Pearls and Poison is the third installment in Duffy Brown's "Consignment Shop" cozy mystery series. The series takes place in Savannah, Georgia and features sleuth and heroine Reagan Summerside - the owner of the Prissy Fox consignment shop. Since reading Iced Chiffon, which is book #1 in the series, Brown has been generous enough to have Penguin send me a copy of each new release to review and feature on Dreamworld Book Reviews.
In Pearls and Poison, Reagan's mother Judge "Guillotine" Gloria is running for a spot on the city council. Gloria's main opponent is Kip "Scummy" Seymour - a wily politician whose dirty and malicious ways have earned him a number of enemies throughout the years. When Kip is found dead after having had an altercation with Reagan's mother, Gloria becomes the #1 suspect in his homicide. Knowing that her mother is completely innocent, Reagan resumes her usual sleuthing (while encountering her fair share of mishaps along the way) to prove that her mother is not guilty.
Brown's novels keep growing progressively better with each new release in this series. Even though politics are not a personal interest of mine, I found myself becoming uncontrollably sucked into each storyline. I especially loved the side-story involving the ever-growing romance between Reagan and Walker Boone - the sexy and street-smart lawyer with whom Reagan seems to have a love/hate relationship.
In Pearls and Poison, Brown finally has her characters settling into more of a rhythm with one another, and the diverse cast of characters she keeps bringing back into each book are hilarious and completely endearing. Given the book's (very) southern setting, Brown manages to keep things exciting and colorful enough to please all cozy mystery lovers - and not just those who can relate to living in the South.
The mystery aside (which is incredibly enjoyable and not easily predictable), the mounting tension between Reagan and Walker make reading this charming mystery novel worthwhile. After three books, the duo FINALLY have their first real kiss. I won't reveal more for the sake of avoiding spoilers, but let's just say that I'm eagerly awaiting book #4 so I can enjoy more of Reagan's shenanigans and the building romance she's experiencing with Walker.
Brown's "Consignment Shop" series is now my favorite go-to cozy mystery series - especially at times when I'm craving a taste of the quirky Savannah South! Fans of mysteries by Tamar Myers, Carolyn Hart, and Anne George will absolutely love Brown's new series.