Friday, February 22, 2019

Murder in Her Stocking: A Granny Reid Mystery by G. A. McKevett

Reviewed by Kristin

Savannah Reid and her six siblings were raised right by their Southern granny.  Granny Reid didn’t take any guff, but she always had a kind word, a knitted scarf, and a full plate to give to any of her grandchildren, or to anyone in need.  Finally, after 23 books featuring the sassy California-based private investigator Savannah Reid, Granny is getting her own book.

Wind back the clock about 30 years to the 1980s in small town McGill, Georgia.  Granny (aka Stella) is mighty worried about her seven grandchildren.  Stella’s son Macon is a truck driver and always on the road, and his wife Shirley is less than a model of propriety.  Shirley is most often found warming a barstool at the Bulldog Tavern, leaving twelve-year-old Savannah to scrape together meals for her siblings.  Stella does all that she can, but Shirley is sensitive to criticism and usually insists that Stella mind her own business.  Stella’s heart aches for the children who are being forced to grow up way too fast.

When Stella finds Prissy Carr (the local floozy) dying in an alley, she ends up right in the middle of the investigation with Sheriff Gilford.  A little hint into Savannah’s life and career choices are revealed, as the mystery-novel-loving-Savannah is right there beside her Granny digging up clues in order to bring the murderer to justice.

While I enjoy the Savannah Reid series, this venture into Granny’s earlier life was welcome and heartwarming.  It’s nice to see Stella as a 50-something grandmother who still displays so much spunk as she cares for her family, friends, and her potential love interest, Sheriff Manny Gilford.  Not that the 80-something Granny has lost any of her gumption, but McKevett used this opportunity to develop Stella’s character more thoroughly, as well as show more about the family situation which shaped Savannah and her younger siblings.

It may be cutesy, but I like the fact that Savannah, her siblings, and her father are all named for towns in Georgia.  Living in Georgia for eleven years, Savannah was a favorite weekend destination for my family.  Many a time I passed through Macon, Marietta, Waycross, Valdosta, and even the small towns of Vidalia, Alma and Jesup.  Another sister, Cordelia, seems to have been named for Cordele, a tiny hamlet along I-75.  My husband practically grew up in southeastern Georgia, and one thing I can tell you is that all of his favorite towns along US Route 23 have a Dairy Queen.

This new series is spun off seamlessly as Granny Reid cuddles her new great-granddaughter Vanna Rose in the prologue and the epilogue, with her memories filling the chapters in between.  I look forward to much more from G.A. McKevett whether P.I. Savannah is cruising the California highways or Stella is rooting out the evil-doers back in McGill, Georgia.

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