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Beth: If you're looking for a snarky good mystery, then I heartily recommend A Teeny Bit of Trouble Michael Lee West. What makes this cozy mystery so much fun is Teeny Templeton, the heroine at large. From the get go, you know that she's not your ordinary Southern belle. Here's a woman who dons a wetsuit to do recon and dreams up poisonous delicacies to serve her enemies, such as Get-Rid-of-the-Bitch Pie (the secret ingredient is hydrangeas for that extra special gastrointestinal distress). Teeny is frizzy-haired and sharp-tongued. Her boyfriend/lawyer, Coop, has a few secrets, one of which being a precocious ten-year old girl who just may be his daughter from an earlier relationship with Barb, the aforementioned bitch.
By the end of the first chapter, Barb is dead and we are off the the races. Even though Teeny witnessed Barb's murder, no one believes her because no body can be found. Later, it appears that Barb has committed suicide in a seedy hotel. Obviously, Teeny knows this is a lie and sets out to prove she's right. Aside from the mystery, there are subplots and crazy/creepy characters aplenty. Several times I laughed out loud, particularly at the vapid and evil diary entries of teenaged Barb. "Tonight Coop scraped mud off my shoes. He dropped to his knees in a worshipful position and cradled my foot in his hand. It was so rad, the bestest feeling in the whole world. Like I was the queen of a majorly cute country. I looked down on him and spit in his hair." This woman is so awful, you're almost glad she's dead.
I don't want to spoil the fun but if you're looking for a mystery that includes stalkers, tarantula breeders, amorous ex-lovers, bulldogs, and body harvesting, then this is the book for you. Sit back, make yourself a mint julep c and settle in for a wild ride through the gentile South.