Mama Does Time (Mace Bauer Mystery Series #1)

Mama Does Time (Mace Bauer Mystery Series #1)

by Deborah Sharp


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"Who knew that a who-dun-it would not only keep you guessing—but have you laughing! Deborah Sharp is the new Edna Buchanan."—Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of NBC's Today show

Meet Mama: a true Southern woman with impeccable manners, sherbet-colored pantsuits, and four prior husbands, able to serve sweet tea and sidestep alligator attacks with equal aplomb. Mama's antics—especially her penchant for finding trouble — drive her daughters Mace, Maddie, and Marty to distraction.

One night, while settling in to look for ex-beaus on COPS , Mace gets a frantic call from her mother. This time, the trouble is real: Mama found a body in the trunk of her turquoise convertible and the police think she's the killer. It doesn't help that the handsome detective assigned to the case seems determined to prove Mama's guilt or that the cowboy who broke Mace's heart shows up at the local Booze & 'n' Breeze in the midst of the investigation. Before their mama lands in prison—just like an embarrassing lyric from a country-western song—Mace and her sisters must find the real culprit.


  • NBC's Today Show from November 4, 2008
  • Mayor's Book Talk " from January 14, 2009
  • NBC6 "South Florida Today " from July 17, 2009
  • NBC's Today Show from August 4, 2009


"Mama Does Time is a humorous, touching reflection on familial love and politics."—Mystery Scene Magazine

"With a strong, funny heroine, colorful characters, and a look at a part of Florida the tourists rarely see, Deborah Sharp has an engaging new series. Make sure Mama Does Time does time on your bookshelf."—Elaine Viets, author of Clubbed to Death: a Dead-End Job Mystery

"Not since the late Anne George has there been such laugh-out-loud Southern fried fun. Deborah Sharp's Mama Does Time is a hilarious page turner with crisp and intelligent writing."—Sue Ann Jaffarian, author of the Odelia Grey Mystery series

"Deborah Sharp's witty way with words makes Mama Does Time as much fun as a down-home visit with your quirky Florida cousins."—Nancy Martin, author of the Blackbird Sisters Mysteries

"Colorful characters and a segment of Florida seldom seen by tourists evoke a Southern Sisters feeling in this very well written Southern fried epic...A winner."—

"The author's surname—Sharp—is an apt adjective to describe her writing. Her characters crackle off the page."—Cozy Library

"Deborah Sharp has an eye for character...She's funny, perceptive, and entertaining. What more can a cozy reader ask for?"—Reviewing the Evidence

"Newcomer Deborah Sharp will knock your socks off with this clever cozy mystery."—Fresh Fiction

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738713298
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 10/01/2008
Series: Mace Bauer Series , #1
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Like the main character in her “Mace Bauer Mysteries,’’ her family roots were set in Florida long before Disney or Miami Vice. As a native and former reporter for USA Today, she knows the spots not found on maps: Molasses Junction. Muse, and now, Himmarshee, her own tiny slice of “Authentic Florida.’’

To create Himmarshee, Deborah borrowed from the present-day ranching town of Okeechobee, and from the south Florida of her family’s past.

Not far from Ft. Lauderdale, her dad used to walk to town, leading the family cow. A generation later, Deborah rode her horse over the same citrus- and ranch-dotted terrain. Now, it’s all interstates and strip malls.

The difference between Mace’s hometown and hers: Deborah will never let Himmarshee be spoiled by sprawl.

The News-Press in Fort Myers gave Deborah her first job, in 1982. Her favorite assignment: getting cast as a zombie when Day of the Dead filmed on Sanibel Island. Her fellow extras raved about her lurching.

A News-Press bonus: she met TV reporter Kerry Sanders in Immokalee, both of them shivering at dawn to see whether a winter freeze would ruin the green pepper crop. They’ve been married since 1989. No kids; no pets, but had goldfish once. Turned out badly—not a good omen for higher life forms.

When they moved back to Deborah’s hometown in 1991, the occasional stories she’d been writing for USA Today became a flood. Miami’s loony nature gives it a lock on headlines.

And then, 9/11, and everything changed. One of her last assignments before she left the paper was profiling soldiers killed in war. Grieving parents; spouses; kids. She couldn’t absorb all that sadness anymore.

So, at age fifty, fiction-writing beckoned. She’d get to determine the endings. Punish the bad and reward the good. And, she’d throw in some romance, too.

She likes writing about Mama because the character makes her laugh. And doesn’t everyone need a smile now and then?


