Murder Makes Waves (Southern Sisters Series #4)

Murder Makes Waves (Southern Sisters Series #4)

4.5 20
by Anne George, Ruth Ann Phimister
     
 

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Birmingham, Alabama, is a great place to call home, but even practical-minded Patricia Anne is feeling a need to get out of her rut and - sibling rivalry aside - a vacation with Mary Alice in her luxury beachfront condo in Destin, Florida, sounds like heaven. Their friend Frances and Patricia Anne's widowed daughter Haley jump at the chance to join them, so Patricia… See more details below

Overview

Birmingham, Alabama, is a great place to call home, but even practical-minded Patricia Anne is feeling a need to get out of her rut and - sibling rivalry aside - a vacation with Mary Alice in her luxury beachfront condo in Destin, Florida, sounds like heaven. Their friend Frances and Patricia Anne's widowed daughter Haley jump at the chance to join them, so Patricia Anne kisses her ever-loving spouse Fred good-bye, with instructions for watering the plants and feeding the dog, and the girls pack up the car and head south for some fun in the sun. No one's against a little excitement, least of all Mary Alice, and watching the sun go down on the beautiful shores of the Gulf of Mexico looks pretty tame...until a dead body washes up in the gentle waves. Since Mary Alice has managed to make the acquaintance of just about everyone in sight, the murder victim is no stranger to the sisters and they feel obliged to find the killer. But with no witnesses to the crime except a few great blue herons, the sisters have no choice but to bypass the clueless police and follow their own instincts down a murky trail of dirty real-estate deals, giant sea turtle habitats, and enough big money interests to point to a mammoth motive for murder.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A pair of delightful and witty sisters, both in their sixties, captivate the nativesand nearly everyone elsewhen they go sleuthing in Florida. Wealthy "big" sister Mary Alice (6', 250 lbs.) invites "little" sister (5'1", 105 lbs.) and two others to share her condo and enjoy the beach, but their discovery of a mangled body interrupts the fun. The body belongs to Mary Alice's neighbor, a woman whose recent foray into real estate development may have led to disaster. Enjoyable characters and light humor compensate for a plot that's hardly uniqueand Florida still has a singular attraction. The first of this series (Murder on a Girl's Night Out, LJ 2/1/96) to hit hardcover.
Kirkus Reviews
Not too many waves, though—just enough to put a dent in the vacation that retired schoolteacher Patricia Anne Hollowell and her much-married sister, Mary Alice Crane, have planned with their friend Frances Zata and Patricia Anne's daughter Haley. Mary Alice (she's Sister, the hefty one with the dyed hair and the brassy laugh) owns a condo in the almost-fashionable Florida fishing village of Destin that seems to offer her and Patricia Anne (she's Mouse, the petite one) a respite from the dreary round of kudzu, barbecue, and Piggly Wigglys back home in Alabama. So the ladies pile into their car and arrive at Destin, land of Gulf sunsets and land fraud, just in time to admire resident manager Millicent Weatherby's new makeover before she gets killed. The obvious suspect is Millicent's incorrigibly flirtatious husband Fairchild, but a little nosing around—well, enough nosing around to uncover a second body—suggests that Millicent's surprisingly extensive holdings in the Blue Bay Ranch development made her vulnerable to a wide array of miscreants. Even so, the emphasis in the sisters' hardcover debut—they're veterans of three paperbacks—is on their domestic fun (with no men around, they take breaks from driving whenever they like, and Mouse gets her own hair disastrously dyed); the mystery carries about as much weight as a nice bit of gossip at a family reunion.

A regional aimed at Joan Hess's fans, though considerably gentler in its bite.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780788754579
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
11/28/2001
Series:
Southern Sisters Series, #4
Edition description:
Unabridged, 6 cassettes, 540 minutes

Read an Excerpt

Murder Makes Waves Chapter One

She looks good, doesn't she, Patricia Anne, in spite of being dead," my sister, Mary Alice, whispered.

