Iced Chiffon is the first book in Duffy Brown's Consignment Shop Mystery series. The second book in this series, Killer in Crinolines, will be released in May. The author sent me a copy of Iced Chiffon as a thank you gift for hosting her in May.
Reagan’s messy divorce has left her with nothing but a run-down Victorian and a bunch of designer clothes. Strapped for cash, Reagan makes use of the two things she has left, turning the first floor of her home into a consignment shop and filling it with the remnants of her rich-wife wardrobe.
Thanks to his cunning lawyer Walker Boone, her ex got everything else, including the Lexus—not to mention a young blond cupcake. When Reagan finds the cupcake dead in the Lexus, she’s determined to beat Boone to finding the murderer. As it turns out, the gossip fiends flooding Reagan’s shop will give her a lot more than just their unwanted clothes—they have information more precious than a vintage Louis Vuitton…
COVER: This is a fabulous cover. You have to see it up close to appreciate it. The grandfather clock is tied into something from the first chapter--you'll have to read to find out what--and what the reader is looking at is the new first floor of Reagan's Victorian that has been turned into a consignment shop. Love the series logo with the orange hat. It also appears on the spine and on the back cover right above the author's website URL.
FIRST CHAPTER: It's only morning when Reagan dishes herself up a heavy helping of self-pity and the last of the pinot. Her lousy ex-husband has left her with a run-down house and a mountain of bills. He even took the Lexus she made the initial payment on. She should have listened to her mother and never married Hollis Beaumont. Reagan is stuck selling her furniture and her designer clothes to make ends meet. Snooty Raylene Carter paying a surprise visit early the next day might be the final straw.
KEEP READING: Oh yes. Brown has created a zany cast of characters centered around a down-on-her-luck woman coping with the aftermath of her messy divorce. Between her mother, Guillotine Gloria, a judge who doesn't get pushed around, her UPS driver and friend, Chantilly, quirky Aunt KiKi, and an uncle named Putter for his love of golf, you know you're bound to have some mischief.
You can't help but feel sorry for Reagan, kindly named after a certain conservative president. Her ex-husband has left her for a woman twenty years his junior and he's taken just about everything. Reagan is left to put her life back together and try to find some way to pay the bills.
Even if Savannah wasn't mentioned, you could quickly tell by the characters and the details the author provides that the story is set in the south. It's got charm. It's got food. It's got history. I can't wait to see what happens next. Based upon the synopsis, I know it's going to get interesting right quick.
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (October 2, 2012)
I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.