The thing is, the covers for the Savannah Reid mystery series are ... frilly. Girly. Sugary. I might not have ever opened one, because I like my mysteries tighly plotted, with a good twist and memorable characters. Good thing the advance "uncorrected proof" copy arrived here in a plain paper cover with just the title and author and such, no images. Because that way -- I opened it. And once I'd devoured the first few chapters, I knew it had happened again: I'd found a well-developed series with an investigator I really liked and a pace brisk enough to keep me going, casual enough to be relaxing summer reading, and with a chuckle or a giggle tucked in every couple of pages. How could I have missed out on G. A. McKevitt's Savannah Reid series all this time? KILLER PHYSIQUE is number 19! Sheesh.
In case you too are unfamiliar with this series, Savannah Reid has been a tough, clever, and very attractive police officer with plus-size body, great shoes, and a Georgia background. But over the course of this series, she's become a private investigator -- and as KILLER PHYSIQUE opens, she's also experiencing the novelty of being a PI married to a cop, Dirk, the man she's adored for ages. Except for how he leaves the toilet seat up, and his inability to grasp why she's frantically trying to get their house "perfect" for a first visit from Dirk's birth mom, now Savannah's mother-in-law.
Luckily for Dirk, Savannah won't have a lot of time to focus on those homemaking details, because the couple can't resist jumping into an investigation of a very hunky actor, an old friend of one of their own dear friends. Actor Jason Tyrone isn't just "built"; he's the focus of groupies and his new film is a blockbuster.
Unfortunately, Jason's soon dead, and Savannah's determination to figure out whether he's been doping his way to that "killer body" of his takes her into the dark side of Hollywood glam. And when Dirk's quirky "birth mother" arrives in the midst of it all, chaos erupts.
If you snort your iced tea out your nose when reading Janet Evanovich, this is your next series to dig into. If you like a good caper novel and you don't mind a little less gore and a little more merriment, try it (and let me know what you think). And to help you make up your mind to get past the cover and into the not-very-amateur sleuthing of Savannah Reid, here's a taste of the action:
The moment [Officer Bates] saw Savannah, a mixture of lust and loathing crossed his ugly mug, making him, if possible, even less attractive.Slipstream with Savannah and Dirk as they make their way into Jason Tyrone's mansion, and watch for the hint of motive that almost slips out of their grip, as for a while it looks like murder might be plain old mishap after all. But neither Savannah nor Dirk is convinced, and Dirk's china-toting visiting mama may have just the strange point of view that they need to find what's gone deadly wrong.
She did find it amusing, though, to see him reach up and readjust his toupee -- sprawled like a roadkill raccoon across is head. And as he stood up and walked to the counter, he brushed some wayward corn chip dust off the front of his two-sizes-too-small uniform shirt.
"Now, Officer Bates, you don't need to go getting all spiffed up just for little ol' me," she told him.
P.S. - G. A. McKevett is the pen name of Sonja Massie, who used to write Irish historicals. Looks like Savannah Reid has been keeping her busy instead!