So what do Iced Chiffon, Killer in Crinolines, and Pearls in Poison have in common? They are all mystery stories set around a consignment shop in Savannah. When I decided to follow my dream and write mysteries I went with the old adage of write what you know and love. I adore Savannah, Georgia and I’ve worked in an upscale consignment shop for fifteen years. That’s how the series Consignment: Murder was born.
Consignment shopping is the fun of wearing designer clothes on the cheap. I could never afford a Coach handbag or an Armani jacket but I do love the expensive look and great quality. Most of all I love bragging to my friends how much I paid! The conversation goes something like, “Oh, isn’t that a great Kate Spade purse.” And my reply is, “I got it at the Snooty Fox for forty bucks!” instead of the usual three-hundred and fifty!
For years I shopped consignment stores then decided I needed to work at the Snoot since I was there all the time looking for deals. My kids were some of the best-dressed on campus and I did it for K-Mart prices.
Don’t you love the name Snooty Fox! The Snoot is an upscale consignment shop. How many times have you bought something, wore it once, decided it wasn’t your color or didn’t fit the way you liked and you were stuck with it? Well, that’s where the Snooty Fox comes in. You can sell your green plaid jacket that you just had to have but then decided you hated at the Snoot. There is a customer out there who will love that jacket and pay you good money for it.
How this works is that you open an account and hand over your clothes. The Snoot chooses which clothes they will take. They clothes must be cleaned, pressed, on a hanger, gently worn, in very good condition, and within a two-year style period. The price is a third to a fourth of retail and you get half of that when the item sells. Not a bad deal for something hanging in the back of your closet!
Consignment shopping is a lot like solving a mystery. It’s all about the hunt for the perfect scarf, skirt or shoes. I think that’s why mystery and the Consignment: Murder series seemed like a perfect fit. The hunt is on!
Working at a consignment shop and my love for Savanna led me to writing a mystery series and I’m always amazed at where someone’s hobby or special interest led them. Did you meet a best friend? Your mate? Take classes? Visit a place? Get an award for perfecting your hobby or even teach a class on it?
Hobbies enriched our lives and often take us to places we never expected…like a murder mystery series. Who would have thought.
Berkley Prime Crime
**GWN’s Review of “Pearls and Poison”
A Consignment Shop Mystery
By Duffy Brown
A Berkley Prime Crime, Penguin
Mass Paperback, 295 pages
Savannah, Georgia Judge Gloria Summerside might have an exceptional reputation, but she’s on the ballot as a candidate for alderman and someone wants to eliminate her before the votes are cast. Up against a down-right-dirty opponent named Kip Seymour, she’s not afraid to voice her objection to his misguided untruths about her in public. But when a raised voice leads to a well-aimed fist, the witnesses can erode years of the judge’s pristine reputation. Shortly after, her opponent is found dead in his own campaign office.
The judge’s daughter, Reagan, will do anything to protect her mother. The first thing she has to do is keep her out of the photographer’s lense at the police station. Then she has to figure out where that bottle of bourbon is that her mother brought to Seymour’s office to apologize.
Matters only become worse for it seems the judge is being framed because her opponent and a write-in want a stab at the position. It might be a small town, but when it comes to political power the residents will do anything to get elected.
Clearly “Pearls and Poison” has been the best book of the first six of the Penguin cozies I’m reviewing. Why? It’s a can’t-put-down book because it’s hysterical. The book is filled with Southern charm and attitude. At the center of the plot are characters who are planning all manner of sinister situations. Though the detectives tell Reagan to stand back or else, they are always eager to hear where intuition guides her.
Five hot dogs for BW, (Reagan’s dog) out of five