Book Review: PEARLS AND POISON by Duffy Brown

Series: A Consignment Shop Mystery, #3
Publisher: Berkley
Released: March 4, 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher

It’s election time in Savannah, Georgia, and Judge Guillotine Gloria—aka Reagan Summerside’s mom—is neck and neck in the polls with Kip “Scummy” Seymour. But the already dirty campaign is about to get downright filthy—with one candidate getting buried six feet under….

With her strong opinions and knack for getting into trouble, Reagan is not an ideal volunteer for her mother’s alderman campaign. Plus, she’d rather be running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, and eating doughnuts with her dog, Bruce Willis. But when her mother’s opponent, Kip, is found poisoned and her mother is pegged as a suspect, Reagan nominates herself as lead murder investigator.

Reagan is intent on finding Kip’s killer and clearing her mother’s good name, but she soon finds herself on the bad side of Kip’s enemies-turned-suspects. This time, no amount of costumes and makeup can keep her inconspicuous and out of danger. Because the closer Reagan gets to the truth, the hotter things get….


PEARLS AND POISON is a hoot & a half! Duffy Brown’s third book in her Consignment Shop Mystery series is a witty and well-crafted whodunit that kept me guessing and giggling until the end.

Reagan Summerside is one of my favorite amateur sleuths. She’s likable, funny, and someone I could see being friends with. She’s a recent divorcee struggling to make ends meet by running a consignment shop called the Prissy Fox. She often strolls the streets of Savannah with her dog (Bruce Willis) and her giant yellow purse (Old Yeller), daydreaming of being able to pay the water bill. Even though times are tough, Reagan manages to keep her head above water and a smile on her face…but, she also has a knack for ending up in the middle of murder investigations.

This time around, Reagan’s mama is in big trouble. Judge “Guillotine Gloria” Summerside is running for city council, and her main opponent ends up dead under suspicious circumstances not long after they have an ugly public altercation. The victim had an enemy list a mile long, so Reagan has her work cut out for her.

Reagan is supported by a cast of memorable secondary characters who add warmth, humor, and intrigue to the story, including her beloved and quirky Aunt KiKi, her best friend Chantilly, a few Seventeenth Street gang members, and the handsome lawyer/potential love interest, Walker Boone. I enjoyed the romantic tension between Walker and Reagan, and after their rocky beginning, I can’t wait to see where their relationship goes. It was also wonderful to get to know more about Reagan’s mom, including her connection to Walker.

PEARLS AND POISON was a delightful cozy mystery with wonderful characters and a charming Southern setting. Looking forward to my next trip to the Prissy Fox.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.