A Little Death in Dixie
A Billy Able Mystery by Lisa Turner
Review: Lisa Turner introduces Memphis homicide detective Billy Able, who's drawn into a conspiracy of deceit and murder in A Little Death in Dixie.
Billy and his partner Lou Nevers are investigating the death of an elderly man when Billy gets a call from their superior officer reassigning them to a missing person case. It's little frustrating for Billy, a homicide cop, to be looking for a woman, Sophia, who may or may not be missing — maybe she just decided to take off on her own for a bit, nothing nefarious involved. But what he doesn't understand is why a criminal court judge has specifically requested his partner, Lou, to head up the case … and equally inexplicable, Lou's resigned reaction to the assignment. Lou had been at odds with Billy — with life in general, actually — since his divorce six months earlier, but Billy is totally unprepared when Lou commits suicide by driving his truck off a bridge into a quiet creek. Billy knows there's more to the missing person's case than he's been led to believe: "The truth was, Lou's body was lying in a cold drawer at the morgue, and Billy no longer believed Sophia was coming home on her own. He had to find out what had happened to both of them."
A Little Death in Dixie is a puzzling mystery in several respects. The plot is quite convoluted, but how it plays out comes across as more unnecessarily complicated than anything else, in part due to one too many narrative points of view, which seems to add length to an already long novel without adding much substance. And then there's the titular death; it's not at all clear to what this is referring, since Billy's investigation largely involves searching for Sophia … and how she is involved, if she is involved, with his partner's suicide (which, for other reasons, seems unlikely to be the "little death"). An ambitious debut, to be sure, but one that could have benefited from some editing … and a different ending, which is almost certainly included as a shocking final twist but instead is so incongruous that it loses much of its intended impact.
Acknowledgment: Bell Bridge Books provided an ARC of A Little Death in Dixie for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in A Little Death in Dixie: Memphis, Tennessee
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A Little Death in Dixie by Lisa Turner — A Billy Able Mystery
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: June 2010
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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