Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin
Ah, in this fourth book of the Secrets of the South Mysteries, author Mary Ellis takes us to the luscious, historic city of Savannah, Georgia. Price Investigations PIs Beth Kirby and Michael Preston are summoned to experience Sunset in Old Savannah as they investigate a possible case of marital infidelity.
Michael is a former forensic accountant geek who left that world for a more exciting career after his fiancée called it quits. However, he does backslide on occasion, slipping off the fitness equipment and back into geekdom. Beth is a former police officer who left her job under a cloud after experiencing a disastrous crush on her married boss. This particular case hits a little too close to home for her.
Once the affair they’ve gathered evidence on turns to murder, their boss, Nate Price, orders them to stay out of the investigation and enjoy a few days of R & R. Beth and Michael don’t exactly listen. While taking in the highlights of Savannah (mostly the food), they interview prospects to run a satellite office in the city after Nate informs them of numerous new cases that have come their way … and they decide to search for the true killer on their own time.
I truly enjoyed meeting Michael and Beth in the previous novel, so it was great to read even more about them in this one. Their back-and-forth banter is amusing and snarky—the latter is mostly on Beth’s part. Beth is the senior investigator and Michael is the rookie—something obvious in the previous novel. In this one, though, she seems more the rookie and Michael the experienced, cool-headed investigator.
If you’re looking for hardcore mystery/suspense/romance in the vein of Dee Henderson or Lynette Eason, you’ll be disappointed. This is a lighter story that centers more on the relationship between Beth and Michael than anything else, although it’s hardly romance-novel sizzling. For me, it left a few questions unanswered, such as this one: What made such a well-liked and generous, supposedly happily-married man like their client’s husband stray? It didn’t make much sense to me and the situation came across as a bit contrived.
Overall, the story was nothing overly deep and serious (well, with the exception of a murder), but it was a fun read for that time when you’re looking for pure entertainment … and maybe a fictional tour of a city you’ve never visited. 🙂
Remember those interviews I said Beth and Michael conducted? In Sunset in Old Savannah, we’re introduced to a new character with an incident in her past that could make for a suspenseful backdrop to a new story. So I see another Price Investigations case coming in the future. But where? There’s a whole lot of territory yet to cover. Charleston, anyone?