Murder Boogies with Elvis (Southern Sisters Series #8)

Murder Boogies with Elvis (Southern Sisters Series #8)

4.5 20
by Anne George
     
 

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Oversized, outrageous Mary Alice and her prim sister Patricia Anne have been looking forward to the gala benefit being staged to raise money for the restoration of Vulcan, Birmingham's ever-tarnishing unnatural wonder. And what a show it is, with a grand finale that has thirty sequined Elvis impersonators high-kicking in unison! From the front row, "Mouse" and

Overview

Oversized, outrageous Mary Alice and her prim sister Patricia Anne have been looking forward to the gala benefit being staged to raise money for the restoration of Vulcan, Birmingham's ever-tarnishing unnatural wonder. And what a show it is, with a grand finale that has thirty sequined Elvis impersonators high-kicking in unison! From the front row, "Mouse" and "Sister" have a perfect view of the action when one of the dancing Kings keels over dead into the bandstand. This Elvis clone has not only left the building ... he's left this life, courtesy of a switchblade knife in the back. And when the murder weapon turns up in Patricia Anne's very sensible purse, the perennially law-abiding "Mouse" is understandably all shook up. Suspicious minds have her pegged as the prime suspect in this bizarre case of Elvis elimination. And if she doesn't do some serious sleuthing, she could end up doing the Jailhouse Rock!

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Southern sisters Mary Alice and Patricia Anne are enjoying their golden years, and these days are better than most. They're spending time with their grandchildren. They're planning Mary Alice's fourth wedding. And they're still having fun solving mysteries, too. So when an Elvis impersonator takes a fatal dive into the band at a local benefit, Mary Alice and Patricia Anne don't need any coaxing to put on their blue suede shoes and set out in search of a killer -- whose next target could be the Southern sisters themselves.
Publishers Weekly
Y'all want lots of good laughs with a grisly murder and some clever detecting thrown in? Join the sexagenarian southern sisters, Mary Alice, a six-footer, and Patricia Anne, a size-six petite. In their eighth adventure from Agatha-winner George (Murder on a Girls' Night Out; Murder on a Bad Hair Day; etc.), Mary Alice, survivor of three marriages, is about to wed her fourth husband, Virgil Stukey, sheriff of Alabama's St. Clair County. At a benefit at a restored theater, a chorus line of Elvis impersonators performs in white jumpsuits; 30 Elvises boogie to the footlights and acknowledge the applause, but only 29 withdraw. One pitches headfirst into the pit, landing only a few feet from the sisters, who have come to cheer for Virgil and his brother-in-law, both Elvis impersonators who just happen to have been on either side of the dead "pitcher." Several days later Patricia Anne, rummaging in her purse, finds a large, rusty switchblade, which turns out to be the murder weapon. She goes to jail. The complications in this delectable tale are legion. The dialogue is so true and natural that it could go straight to stage or film. Inspired name choices include the sisters Dawn, Day and Dusk, as well as a lad called Pukey Lukey (because he's subject to motion sickness). If you're not already a fan, you'll want to find the earlier books, especially since the author died in March. Angels are laughing with her now for the joy she gave so many. Agent, Ruth Cohen. (Aug. 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
George, who died this past March, ends her Southern Sisters series (Murder Carries a Torch, 2000, etc.) with a fourth marriage for supersized Mary Alice (Sister) and a new grandchild for petite Patricia Anne (Mouse). The sisters are sitting in the front row at the gloriously restored 1920s Alabama Theater happily watching 30 Elvis impersonators swivel to the front of the stage, when one Elvis pitches forward, gouges a chunk out of the mighty Wurlitzer, and lands in the orchestra pit with a switchblade in his back. Then the immediately adjacent Elvis, one of Sister's new in-laws, says he might have seen something, and is half-murdered himself. Meanwhile, Mouse finds the bloody switchblade in the bottom of her purse, a development almost as distressing as Mary Alice's insistence that she wear magenta to her wedding. Why had the dead Elvis, identified as Russian emigre dancer Griffin Mooncloth, tried to contact Sister's lawyer daughter before he died? Pretty sisters Dawn and Dusk know, but would rather not say. Some fine southern cooking goes down, gossip and motives are gaily discussed, and Dusk suddenly is missing. Returning to the theater, Sister and Mouse accidentally bump into the culprit and find themselves swathed in duct tape and next up for elimination. Peppy as ever, with amusing takes on sisterhood, southern naming styles, aging cats and lazy dogs, and humoring husbands, whether they're your first or your fourth. The story is nonsense, but slathered in so much lively charm the target audience will hardly notice.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061031021
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/05/2002
Series:
Southern Sisters Series , #8
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
215,612
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.72(d)

Read an Excerpt

Murder Boogies with Elvis
A Southern Sisters Mystery

Chapter One

I was lying on my stomach under the kitchen sink, eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich and listening to Vivaldi's "Spring" when icy cold hands grasped my ankles. I screamed, reared up, and banged my head on the drainpipe so hard that zigzag lights streaked across my vision. The next thing I was aware of was being dragged from under the sink and hearing a very familiar voice saying, "What on God's earth is wrong with you?"