"Shhh," I answered. But Sister is not easily shushed.

"Don't you hate it when they give dead people those fakey smiles? You know. Stuffing their cheeks like Marlon Brando. Couldn't say a word if they had to."

The lady in front of us turned around. "Shhh."

"Sorry," I murmured. And to Mary Alice, "Shhh" again, accompanied this time by a small nudge with my elbow.

The closed gray casket was blanketed in a simple arrangement of spring flowers and greenery. It loomed large in the small stone chapel. There was no music to comfort the mourners, though the stillness was broken by an occasional muffled sob. In the front row, the widower, his young face frozen, sat holding the hands of his two little girls.

And then a stir as Father Patrick O'Reilly entered through a side door and took his place at the altar, directly above the casket. In the dim light, for no sun shone through the windows this day, his white robe seemed blue. He held out his arms in supplication.

"My friends, our sympathy is extended to the family of Sarah Lane Goodall. She was a very special presence on this earth and she will be missed. We welcome you to this service in her memory. May we pray."

Every head in the chapel was bowed. The little girls on the front row leaned closer to their father.

"Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, You willingly gave Yourself up to death so that all people might be saved and pass from death into a new life."

Beside me, Mary Alice began to sniffle.

"Listen to ourprayers, look with love on Your people who mourn for their dead sister. Lord Jesus, You alone are holy and compassionate: forgive our sister her sins."

"She didn't do anything that bad!" Mary Alice whispered loudly.

"Shut up!" I whispered back.

"Do not let our sister be parted from You, but by Your glorious power give her light, joy, and peace in heaven where You live forever and ever. Amen."

Mary Alice sobbed loudly into a Kleenex. '1t was just that one time and her husband wasn't paying her any attention. Ignoring her."

The woman in front of us turned around again. I thought she was going to tell Sister to hush again. Instead she said, "I'm glad the priest got there in time to hear her confession. Maybe she'll still make it into heaven."

"I wonder how much repenting it takes," Mary Alice said. "Shhh," came from all directions.

Mary Alice looked over her shoulder. "Well, it's some thing some people need to know."

"Y'all shut up," I said to the two. "You're disturbing everybody in the theater." I handed the popcorn to Mary Alice. "Here."

On the screen, ghosts pushed their way between the mourners. For a moment I was confused, then I remembered they were characters who had died during the earlier part of the movie. Sort of like Our Town, I realized, minus the umbrellas.

The camera panned on the guilty man as he sneaked into the back of the church His shifty eyes, slicked back hair, and bow tie were a dead giveaway.

"Looka there, Patricia Anne." Mary Alice poked me in the arm. "You'd think he'd be ashamed to show his face."

"He'll get his comeuppance," the woman in front assured us.

"Shhh," the people around us again demanded.

I'd had enough distractions. I spotted an aisle seat several rows back and moved while Father O'Reilly was intoning, "Hail! Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve."

Unfortunately, Mary Alice realized the seat beside her was empty. "Mouse?" she whispered my nickname loudly.

"Mouse!" the woman in front squealed.

"Mouse!" There was a lot of shuffling for belongings then a general exodus for the doors. In the commotion, I almost missed seeing the ghosts usher the villain from the chapel for his comeuppance, which, as far as I could tell, consisted of him being ushered to hell by some black goblins. A religiously eclectic movie, to say the least.

"Now that was some movie," Mary Alice said when the lights came on in the nearly empty theater, and she had come up the aisle to meet me. "I swear, though, I don't think I've ever seen so much talkingthen all that coming and going. Somebody ought to complain to the manager."

Copyright ) 1997 by Anne George

Murder Makes Waves. Copyright © by Anne George. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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What People are saying about this

Jill Churchill
Laugh-out-loud fun.
Carolyn Hart
Anne Geoge's southern mysteries sparkle with wit, ambience, and the cleverest set of sister-sleuths in history. I love these books.

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