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Officer Elvis: A Darla Cavannah Mystery

Officer Elvis: A Darla Cavannah Mystery

3.7 7
by Gary Gusick
In the vein of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, Gary Gusick takes readers on an explosive ride-along with Mississippi detective Darla Cavannah, a Yankee transplant making her name in the Deep South.
After performing at a local old-folks home, off-duty police officer and part-time Elvis impersonator Tommy Reylander smoothes out his pompadour,


In the vein of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, Gary Gusick takes readers on an explosive ride-along with Mississippi detective Darla Cavannah, a Yankee transplant making her name in the Deep South.
After performing at a local old-folks home, off-duty police officer and part-time Elvis impersonator Tommy Reylander smoothes out his pompadour, climbs into his pink Caddy, and gets all shook up—fatally so, when a bomb explodes. Whether he was killed for his police work or bad singing is a mystery that detective Darla Cavannah is determined to solve.
Though it’s been several years since Darla (reluctantly) partnered up with Tommy, she convinces her boss to let her lead the murder investigation. As the new regional director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Shelby Mitchell can think of better uses for his star detective’s time, but not even the most hardened good ole boy can resist Darla’s smart, savvy persuasions. She soon embarks on a roller coaster ride through the world of Elvis tribute artists while tracking down one of the most bizarre serial killers in the history of the Magnolia State. Aiding her pursuit of the killer is recently reprimanded officer Rita Gibbons, fresh from the trailer park and described by Shelby as “half a licorice stick short in the manners department.” But Rita’s plenty smart, even when this case takes their suspicious minds in an entirely unexpected direction.

Praise for Officer Elvis
“With its comical Down South style and its wide variety of sequined, pompadoured characters, Officer Elvis is an intriguing mystery with more than its share of quirks. Even if you’re not a fan of the King, you’re sure to get plenty of laughs out of this rockin’ and rollin’ whodunit.”—Kristin Dreyer Kramer, NPR’s Shelf Discovery
“An absolute hoot from beginning to end . . . Be prepared to be all shook up by the ending.”—Reading Reality
“If you are a fan of Elvis, murder mysteries and could use a few good laughs at the same time, pick up this book and give it a read. You won’t be sorry.”—Open Book Society
“The region and societal habits are so present, the setting is like an additional character to the story. I stayed up an hour past my self-imposed bedtime to read more.”—Lilac Reviews

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Darla Cavannah , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Gary Gusick is the author of The Last Clinic. A former advertising executive with more than thirty years experience as a copywriter and creative director, Gusick has won numerous national and international awards for creative excellence in advertising.