◊ NBC's Today Show from November 4, 2008

◊ "Mayor's Book Talk" from January 14, 2009

◊NBC6 "South Florida Today." from July 17, 2009

◊NBC's Today Show from August 4, 2009

◊ WJXT-TV from November 17, 2009

◊ NBC's Today Show from August 24, 2010

◊ NBC's Today Show from December 28, 2011

Customer Reviews

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Mama Does Time 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 334 reviews.
mysterybooks More than 1 year ago
Deborah Sharp's latest book Mama Does Time is a thrilling book about a local murder. A mom of three kids is caught with a body in the trunk of her car. Her car was parked at dairy queen when a by passer saw a hand sticking out of the trunk. This story takes you on a wild ride as you try to figure this crime out. Is she guilty or was she framed? If you read this I guarantee you will enjoy this suspenseful novel as the truth unfolds.
DavidWile More than 1 year ago
And Mace is Everyman's idea of their favorite girl next door. Actually, Mace reminds me of some of my wife's best qualities. How could I not love a story based on my best thoughts of my favorite gal, my wife? Besides Mama's daughter, Mace, Mama also has two more neat daughters, Maddie and Marty, who add more depth. I hope to see more stories with Mama and her three gals. ----- Best wishes, Dave Wile.
Mona Bultena More than 1 year ago
This book is a Hoot! I loved it!
iesmith26 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! The characters were original and the storyline fun...made me laugh out loud! I can't wait for the next one...
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
"Mama Does Time" by Deborah Sharp is faced paced novel has quite a few colorful and quirky characters. Set in Florida, Mama gets arrested because a dead body is found in the trunk of her car and her three daughters including Mace Bauer come to her rescue. It is a mystery so there are a few twists; but it is also an entertaining look at small town Florida. It is a quick read to snuggle up on your couch and finish in one weekend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining.
Roososs More than 1 year ago
The characters are different & extremely interesting. The "Who Done it" part does holds your attention from the beginning, but it is a little slow going during the 1st quarter of the story. If you can reach the half way point it improves greatly. It does become hard to put down from the middle to the end. I do look forward to seeing if the 2nd book of this series is as good or better.
reading More than 1 year ago
I haven't laughed out loud since I read Janet Evanovich's last book. The main character, Mama, is your typical deep south, head of the family, pant suit wearing, married 4 times lady. Even Carl Hiaasen couldn't think up this character. When she finds a body in her blue convertible trunk, it is up to her girls to get her out of this mess, and as they say "Hilarity ensues".
bella55075 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a great 1st in a new series. It was hilarious and full of twists turns. I really liked this book.Three sisters and one Southern Belle Momma, solve a murder. When Mace's mother is arrested for murder, she is out to clear her name. Along with her 2 sisters, Mace begins to investigate who could have killed Jimmy. Poor Detective Martinez, he never saw these four ladies coming. Detective Martinez is having a hard time adjusting to living in a small town after being an officer in Miami. Then he makes his life even more upsetting by locking up The Bauer sisters, Momma.
momgee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Himmarshee, Florida, the setting for this new series ,may be a small town but it is brimming with colorful characters with lots of secrets. Mama, having enjoyed the delights at the local Dairy Queen, is wrongly accused of murder when an unidentified body is found in the trunk of her ¿big as a cruise ship ¿car. She frantically calls her middle daughter, Mace, to come to the police station to straighten out this little misunderstanding. Mace arrives with alacrity and confronts Detective Martinez, the handsome new officer in town. Mace¿s two sisters, Maddie and Marty arrive and add to the mayhem. The daughters are mystified as to how Martinez could possibly believe their Mama, former Sunday School teacher, southern belle when she wanted to be, could commit murder. Everyone loves Mama, hasn¿t she been married four times and has prospect number 5 in sight? Isn¿t she always well dressed in perfectly coordinated clothing? Wasn¿t she playing Bingo at the Seminole reservation with a witness? Nevertheless, she has to spend some time in jail !! Not being one to let the police pursue the investigation without interference, Mace begins to look into the murder and finds there is more than one person who had the opportunity and, more importantly, the motive to want the victim dead. When it turns out the murdered man was Jimmy Albert , facts turn up he was not who everyone thought he was. What they thought was he was just the short term fiance of Emma Jean, receptionist at the police station. Martinez reluctantly concedes he needs to look elsewhere and Mama is sprung from the slammer. Although threats and warnings ensue, the sisters continue to look into who murdered Jimmy and why someone is trying to get them to stop putting their noses where they don`t belong. What follows is a highly entertaining story of kidnapping, disappearance, and more hi jinks with all three sisters and Mama involved. There is even an incident involving Ollie, the one eyed alligator. With lots of local color at the Hair Today, Dyed Tomorrow beauty shop, the Abundant Hope church ,the Speckled Perch and the Pork Pit, the reader is taken on a rollicking romp through small town Florida¿s back roads ,swamps and wildlife parks. Lots of secrets and confessions are revealed along the way in this well crafted cozy. Add some undercurrents of budding and rekindled romances . Throw in a tight plot full of red herrings , clues ,a heart thumping denouement and round it out with a cast of well drawn , credible, likeable characters, a few four legged friends and you have the recipe for a non-stop fun read. Highly recommended!
Squeex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
People, people, people!! If you dig a supremely funny and well thought out mystery, get this book! I laughed myself pee-less throughout my time. It was my bedside book, so I went to sleep each night with a big grin on my face. I was pleased with how the main character became an amateur sleuth. Mace knows Mama did not murder the man found in her trunk and, so, is drawn into the investigation to protect her mama from the big bad big city police detective newly arrived from Miami. Mace and her sisters know everyone in their small town and set about asking questions, much to the possible endangerment of Mace and her sisters. I kept thinking I knew who the bad guy was and I totally dug it that I was wrong and did a 'What the...??!" at the big reveal. I am Southern by proxy (DH is from Virginia/Tennessee border) and I lived in Louisiana and Texas and Florida at varying times in my life and this may explain why I adore the Southern humor in the books I read...or it may just be that they, along with this gem, are just wonderfully written. My favorite character, besides Mace and Mama, would be Ollie the one-eyed gator in the park where Mace works. He has an interesting charisma about him. Read the book and find out...Five watch out for the gator, baby sparkly diamonds......
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Mace Bauer's quiet evening at home is interrupted when her mama calls from jail. It seems that Mama found a dead body in her trunk, and naturally the police think that makes her the prime suspect. Can Mace prove otherwise? This is a fun debut filled with wonderful characters. I did feel the pacing was a bit slow, but overall, I enjoyed it.
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Not worth the money.
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A fun read for mystery buffs.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quirky characters, a twisty turny plot line... the result is a fun read! Looking forward to another book about Mace and her adventures!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago