The Southern sisters' cousin Pukey Lukey is in a terrible state. His wife, Virginia, has run off with a housepainting preacher. And that's just the start of his trouble. Because before Patricia Anne and Mary Alice can help Pukey Lukey find his beloved Virginia, they'll discover that all is not heavenly in the Church of Jesus Is Our Life and Heaven Hereafter, where the faithful are into snake-handling, the holy men are engaged in a venomous war, and a killer has left Pukey with a huge lump on his head -- and a dead redhead by his side.
Those sixtyish southern sisters Patricia Anne and Mary Alice get a call from their cousin Luke, who’s in despair, for his wife Virginia has run off with a preacher.
The sisters go with Luke to the church of Virginia’s "beloved." When Luke doesn’t come out, the sisters go in to find him unconscious near a dead woman on a pew. There’s no sign of Virginia.
The woman’s death does allow Mary Alice to meet Sheriff Virgil Stuckey. (She thinks he looks like Cary Grant, everyone else says Willard Scott.) Then Virginia’s car is discovered with another corpse in it, but still no Virginia.
Reading about these southern sisters is like a visit with old friends If you have never had the pleasure of meeting them, Murder Carries A Torch makes for an excellent starting point.
Beautifully captures the rhythm of this dialogue...interweaves humor with mystery and plain good writing to bring us a real vision of the time and place....I haven't been this excited about a mystery series since the Hardy Boys.
Petite Patricia Anne and hefty Mary Alice, series sister-sleuths in their sixties, hasten to the aid of their cousin Luke, whose wife has apparently run off with a painter. They search for the woman and discover a dead body in a "snake-handling" church; much-married Mary Alice meets and flirts with the investigating sheriff; police find the painter dead; and someone "hides" a rattlesnake in Mary Alice's car. Loads of excitement, then, accompanied by sisterly repartee, mostly humorous family complications and narrow escapes; light reading for most collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Here, again, comes Luke Nelson, a.k.a. Pukey Lukey, chronically carsick cousin to those redoubtable southern matrons Patricia Ann Hollowell and Mary Alice Crane (Murder Shoots the Bull, 1999, etc.). The sisters, just back from their Christmas visit to Patricia Ann's daughter Haley in Warsaw, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of David Anthony, first son of Mary Alice's daughter Debbie and naturally conceived sibling to her turkey-baster twins Fay and May. But family being family, they can't shrink from helping Lukey find his bride of 40-some years, Virginia, who ran off with Monk Crawford, itinerant preacher and part-time house painter who did just the best job on her soffits. Tracking the missing pair to the Church of Jesus is Our Life and Heaven Hereafter, where Monk ministers to the good people of Chandler Mountain by handling rattlesnakes and drinking strychnine, they find Monk isn't home; instead, laid neatly on a pew, is the body of his daughter-in-law Susan. Moved by Susan's downtrodden sister, Betsy Mahall, Patricia Ann sees fit to investigate, remarking all the way how childish and selfishnot to mention gluttonousher sister is (unlike her thoughtful, sensible, size-six self). But Mary Alice helps investigate, too, if only to impress her new beau, Sheriff Virgil Stuckey, smitten at his first sight of Mary Alice in the purple leather boots she brought back from Poland. Complaining about her sister's foibles leaves little time for detection, so it's lucky for Patricia Ann that the solution to the case virtually falls into her lap. But bewarethis southern saga is syrupy enough to upset tummies stronger than Luke's.