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Synopsis: Party planner Liv McKay has outdone herself this time. She s put together an unforgettable Fourth of July celebration for the town of Dixie, Tennessee including breath-taking fireworks and an exciting Miss Dixie Beauty Pageant. Maybe a little too exciting.
As the party is winding down, Liv s sense of triumph fizzles when the body of town councilman Bubba Rowland is discovered on the festival grounds. And now the prime suspect in his murder is Liv s mother s fiancé, Earl, who had a flare-up recently with Bubba. To clear Earl s name, Liv and her best friend Di burst into action to smoke out the real killer before another life is extinguished . . .

My review: Normally I love quirky crime books with amateur detectives ala Miss Marple and Agatha Raisin. I also have a love of these books set in various parts of America I’ve never visited that always have recipes or scrapbooking techniques at the back after the story has ended. This one however didn’t grab me like they usually do.

I think mostly because of the set up. This is the 3rd in the series and it feels like the author didn’t feel a need to introduce any characters. But for me as a new reader I found myself unable to attach or care about anyone because of it.

Shady stereotypical counsellor is murdered. No set up so couldn’t care less. Main sleuth Liv McKay is described as the one who always trips over the bodies. Does she? How would I know as she’s not been introduced either as the murder happens in the first chapter. I would have liked a bit more build up and introduction. Not everyone is lucky enough to catch an author as they release their first books in a series.

It does improve as it goes along. Liv has a good job and a sweet husband but what does he do in that bathroom all the time?? Some men have sheds, it seems like Larry Joe likes to plumb away the hours. They appear to have a good stable relationship where he puts up with the sleuthing which I liked. In fact I enjoyed most of the characters once we got going. I probably will add the first two books to my ever growing TBR pile.

It’s not a bad book, and beginnings aside it’s a quick read, a beach read for those like me that don’t read many pure romance books. It made for a nice interlude in-between a couple of darker books I have to read

Release date 30th May 2017

Free ARC from netgalley