Southern Discomfort by Caroline Fardig [Book Review]

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THEATER, MISUNDERSTANDING, AND MURDER

Quinn Bellandini runs a B&B with her sister Deliah and their father Papa Sal in Savannah, Georgia. Quinn is given a pair of theater tickets to see a play by Drew. She misunderstands the offering of tickets as Drew, a long time friend, asking her out on a date. Upon feeling awkward, and not really wanting to go to the play, she gives the tickets to her sister.

Feeling guilty about giving the tickets away and her misinterpreting Drew asking her about going to play as a date, she decides to confess. It’s late night, approximately 10 pm when Quinn heads over to Green’s, a restaurant owned by Drew and Jason Green. Drew isn’t there by Jason is. Unfortunately for Quinn, he’s dead. To make matters worse, Quinn is the one that found him and while trying to leave the restaurant in a hurry, she has slipped and fallen into a puddle of Jason’s blood.

YOU’VE ARRESTED THE WRONG PERSON

Quinn is the first to find Jason, which makes her the prime suspect. But it’s Jason’s brother Drew that is arrested for the murder. Not wanting her friend to go to prison for a murder she knows he didn’t commit, Quinn embarks on some amateur investigation that produces more secrets than she expected. When Deliah finds out what’s she’s doing, she joins in the sleuthing.

ALL’S WELL THAT STARTS OUT WELL

I received an advance copy of the book based on the premise (basically what I just said above, but shorter). The copy I received is an unedited copy. Meaning, it’s not the final copy that will be released to the public 6 March 2018.

I enjoy stories set in the south for I love the south, although I live up north. I was expecting the book to take me to Savannah, Georgia. Where it ended up taking me was the worse Lifetime TV movie I’ve ever seen.

I READ BOOKS AS IF I’M WATCHING MOVIE

I try to visualize the book as a movie. It helps me get a clear understanding of what I’m reading. I feel if I can visualize what’s taking place, the writing is good. And at times, excellent. This was neither. Although I could visualize everything that was going on, my mind kept going back to the most ridiculous movie I’ve seen where the writing is horrible, the plot is off kilter and the acting is just as bad. It’s also one of those movies you can’t turn off because you have to see how it ends.

SOUTHERN SAYINGS THAT TRIED TO HARD

There were a number of southern sayings I want to share that I feel were forced.

Well, sugar honey iced tea.
Diddly darn it!
Ding Dang it!
Cheese and crackers.
Fiddlesticks.

Each of these saying was said when Quinn would run into a brick wall when seeking information. And each time they came up I laughed for they seemed, well forced.

The story as a whole didn’t ring southern. Although the family was a transplant from New York, they writing felt more New York, than Savannah, Georgia.

The author, Caroline Fardig, would refer to tea as sweet tea when offering some to anyone. She could have said tea. We all know tea in the south is sweet. Food, that is found in the south, was constantly brought up. I wish I could remember some of them. As with the southern phrases, the naming of food seemed forced to make the book seem authentic.

THIS IS FARDIG’S FIRST BOOK, RIGHT? NO?

When I read a book yet to be released, I don’t do any research on the author. I believe I mentioned this in my last review. I like my fresh mind and eyes to read the book with no preconceived notions about the author or the author’s writing style. This allows me to unbiased towards the book and/or the author.

In the back book of this book, there was a list of books Fardig has written. I was sure she wrote mostly young adult books and this was her first foray into adult contemporary. Was I wrong or what?

One series of booked mentioned were the Lizzie Hart Mysteries. There are five books in the series. AH HA! I thought. Lizzie Hart must be teenagers, along the lines of Nancy Drew, and the writer IS in fact, a young adult mystery writer. How wrong was I. How wrong as I about the other books mentioned. None of them were young adult books.But I figured with a name like Lizzie Hart surely the protagonist had to be in her teens. And with a title like It’s Just a Little Crush” who wouldn’t think this was set in high school? So much for judging a book by its title.

FINAL THOUGHT

I won’t be reading another book by Caroline Fardig, but I won’t deter anyone from reading Southern Discomfort. That’s if you like simple writing, corny sayings, and forced southern references such a food and sayings. I will say this about the book. I was surprised by who killed Jason. That’s not to say Drew didn’t do it, but it does not say he didn’t do it.

I give the book 3 out of 5 stars. No matter how much I was laughing at force southern sayings in the book and how many times Quinn rubbed her temples throughout the book, it was a decent read.

You can purchase Southern Discomfort by Caroline Fardig below

Southern Discomfort: A Southern B&B Mystery (released 6 March 2018)

There’s another Southern Discomfort that came out a while back by Rita Mae Brown that I really enjoyed, and I think you will too. It’s not a mystery book. I just a good southern drama book in which the writing is authentic and real. Just click on this link
Southern Discomfort to purchase the book from Amazon.

Meet Hortensia Reedmuller Banastre, a beautiful woman entrenched on old money, white magnolia and a loveless marriage–until she meets an utterly gorgeous young prizefighter.  Amid such memorable characters as Banana Mae Parker and Blue Rhonda Latrec (two first-class whores) and Reverend Linton Ray (who wears his clerical collar too tightly for anyone’s good), Hortensia struggles to survive the hurricane of emotions caused by her scandalous love.  How she ultimately triumphs is a touching and beautiful human drama–an intense and exuberant affair of the heart. (Goodreads)

 

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