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  • Love and Life Lost

    Marygene and Alex are finally at the wedding festivities, only she always thought it would be her and Alex, not Alex and someone else getting married. Being a good friend, she wished Alex all the best and even agreed to cater the wedding, no matter how hard it was on her. When the bride is found dead next to the wedding cake and her body disappears, eyes and accusations turn to Marygene and her BFF Betsy. On the way home from the cancelled reception, Marygene and Betsy have an accident and are saved from the van just before it explodes. Now that their lives has been threatened, the BFFs must find out what happened to the bride and who has it out for them. When it looks like a Peach Cove native might be involved, Marygene realizes she may not know the locals as well as she thought she did. A solid mystery with plenty of red herrings and a lovable protagonist with some quirky characters, each visit to Peach Cove leaves you waiting for the next. This is one of my must read series!

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  • Enchanting island mystery

    Southern Sass and a Battered Bride is the third in Kate Young’s Marygene Brown Mystery series. In the first chapters, Marygene is catering the wedding of her high school sweetheart Alex to his not-so-nice bride Lucy. Trouble starts brewing when Alex expresses his doubts about his impending marriage. Even his family and friends are not enamored of the bride, who has a fascination with death scenes. Lucy decides to turn her reception into a murder mystery dinner and “star” as the murder victim. Unfortunately, the mystery becomes all too real, especially when the deceased bride disappears. The cast of characters is completely enchanting, especially Marygene’s best friend Betsy and Betsy’s Aunt Vi. Marygene has strong bonds and realistic relationships with her siblings Jena Lynn and Sam, her father Eddie, and even the spirit of her dead mama. (OK, well maybe the relationship with Mama isn’t quite realistic.) As with the previous books in the series, the author captures the sense of place beautifully, making the reader long to visit the island for a relaxing getaway. I can’t wait for the sheer delight my next visit with Marygene and her crew. (I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy and all opinions are my own.)

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  • Cozy Brilliance!

    Although the third in the series, Southern Sass and a Battered Bride was the first instalment for me. Kate Young's series features Marygene Brown who owns the Peach Diner along with her sister, Jena Lynn. Marygene is providing the catering for a murder/mystery-themed wedding for her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers and bridezilla Lucy Carmichael. Marygene is managing to put a smile on her face for the nuptials, but then she finds Lucy lying on the floor sprawled out in front of the wedding cake covered with funnel cake batter. The cast of characters is completely engaging, especially Marygene’s best friend and co-worker, Betsy and Aunt Vi. Marygene has strong bonds with Jena Lynn and Sam, her brother, as well as her father, Eddie, and even the spirit of her dead mum. Set on Peach Cove Island, Georgia this book is jammed with drama and action. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Southern Sass and a Battered Bride and I will be checking out the first instalment, Southern Sass and Killer Cravings as soon as I can. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • This series keeps getting better and funnier!

    So… I used to read the Stephanie Plum series and loved them because of the dynamic between Stephanie and Lula. I gave up the series about book 18 because I couldn’t handle the love triangle any more, but I really missed the crazy exploits and sassy dialogue. I found it again in the Marygene Brown Mysteries by Kate Young. The dynamic between Marygene and Betsy is fabulous and I actually chuckled a few times… which rarely happens to me when I read cozies! I had the pleasure of reading the first book in the series, Southern Sass and Killer Cravings, which I really enjoyed too, but the kooky dynamic between Marygene and Betsy was quite there yet. I missed book two, so I’m not sure if it was developed in that one, but Southern Sass and a Battered Bride had it in spades. And some of the things that happen in book three have the kooky and outrageous aspects that I loved from the Plum series. Besides this great duo, many other characters in the series are very well developed and a pleasure to read too. I had mentioned in my book review for Southern Sass and Killer Cravings that I would like to visit most of the cozy towns, but I would want to actually live in Peach Cove Island, and after reading book three it’s even more true. The community is fantastic, peppered with some kooks and lots of caring people that I can’t wait to get to know even more. In the first book the love aspect was kind of still up in the air, and from the tidbits I gathered from this book some things happened that made Marygene and Alex not get together, which I am actually happy about. And the new man on the horizon is a partner that I am very excited to see what will happen next. The mystery was very well cultivated and it took me by surprise, which I always love when that happens. Southern Sass and a Battered Bride is a fantastic addition to the series and to the cozy genre. Although I don’t go back and read a book if I miss it in a cozy series, I will be reading book two…. And am really looking forward to book four!

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