My chin hit the kitchen floor with a clunk and the zigzag lights streaked again; pain from both blows met in the top of my head.

"Are you okay?"

Maybe, I thought, if I just lay there she would go away — "she" being my sister, the boss of the world. The pain would lessen, Vivaldi would move on to "Summer" and then to "Winter." Eventually I would get up, get some ice for the knot that was swelling like a balloon on the back of my head. If I were lucky, the brain damage would be minimal.

"You weren't trying to commit suicide, were you, like that poet woman? Tell me you weren't trying to commit suicide, Mouse. That would be a terrible thing to do to me."

"What?" I struggled to a sitting position and looked up at Mary Alice. Way up. She's six feet tall (she says five-twelve) and admits to two hundred fifty pounds.

"Well, I know I haven't been around as much lately since I've been seeing so much of Virgil, but I didn't think you were that depressed."

"What the hell are you talking about?" I touched theback of my head tentatively. "I may have a concussion, but I'm not suicidal."

"Well, what were you doing under the sink?"

"Putting down some of those tile squares. A couple of them weren't sticking good, so I was putting weight on them. Lying on them for a few minutes." I looked down and saw my peanut butter and banana sandwich squished on my T-shirt. "Actually I was eating my lunch. And the poet you're thinking of is Sylvia Plath. And it was a gas stove she stuck her head in, not a sink." I held up a hand. "Help me up."

Sister grabbed me with the cold hands that had started the trouble and pulled me up.

"How come your hands are so cold?" I asked, walking slowly to the kitchen table and casing into a chair. I quickly learned that if I didn't move my head suddenly, the pain was a simple throb. "You scared me half to death."

"I was getting ice for a Coke when I looked over and saw half of you sticking out from under the sink."

"Well, would you get me a couple of pieces now? just wrap them in a paper towel."

She opened the refrigerator. "You want some Coke and some aspirin, too?"

I forgot and nodded my head. Pain rattled around in there.

"I may really be hurt," I said. I closed one eye and then the other. Was the left eye a little blurry?

"Of course you're not. It's just a bump."

Sister handed me the Coke, aspirin, and a paper towel with ice in it. I swallowed the aspirin and tried the eye test again. I looked through the bay window at Woofer's igloo doghouse. Right eye first. Okay. Left eye. A couple of floaters.

"I have floaters in my left eye," I said. "I think I've jarred my retina."

Sister sat down across from me. "Doesn't mean a thing. You're fine. I have floaters all the time. One looks like one of those little white mealy worms Grandpapa used to fish with. Caught all the crappie with. Comes and goes."

"You have a mealy worm floater?"

"Sometimes. Comes and goes."

I held the paper towel with the ice in it against the back of my head and looked at Mary Alice for the first time since she had come in. Really looked at her. The view from the floor didn't count.

"You look very spiffy today," I said. She did. She was wearing a pink pantsuit and her hair was a darker blond than usual. Her bangs were pulled to one side and her skin glowed.

"Thanks. I've been to Delta Hairlines, and there was a lady there giving free makeovers advertising some new cosmetics for seniors. I told her I was only sixty-four, but she gave me one anyway."

"Sixty-four, huh?"

Sister didn't answer that. The truth is that she's sixty-six, but on her last birthday she decided to start counting backward. I'm five years younger than she is, or at least I was. In a couple of years I'll be older than she is and soon she won't qualify for senior-citizen makeovers.

"I bought some of it and would have gotten you some but our skin tones are completely different."

She was telling the truth about this. Everything about us is different. She has olive skin and brown eyes, and I have fair skin and hazel eyes. I used to have strawberry-blond hair, and Sister was a brunette. Now I'm gray and she's usually strawberry-blond. Add to that the fact that I'm a size six petite — and Lord knows what Sister is — and is there any wonder that when we were children and she told me I was adopted, that I believed her? So did everybody else. I'm just grateful that we were born at home so there was no chance that we had been mixed up at the hospital.

I closed my right eye again. One of the floaters in the left did look a little like a mealworm. I looked from one side to the other.

"Are you doing that or are you having some kind..."

Murder Boogies with Elvis
A Southern Sisters Mystery
. Copyright © by Anne George. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Anne George (c.____ - 2001) was the Agatha Award-winning author of the Southern Sisters mystery series which culminate in Murder Boogies with Elvis, publishing in August 2001. Like Patricia Anne, she was a happily married former school teacher living in Birmingham, Alabama. Ms. George was also a former Alabama State Poet and a regular contributor to literary publications. During her lifetime she was nominated for several awards, including the Pulitzer. Being a true lady of the Old South, her date of birth will forever be a mystery.

