Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club (Debutante Dropout Series #3)

Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club (Debutante Dropout Series #3)

4.5 39
by Susan McBride

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Andy Kendricks is back in the third sassy and irresistible installment in Susan McBride's Debutante Dropout series … and this time she's teaming up with her high-society mama to catch a killer who's targeting rich, lonely widows.

Wealthy Texas widows need loving too … which is why Bebe Kent joined a dating service for "discriminating" seniors

…  See more details below


Andy Kendricks is back in the third sassy and irresistible installment in Susan McBride's Debutante Dropout series … and this time she's teaming up with her high-society mama to catch a killer who's targeting rich, lonely widows.

Wealthy Texas widows need loving too … which is why Bebe Kent joined a dating service for "discriminating" seniors soon after relocating to the swanky Belle Meade retirement community. Unfortunately, Bebe didn't even live long enough to meet "Mr. Right." And though doctors declared her death totally natural, extravagant blue-blooded Dallas socialite Cissy Blevins Kendricks believes her old friend's demise was hastened—and she's ready to check herself into Belle Meade incognito to prove it.

Cissy's rebellious, sometimes-sleuthing daughter, Andrea, wants no part of her mother's crazy schemes—yet she's anything but pleased that Cissy is going off on her own, playing a highbrow Miss Marple. So she has no choice but to join her mom in search of the truth—especially when more well-heeled widows start turning up dead …

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the delightful third installment in McBride's Debutante Dropout mystery series (Blue Blood, etc.), Andrea Kendricks, the self-deprecating Texas trust-fund baby whose amateur sleuthing usually takes center stage, turns the spotlight on her classy, lovable 60-something mother, Cissy. When two of Cissy's friends drop dead, she refuses to believe it was natural causes; both were residents at Belle Meade, the swankiest retirement community in Texas, and Cissy suspects "something funny's afoot." Against Andrea's wishes, Cissy goes undercover at Belle Meade, determined to prove that a killer exterminated her friends "before their expiration date." Disguised in rhinestones and animal prints, Cissy uncovers pending lawsuits, missing medication and the discreet services of an exclusive matchmaking club for "discerning women over sixty." Soon, nearly everyone at Belle Meade is a suspect, and Andrea must overcome her skepticism before her mom finds out too much for her own good. Chatty, colorful and tr s Texas, McBride's latest cozy is a pleasure. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Wichita Eagle
“Readers will be anything but bored... McBride is at her best in this rollicking adventure with surprising heart.”
Lincoln Journal Star (Nebraska)
“[F]un...with plenty of humor and mystery.”
Sauce Magazine (St. Louis)
“The tone is as light as angel food cake, with pop culture crowding the pages...snappy prose and eccentric characters.”
(St. Louis) - Sauce Magazine
"The tone is as light as angel food cake, with pop culture crowding the pages...snappy prose and eccentric characters."

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Debutante Dropout Series , #3
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The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club

A Debutante Dropout Mystery
By Susan McBride

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Susan McBride
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060564083

Chapter One

Getting old was murder.

Make no mistake about it.

Sarah Lee Sewell tugged on the loose skin of her cheeks and frowned at the mirror, wondering if it wasn't time she got a little nip and tuck. Every woman her age in Dallas -- and not a few of the men -- had been doing it for years. But, as long as Eldon had been alive, Sarah Lee hadn't put too much stock in her faded appearance.

"I love you for what's inside, honey pie, not for the gift-wrapping" -- his blue eyes had twinkled as they'd looked her up and down -- "though I've got no complaints about that, either."

The smile that formed on her lips at the memory fast died, and she sighed at her tired reflection.

"Oh, Eldon," she said, to no one but herself. "How I miss you."

She missed his wit.

Missed his scent, of tweed and pipe tobacco.

Missed having a hand to hold. That, most of all.

After five decades of marriage, two years seemed a long time to go without the touch of a man. Maybe some women could stand it, but Sarah Lee couldn't. It was a slow death in itself, like being starved or suffocated. Even cats needed to be stroked now and then.

Sarah Lee was only human.

Which was why she'd gone and done what she had, something she never in her wildest dreams imagined she'd do and still wasn't too all-fired sure about.

She'd started dating.

She hadn't told any of her friends what she was up to and wasn't certain she'd stick it out, but she'd promised herself she'd give it a decent shot before she chucked the idea as pure insanity.

She'd been out to dinner twice already with several different gentlemen, the conversation pleasant if not a little awkward. They had asked if they might call on her again, and Sarah Lee hadn't objected. Though getting used to being courted at this point in her life gave her butterflies as big as B-2 bombers.