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Officer Elvis: A Darla Cavannah Mystery 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
BarbiemacBM More than 1 year ago
Actually a 3 1/2 to 4. Good book with enjoyable characters and good story line. Fun read.
walc More than 1 year ago
BarbaraLyn More than 1 year ago
This is a murder mystery about Elvis tribute artists and is set in Mississippi.  What a combination!  According to the author, there are more than 85,000 such people. Darla Cavannah’s former partner and Elvis tribute artist has been murder.  She is leading the investigation for the MBI (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation).  Darla is teamed up with an officer, Rita Gibbons, who has been recently reprimanded.  Will the two of them be able to work as a team to resolve the murder? With a cast of characters, and I mean that in every sense of the word, you will need to stay alert to keep the who’s who straight.  The author uses good old southern food, trailer park mentality (which proves to be smarter than most people give credit for) and good police work to tell his story. You are taken inside Graceland and to a memorabilia shop that has overtones of a hoarder with all the Elvis items you would ever want and an owner who talks non-stop about Elvis. But is this just about the first murder or is there more to the story?  To find that out, you will have to read the book.
MaraBlaise More than 1 year ago
After a performance at old folks home, off duty police officer and part-time Elvis impersonator Tommy Reylander climbs into his pink Cadillac and is promptly blown to smithereens. Detective Darla Cavannah, who used to work with Tommy years ago, is determent to find his killer. Now she must go investigate all Tommy’s enemies. But when more Elvis impersonators is starting to die must Darla re-valuate the while case, is there someone out there who just do not like the King of Rock and Roll, or have something against Elvis impersonators? This cozy mystery book was actually a lot of fun to read. I liked Darla Cavannah, she’s a tough chick and she made a great team with Rita Gibbons, who is back out in the field after being reprimanded for crashing a department SUV during a chase. Rita is an Elvis fan and that was handy on this case on the case to have. Also, she is a funny character and Darla & Rita work great together. The case in itself was OK; I wasn’t completely taking in by it. Don’t take it wrong, I enjoyed reading the book and I would very much read more in this series. But it was a very lighthearted book and I prefer my crime novels to be a mix of light and dark or just dark. This felt a bit too whimsical for my taste. But it is a perfect book to read when you need something lighthearted in your life. But I must admit I was a bit surprised when it came to the killers identity, I don’t want to give the story away, but who he was supposed to be was a bit of surprise, especially since I don’t know much about the fellow in question he thought he was. Confusing? Yeah, but this is part of the plot and I just don’t want to give it away. So this book gets 3.5 stars. I actually changed the rating writing this review, gave it a half star more because I did enjoy the book!
seayomama More than 1 year ago
That was absolutely ridiculous…and just in the nick o’ time! Many thanks to Random House Alibi and Net Galley for the DRC. This second installment of the Darla Cavannah mystery series reads just fine as a stand-alone novel. I like to read several books at a time, and it was getting a little dark out there. The Blitzkrieg had broken out in the master bathroom, with Hitler’s troops having overrun Belgium and Poland and on into France. On my e-reader, Bull Connor had sent huge attack dogs and fire hoses against the teenagers of Birmingham, and Dr. King already understood he would not make it out of the struggle alive. And by bizarre coincidence, Elvis was already perched on my nightstand. We were in the Vegas years, and Priscilla said that on the nights he wasn’t performing, the man just ate and took pills out of boredom. And downstairs, even my fiction and humor were looking a trifle grim.In situations like that, some foot-stomping humor is not only welcome, but necessary. In Officer Elvis, someone has murdered an Elvis impersonator in Jackson, Mississippi. The case goes to Damn Yankee transplant Officer Darla Cavannah. “Damn Yankees were the ones who came to the South and stayed.” She is assisted by her newbie partner, Rita, who “…might be a licorice stick short in the judgment department, but she ain’t afraid of the devil.” Darla doesn’t fit in well in Jackson, but she has to stay because her husband is the last doctor in the state that will help women who want to terminate a pregnancy. If he leaves, they lose their access. And as if we hadn’t irony enough, Darla and her spouse are trying to get pregnant…but who has time? I will grant that my fondness for this ham-handed satire is assisted by my own Yankee urban snobbery; and yet, I did have an Aunt Sister and not one but two Uncle Brothers of whom I was quite fond, thank you very much, and so if you are a Southerner, you just might enjoy this as much as I did…bless your heart. It was a quick read and extremely accessible. Who doesn’t need a laugh? You get online now, and you order you a copy. It’s up for sale this very minute. It’s for your own good!
Ratbruce More than 1 year ago
This was a fun read. If you like crime fiction, characters with intriguing personality quirks  and mysteries laced with humor you can't go  wrong  with Officer Elvis 
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
A murderous rockin' fun read! When Darla Cavannah’s frenemy and ex-partner, nicknamed Officer Elvis, is murdered she sticks to the premise that, like Humphrey Bogart’s character in ‘The Maltese Falcon’, when your partner is murdered, you’re obliged to do something about it. He’d been at a venue performing as Elvis and was killed as he left. Assuming it wasn’t his abysmal performance that triggered this, Darla wants to investigate but her boss, Shelby, is reticent and only agrees if she’ll let Rita Gibbons partner her. In this case she uncovers a serial killer targeting Elvis tribute acts! This is a rock n’rolling multiple murder mystery – complete with mafia, crooked lawyers and mobsters in a spicy Mississipian tale. It has many laugh out loud moments and is a fun read despite the nature of the story. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.