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Murder Boogies with Elvis 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
sashastorm More than 1 year ago
If you love the Southern Sisters Series- this is one of the best! I had read the first few and skipped ahead to this one because of the title and a recommendation from a friend. Now I have to read all of them. The series is light hearted and fun. The characters are so real, they just carry you along for the ride. And it's always a wild and wonderful ride with Sister and Mouse!
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Straitwoman More than 1 year ago
Starting with the first one Murder on a Girls night out and ending with this Murder Boogies with Elvis it was like visiting old friends and catching up with their lives. This one tied everthing up but would like to have had more from Anne George. I enjoyed all of the Children but Patrica Anne son Freddie. I would like to have seen Fred and Virgil try to stop the Sisters from becoming involved in another Murder. Great Author wish there were more books with the Sisters.
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SarahTX More than 1 year ago
Two sisters in their 60s become involved in a murder that they have witnessed at a social event. A rural sheriff, Elvis impersonators and a bevy of typical southern characters weave together until the one who done it is discovered.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately this will be the last mystery with Patricia Ann (Mouse) and Mary Alice (Sister) the two sisters who keep getting involved in crimes since Mouse retired and Sister had more opportunity to drag her along on her outings. This time they are at a performance to benefit the restauration of Vulcan when one of the Elvis impersonators drops in the orchestra pit right in front of them. Since Sister's latest intended, Virgil, has a son and a son-in-law in the Elvis line up, the sisters get naturally involved in solving the mystery. All the while a wedding is planned and babies are on several minds. Anne George's death has cut this series short, but it is a fitting end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are already an Anne George fan, all I need to tell you is she's turned in another fabulous kneeslapper. If you are not familier with her work, get ready for a wonderful treat. In this hilarious whodunit, the city of Birmingham, Alabama holds a fund raising show at the historic "Alabama" theatre, featuring a whole busload of Elvis impersonators, to raise money to restore the staure Vulcan, and to replace the stature back on Red Mountain, so that the citizens over the mountain can view his famous bare behind. Since our two favorite sluething sisters are sitting on the front row of the theatre, naturally one of the Elvis impersonators is stabbed to death and falls into the orchestra pit. It seems that everywhere those two women show up, somebody gets murdered. Personally, if I saw them walking down the street toward me, I would turn and run for my life. As always, Anne George is funny, compelling, and downright fun to read. I highly recommend this book and would have given it five stars but the editing was poor. There is some repitition and a few other editing errors
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anne George does it again with another wonderfully crafted mystery. Not only does she make the reader keep turning the page with a well-paced story, but she makes us stop every now and then to laugh out loud. Her humor, I've come to realize, is on several levels ranging from slapstick to toung-in-cheek. For those not familier with Anne George, I suggest you treat yourself to some good ol' downhome storytelling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Anne George fan and her last installment of the Southern Sisters doesn't disappoint! I just got the book last night and finished it this morning. What a joy the Sisters are to read. Once again I am transported to Alabama and eating orange rolls in Patricia Anne's kitchen. I have to admit I got a little teary eyed reading the back flap where they mentioned Anne George's passing away earlier this year. Her wonderful books will be greatly missed, but I thank her for the wonderful afternoons I spent reading about Patricia Anne and Mary Alice's adventures. Here's to you Ms George, I hope to get to Birmingham one day to check out Vulcan!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Mary Alice and Patricia Anne (AKA Mouse) might be in their sixties but their lives are anything but dull. Mary Alice is planning her fourth marriage and plans to honeymoon in an RV while Patricia Anne is counting the days before her pregnant daughter returns from Warsaw with her new husband.

Patricia Anne and her spouse Fred, and Mary Alice and her fiancé, Virgil are going to the Alabama Theater to see the latest acts that include an Elvis impersonator. From the vantage point of their front row seat they see one of the Elvis¿s keel over and falls into the orchestra pit. It was later discovered that he was murdered with a switchblade, which Patricia Anne found days later lying in her purse. Once Patricia Anne becomes involved to that extent, the Southern sisters are not going to rest until they find who the murderer is and just as important, why the weapon was dropped in the purse.

Fans of down home southern regionals will love MURDER BOOGIES WITH ELVIS. Although the ambiance of the deep South is captured to perfection, the background does not overwhelm the plot in way. Instead it adds an extra dose of atmosphere to the story line as well as fleshing out the characters so that the reader will know what they are feeling. There is a lot of humor in Anne George¿s latest mystery that will have the audience laughing out loud especially the scenes between the two sisters.

Harriet Klausner