Title: Southern Sass and a Battered Bride
Author: Kate Young
Series: Marygene Brown Mystery #3
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: April 27, 2021
Pages: 275
Book Source: Netgalley

“Marygene Brown always figured she’d marry her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers, not cater his wedding. But the Peach Diner could use the exposure. Most of the island is showing up—although more for the role-playing murder game at the reception than for the widely loathed bridezilla, Lucy Carmichael. Marygene may have to smile through the festivities, but Mama doesn’t have to hold her peace—especially since only Marygene can hear her mother’s ghost. Mama says she sees an aura of darkness around the wedding.

So when Marygene finds Lucy lying beside the wedding cake, buried in batter, with no pulse, it looks like Mama called it. This is no game. And when the bride’s body simply vanishes, it’s up to Marygene and her best friend Betsy (cousin to the groom and no fan of the bride) to solve a real-life mystery—with a little help from Mama’s sassy spirit …” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

So… I used to read the Stephanie Plum series and loved them because of the dynamic between Stephanie and Lula. I gave up the series about book 18 because I couldn’t handle the love triangle any more, but I really missed the crazy exploits and sassy dialogue. I found it again in the Marygene Brown Mysteries by Kate Young. The dynamic between Marygene and Betsy is fabulous and I actually chuckled a few times… which rarely happens to me when I read cozies!

I had the pleasure of reading the first book in the series, Southern Sass and Killer Cravings, which I really enjoyed too, but the kooky dynamic between Marygene and Betsy was quite there yet. I missed book two, so I’m not sure if it was developed in that one, but Southern Sass and a Battered Bride had it in spades. And some of the things that happen in book three have the kooky and outrageous aspects that I loved from the Plum series.

Besides this great duo, many other characters in the series are very well developed and a pleasure to read too. I had mentioned in my book review for Southern Sass and Killer Cravings that I would like to visit most of the cozy towns, but I would want to actually live in Peach Cove Island, and after reading book three it’s even more true. The community is fantastic, peppered with some kooks and lots of caring people that I can’t wait to get to know even more.

In the first book the love aspect was kind of still up in the air, and from the tidbits I gathered from this book some things happened that made Marygene and Alex not get together, which I am actually happy about. And the new man on the horizon is a partner that I am very excited to see what will happen next.

The mystery was very well cultivated and it took me by surprise, which I always love when that happens. Southern Sass and a Battered Bride is a fantastic addition to the series and to the cozy genre. Although I don’t go back and read a book if I miss it in a cozy series, I will be reading book two…. And am really looking forward to book four!

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