905; ISBN-10: 1771510900
Location(s) referenced in Champagne for Buzzards: Florida
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Champagne for Buzzards by Phyllis Smallman — A Sherri Travis Mystery
Publisher: McArthur & Company
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2011
List Price: $19.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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