Friday, September 26, 2014

Martini Regrets-Phyllis Smallman

Martini Regrets
Phyllis Smallman
TouchWood Editions, Sep 23 2014, $14.95
ISBN: 9781771510905

After having one last drink with a friend in Miami, Sherri Travis breaks her dad’s admonition to never drive across the Everglades at night.  However, she needs gas to complete her trek through the swamp to Jacaranda, Florida where she lives with her fiancĂ© Clay Adams and owns the Sunset Bar and Grill.  At a station, she hears a boy pleading with the female attendant to save his life.  When she refuses, he hits Sherri and takes her car.  The girl is also gone as two “swamp rats” arrive.  Sherri takes cover in a pipe and then the swamp before finding a nursery with a murder victim inside.  She recovers her car and gets home, but vows to say nothing.

Sherri learns that the nursery was burned down with a couple inside dead.  She soon has a visit from the late nursery owner’s affluent brother Ethan seeking information on a special orchard his sibling allegedly possessed.  Helping Clay with his business and coming to the bar, enables Ethan to become part of their lives though Sherri wishes he would leave.  Ethan won’t because he knows the bartender is the last living person to have been in the nursery.

The latest Sherri Travis Mystery (see Highball Exit, A Brewski For The Old Man and Margarita Nights) is a twisting thriller filled with people ready to kill to possess a rare orchard.  The heroine’s time in the Glades is incredible as we will feel lost too; while her efforts to stay out of the mess fails because obsessive collectors know where she has been.  With an unexpected shocker and a reluctant amateur sleuth, Martini Regrets is a fantastic crime drama.

Harriet Klausner

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