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Peach Clobbered
Georgia B&B Mystery #1
BY Anna Gerard

Crooked Lane
July 9, 2019/ ISBN 978-1-64835-006-1
Mystery / Cozy

Reviewed by  Laura Hinds

Nina (pronounced Nine-ah) Fleet has retired at 41 years of age and using the proceeds from her recent divorce has recently purchased a historic Queen Anne house in Cymbeline, GA. Cymbeline is a small town, but it’s not without shady characters and deeply buried secrets. Nina plans to open her home as a B&B. But when a man in a penguin suit shows up at her door with a letter showing that his great-aunt intended for him to have the house after she died it appears that there may be a measure of legal wrangling involved to fix the sticky situation. Harry Westcott is in the costume acting as the local ice cream shop’s mascot. Harry is also a professional actor with a handful of movie roles to his credit.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in town, the Sisters of Perpetual Poverty are being evicted from their convent by real estate developer Gregory Bainbridge who intends to develop a golfing community on the property. Mayor Melissa Jane Green arrives at Nina’s house with the nuns in tow and asks her to take them in at her B&B. The B&B isn’t ready for business yet, but Mayor Green vows to fast track zoning changes and get Nina set up with the necessary insurance. Nina agrees, because who could turn homeless nuns away?

As the nuns stage a peaceful, silent, and sign-carrying protest there is evil afoot in town. A screaming woman pleads for help because she has found the Taste-Tee-Freeze penguin in an alley and he’s been stabbed! It’s not Harry Westcott in the costume this time. Instead, it is Gregory Bainbridge, the most hated man in town.

The first mystery is whether the killer knew it was Bainbridge in the costume and killed him or if the intended victim was Harry Westcott. As with most small towns, one mystery invariably leads to the unraveling of others. In order to make a go of her new B&B business, Nina decides to do some investigation of her own.

This is a quick read chock-full of twists and turns, interesting characters and just the right amount of humor. I look forward to the next book and a return visit to Cymbeline and Nina. Great for a summer read or a book club selection, “Peach Clobbered” has my stamp of approval and I recommend that cozy lovers everywhere get their own copy today.

Reviewer’s Notes: Author also writes as Diane A.S. Stuckart and as Ali Brandon

Reviewed 2019