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Publisher: Avon / HarperCollins
Release Date: August 31, 2004
ISBN: 0060595361
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre:   Romantic Comedy
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Sheila Griffin
Reviewer Notes:  Profanity is profuse in this book.

Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash
By Dixie Cash

      Debbie Sue only got one thing out of her divorce: a defunct service station. Unwilling and unable to reopen it, she turned it into a beauty salon. With her best friend Edwina, she determined to a make a go of it.

     Sheriff Buddy Overstreet is Debbie Sue’s ex-husband. He wants to be a Texas Ranger, but life keeps getting in the way. First his daddy died and he had to come home from college and take care of his momma. Then his and Debbie Sue’s baby died and they needed to stay close to her momma. Now that he and Debbie Sue are divorced, he still can’t bring himself to leave. Buddy dates some, but he still loves Debbie Sue. In time, he believes that they will be together again.

    In the meantime, Buddy keeps the streets of Salt Lick, Texas safe. Still, one day a murder occurs—the first in over sixty years. The local hussy was shot and left in her car at the landfill.

     When the rich husband of the deceased offers a fifty thousand dollar reward, Debbie Sue sees her opportunity to get out of debt and get out of town. She still loves Buddy, and it kills her to see him out with other women.

    Complicating the picture, a former rodeo star pursues Debbie Sue’s affections and a school teacher claims to be Buddy’s fiancee.

     This book is more about people than it is about murder. The mystery isn’t very compelling. The strength of this book lies in its characters. Debbie Sue’s mother is the songwriter who wrote the lyric from which this book gets its title; Eugene is an accountant by day and a singer named "Janine" by night; Edwina’s boyfriend is both master chef and truck driver. The rodeo star and the teacher make great villains.

     While this book is never laugh-out-loud funny, it does have its amusing moments. It’s a good effort for a first-time author. It will be interesting to watch her romantic comedy flair develop. I look forward to reading her future works.