||Feb. 17, 2013
Murder in a small Louisiana town years ago is unearthed, (pun intended) by amateur sleuths, Emmaline Beard and Byrd Jeffcoat.
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Emmaline Beard is certain former high school classmate, David Fanning, was murdered. Since the youth's body was never recovered from the Mississippi River, local authorities decided the boy drowned and his body washed out to the Gulf of Mexico. Case Closed.
Emmaline gathers the old gang to her antebellum home firmly believing one of them is a murderer. She enlists the help of her old friend, Byrd, who reluctantly helps solve the murder.
"It's murder," Emmaline Beard said to Bertram Jeffcoat, her friend from Houston, Texas as they sat at the patio table a glorious summer morning in Ville Nouvelle, Louisiana.
Byrd should have known. She'd invited him for more than a mini high school reunion. She needed his crime solving expertise-amateurish, but usually he was on the money. He bit. "Murder of whom and based on what?"
She forded over a creased sheet of paper that looked as though it had gone through a couple of washing machine cycles.
"Read it!" she demanded, her patience on its usual short leash.
He unfolded the fragile note, then frowned."What does it mean?"
Emmaline's peaches and cream complexion turned a mottled red. "Will you read it, already, read it!"
"Okay. Okay." Four cryptic words jumped out at him. Printed inn lower-case letters, crowded in the center of lined paper, he read-
david fanning will die.
Middle-aged sleuths Emmaline Beard and Byrd jeffcoat set out to solve the disappearance of a young boy, David Fanning. The trouble is he vanished when they were young, also. He was a classmate of theirs, a friend. The only thing left behind are rumors as to why he had gone.
Emmaline gets the old gang together, sets the stage for one of her theatricals and the game's afoot.They find old friends have changed and each seems to be keeping a secret relating to David's disappearance.
Set in a sun-drenched Louisiana town, the two sleuths seek the truth, pulling the reader with them. There is a sense of timelessness in this book, as if the
story could have happened yesterday or several generations ago. Its the type of book that will be viable many years from now.
This very talented author has crafted a well-drawn tale to hold the reader, one that will leave even the pickiest reader satisfied. I highly recommend it as a really fun read.
Anne K. Edwards, ebook Reviewers Weekly
A Real Who-Done-it
Emmaline Beard has lost her handbag about the time classmate David Fanning disappeared and was presumed drowned. Years later, the handbag is found, with a letter inside that suggests he was murdered. Enmmaline gathers together all of her old set for a reunion, with the secret aim of solving the crime.
As she talks to her old pals, Emmaline finds that the goings-on in her class were far more serious than the simple teen-age trysts and tiffs she was aware of at the time.
A who-done-it of the classic type. DEADLY SWEET SIXTEEN is well plotted where disbelief is easily suspended.
I give this book Four Stars. I would certainly keep my eye on this author.
Review By: Tom Taylor
An excellent read
Jonni Rich has spun a tale of ghosts and murder in her book, DEADLY SWEET SIXTEEN, but is everything as it first appears? Byrd and Emmaline plan a reunion of high school classmates many years after graduation with the purpose of finding David Fanning's killer. But, was David really killed or had he run away as classmate Jasmine said. Her father, a judge, had paid David to leave his daughter alone, and David had never been heard from since.
To complicate matters, the judge's ghost now haunts poor old Edwina Fontenot who was once close to Jasmine. Are these two separate mysteries or are they tied together somehow?
Byrd at last solves the mysteries in spite of Jasmine, Violet, his nagging sister, his dedication to finding the perfect glue and an antagonistic cat named Bijou.
This book is an excellent read for anyone who loves Agatha Christie's stories and similar mysteries. However, readers must beware of having their funny bones tickled.
Margaret Franklin Zadow
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