She fumbled with a silver tube of lipstick, swiping her thin mouth one last time with a well-used crimson. Then she pinched her cheeks and nodded, knowing she'd done the best she could with what she had.

Which is when her legs began to tremble.

Dear God, why on earth was she doing this?

Because you're lonely, a tiny voice reminded her. Because Eldon's been gone for years, and you don't like to be alone.

It wasn't even sex. She merely wanted to be held in the snug circle of a man's arms. Was that such a terrible thing?

She sighed and steadied herself against the marble counter.

Before her recent outings, the last real "date" she'd been on was back in high school, and her suitor had been a sixteen-year-old Highland Park football star named Eldon Sewell. Sarah Lee had been top of her class at Ursuline Academy, smart enough to know a catch when she'd hooked him. At eighteen, they'd married, living in off-campus housing in Fort Worth as they'd worked their way through TCU, building a foundation that had lasted "till death do us part." They'd still be together if that damned cancer hadn't chewed Eldon's life away from the inside out.

She'd never been with anyone before him, nor since. Not in the biblical sense. Which made her something of a freak in these fast and loose times, didn't it? She was an eight-track tape in a digital era, and the way her friends kept dying off, pretty soon they'd all be extinct.

You're morbid, Sarah Lee, she thought and laughed at herself.

But death scared her far less than the dating game she'd been playing.

She patted her hair, styled in the same teased and sprayed coif she'd worn for too many years, and she figured it was time for a change. She was a different person than she'd been: more self-assured and assertive.

Maybe she'd try that fellow at the Plaza Park Salon about whom her terribly chic friend Cissy Kendricks had been raving lately. She'd get his name when she saw Cissy Wednesday at bridge, because it wouldn't be appropriate to inquire at the church service for Bebe Kent the next morning.

Ah, poor Bebe.

With bent fingers, she reached for her brush.

The doorbell chimed.

Startled, the brush dropped from her hand, clattering into the bowl of the sink, and she turned toward the hallway, her heart zigzagging in her chest, it beat so loudly.

Who could that be? she wondered, because she'd arranged to meet her date at the restaurant, as she'd done with the two before him. A neutral spot, because she didn't want strangers in her home, not at night when she was by herself, despite the relative security of her surroundings.

Probably just a neighbor, or one of the staff come to sweet-talk her into submission. You'd think for all she'd paid to live in this highbrow retirement home, Housekeeping could come more than twice a week, her toilets would flush properly, and they could keep the damned squirrels out of her attic. No matter if it was the director herself, panting like a puppy dog and begging to please, Sarah Lee wasn't letting her in. They could discuss her complaints at her convenience or she surely would drag in her lawyer.

Oh, dear, she realized, smoothing the hem of her dress. She had to leave in fifteen minutes flat if she wanted to be on time for the dinner reservation.

She took a deep breath and shut off the bathroom light as she stepped into the hallway.

The bell chimed again.

"Coming," she trilled and hurried toward the noise, passing the photographs of herself and Eldon hanging on the walls, not seeing them, too curious about the visitor who waited for her on the other side of the door. She seriously hoped it wasn't her date, to whom she'd stated quite plainly that she preferred to drive . . .


Excerpted from The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club by Susan McBride Copyright © 2006 by Susan McBride. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club (Debutante Dropout Series #3) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Problem is she is really too dumb to be a detective and it gets annoying as there is a nice middle ground. Those of us without millionaire trust funds and have to go to thrift stores are not amused by her fast food /painted splattered jeans / flip flops and pro bono work.....would she get work if it were not free? She dropped out but she is no where and whining every time she has to dress up and go to anything opera opening gallery concert funeral. Dont know if i will try agsin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in shirtless
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
my name is nicole
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NewNooker32 More than 1 year ago
A fun murder mystery that I highly recommend, especially if you like some humor included. I found myself laughing out loud at times. Looking to read more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it. It makes for wonder light reading that warms the heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This, the third installment, was very difficult to read, the first two were well written and kept the readers attention, I was very disappointing in this book and I will be hard pressed to purchase any other books in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Andrea Kendricks doesn¿t want to be at Bebe Kent¿s memorial service, but her mother talked her into going to be her moral support. Bebe was one of her dear friends. After the service, Andrea¿s mother, Cissy, announces she believes Bebe was murdered. Andrea¿s afraid the grief is too much for Cissy. Bebe had recently moved into Belle Meade, a swanky retirement community. When Cissy takes her there, she runs into an old friend she hasn¿t seen for years. Then another resident is found dead. Another friend of Cissy¿s. Now Cissy is insistent that they were both murdered, even though there is no evidence to support her claims. Andrea agrees to help her mother prove it was murder to humor her. But as Cissy begins digging, Andrea realizes something is going on and joins in the investigation. Can they get to the truth without finding themselves pushing up daisies? I love this series. Andrea is such a fun character. I¿m actually warming to her mother with each book. I¿m not into the society scene. That¿s probably why I like Andrea so much. I thought this book was the best glimpse into the real Cissy and now I like her better. I really enjoyed the mystery in this book and the retirement community was a great backdrop. I highly recommend this book and the complete series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't need to go into the story--I'll let you read it. What a fun read...easy, breezy, light, AND interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A big cheer for Susan McBride and The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club! The third installment in the Debutante Dropout books is a great addition to this series. I love the author's witty writing style and her true to life, yet, quirky characters she has created. The great dialog between Andy and Cissy, and humorous observations, provide plenty of laughs as they go through a slight role reversal of mother and daughter in this book. Cissy has a much larger role in this book than the previous two, which I was delighted to see with this character. Cissy is convinced her dearest friends were murdered because of the evidence she discovered, a nightgown and smudged lipstick. Andy, however, is not convinced of anything, except that her mother may have just flipped out under the stress of finding her friends dead. Andy does her best to humor her mother until the tests prove her friends deaths were from natural causes, while Cissy pushes forward to investigate with help from a reluctant Andy. When things aren't adding up like they should, Andy begins to realize Cissy might be closer to a truth no one wanted to believe, which could place Cissy right in the cross hairs of the killer. Susan McBride takes us on a great ride into her world, giving fans and new readers of the Deb Dropout Series a fun, often hysterical, and exciting journey for us to enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Things have gotten antsy for Andrea Kendricks (the debutante dropout) once again. Her mother, Cissy, is upset when her best friend dies. But Cissy does not believe that her friend, Bebe, died in her sleep as everyone says she did. Why? Because Bebe had on a nightgown. Then another friend, Sarah Lee, dies. Cissy is positive it is foul play because of Sarah Lee's lipstick. ............................ Andrea is beginning to believe her mother has flipped her lid. Andrea is certain of it when she discovers that her mother has disguised herself to look older and has become a new resident in the posh retirement community of her deceased friends. ........................ **** Author Susan McBride has written another great mystery that will have her readers scratching their heads as they try to figure out what is going on. From previous books, I knew that Andrea had an odd way of life and of viewing it all, but this story shows that the apple did not fall far from the family tree. The mother and daughter characters are very well developed. Had the situation been real, instead of fictional, I've no doubt the reactions would be exactly as McBride spells them out. The author's sense of humor is utterly delightful and gives everything a little twist with the witty banter. Terrific book that I recommend to all mystery fans! ****
harstan More than 1 year ago
Only for her mother will debutante dropout turned web designer Andy Kendricks attend the funeral of Cissy Kendrick¿s close friend Bebe Kent. After the funeral, they go to the memorial service held at the dead woman¿s residence in the exclusive assisted care facility Belle Mede. When Cissy learns that Bebe died in her pajamas she thinks that death listed as natural causes was really a homicide because the victim always slept in the nude. --- The facility is run by Annabelle who knew Andy when they went to an upscale camp for blue blooded rich kids. Annabelle and Cissy¿s daughter were close friends, two misfits who clung together for security. Cissy maneuvers Annabelle into letting her and Andy investigate Bebe¿s¿s death by posing as the new resident and her niece but on their first day in Bebe¿s home, another woman close to Cissy is found dead. Cissy believes that Sarah Lee Seville was also a homicide victim because her make up was smudged, something that she would fix immediately in case someone saw her. At first thinking her mother¿s grief is making her crazy, Andy finally comes around to her view point because there are too many links between the two dead women. Nobody, least of all Andy, thought that Cissy would be in danger from the killer. --- Susan McBride infuses her exciting amateur sleuth mystery with a gallows¿s humor that is both appropriate and funny in a macabre sort of way. Although Andy thinks her mother is wrong in her description that murder took the lives of her two friends, the love she feels for Cissy compels her to find out if there is any evidence to support her theory . This down home Texas mystery is enjoyable, entertaining and riddled with red herrings and unexpected plot twists. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol its ok, for both things))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How about 'erd' all results?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SUP,FOOL!? how r u doin selena