by Gretchen Archer
There are plenty of laughs in Gretchen Archer’s Double Trouble set in the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Davis Way Cole, former police officer, mother of toddler twin girls, and part-time security for the Casino absolutely could not get into more trouble if she tried. Davis is left in charge of the casino while all of the upper level staff along with her husband, manager of the resort complex, are attending a convention. Her problem starts when five million dollars goes missing, and the week just goes downhill from there. As Davis and her sidekick Fantasy try to find the missing money, locate disappearing people, and in the process discover murders, the storyline becomes a written version of T.V. slapstick comedy a la Lucy and Ethel.
Both the dialogue and Davis’ inner tongue-in-cheek monologues move along the plot which includes her mother whose passions are cooking and feeding those she loves—all the time, an ex-ex mother-in-law who shouldn’t be there, and her daughters who are addicted to Frozen. To make the plot even more crazy, add in potted tomatoes enhanced with aromatic Black Kow organic fertilizer (yep, you know what that is!), a safe room with lots of wine, missing employees, an abandoned baby, very shady wire transfers, and a slick lawyer—just for starters. The whole city is inundated with people disguised as Elvis to participate in an Elvis convention sponsored by Bellissimo. That makes identifying any villain virtually impossible.
My favorite character is Birdy James, a confused ninety-five year old in charge of Lost and Found. No one wants to fire her, bless her heart. Unfortunately, she is the only one who can locate items in the Lost and Found room. As a retired librarian, she created her own Dewey Decimal System for storing lost articles, she makes notes in shorthand that only she can read, and she is the sole person with the keypad combination to the storage room. She plays hilariously into the story and is important in solving the mystery. I know you’ll enjoy this Southern gem.
I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #9 in the Davis Way Crime Caper Series. Prior knowledge of the characters is nice, but it could act as a standalone.
Publication: June 9, 2020—Henery Press
Birdy yelled, “Did someone say liverwurst?” Bexley asked, “What’s a worse sandwich?” She tugged at the hem of my t-shirt. “Do we like worse sandwiches, Mama? Worse than what?”
“Your stove isn’t worth taking out back and shooting, Davis.” My mother and I were so, so different. If I were going to shoot the stove, I’d shoot it where it stood.
“The plumbing and the wiring are the only fings that connect to anyfing elshe.” I tried to count the empty wine bottles, because for sure, I think I shlurred a word or thoo in there.