Kenni Lowry likes to think the zero crime rate in Cottonwood, Kentucky is due to her being sheriff, but she quickly discovers the ghost of her grandfather, the town’s previous sheriff, has been scaring off any would-be criminals since she was elected. When the town’s most beloved doctor is found murdered on the very same day as a jewelry store robbery, and a mysterious symbol ties the crime scenes together, Kenni must satisfy her hankerin’ for justice by nabbing the culprits.
With the help of her Poppa, a lone deputy, and an annoyingly cute, too-big-for-his-britches State Reserve officer, Kenni must solve both cases and prove to the whole town, and herself, that she’s worth her salt before time runs out.
Bubby: You know, I’ve never been to the southern US. Unless Florida counts, but I’m pretty sure that even if Florida DOES count, the Miami airport, Disney World and Universal Studios don’t count. I don’t think it has the same flavor as Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina and Kentucky, either. Now I’m sure there are lots of opinions out there about what’s South and what’s not, but I don’t care. Besides, almost everything is south of where I live anyway.
Sissy: Not Canada. Or Montana. Or Washington, Iceland…
Bubby: I SAID almost. Don’t you have something you want to say about the book?
Sissy: Maybe. I went to South Carolina for a few days one time. After only two days, I found myself speaking with a Southern accent. It’s addictive! The thing I loved most about Fixin’ To Die was the paranormal aspect. Kenni’s beloved Poppa, who was also the sheriff of Cottonwood, Kentucky at one time (before he died) is a fun surprise! Apparently he decided to keep hanging around post mortem to help her out. The way Poppa pops in and out (no pun intended) and feeds her bits of information and clues provides a great twist to the story.
Bubby: I think it’s great that Tonya Kappes put this paranormal element in, and I enjoyed how Kenni and Poppa interacted, but I kept thinking about how I would feel if my grandpa’s ghost was hanging out everywhere I went, giving me advice. The grandpa that comes to mind is actually my husband’s grandpa, but I loved him as much as if he had always been mine. I think the biggest issue with having him around would be that I’d be laughing inappropriately all the time. I enjoyed the sparks between Kenni and Finn, the State Reserve officer. It’s not a full-blown romance, but there’s a lot of subtle flirtation going on.
Sissy: Finn does seem rather attractive, although Kenni denies that for a long time. Her biggest problem is that she has to focus hard on solving the murder, not only for the sake of justice but also to prove herself as sheriff. Her parent’s disapproval doesn’t make that too easy for her. I also enjoyed the other characters populating Cottonwood, Kentucky, like quiet-but-useful Sterling and food truck maven Jolee. Speaking of food trucks–why do these Southern fiction protagonists get to eat all that delicious sounding fried and gravied food and still stay slim?
Bubby: Oh, the food! It must be lunchtime, because I can hardly think about Jolee’s food without drooling. Did you catch our last post where we made our versions of some of Jolee’s decadent dishes? Slap-your-mama delicious! I wasn’t completely surprised when the killer was revealed, but I enjoyed the trail of clues leading to that moment. All in all, a great beginning to this new series by Tonya Kappes. I can’t wait to see what happens next between Kenni and Finn.
Sissy: I also had my suspicions about the murderer, but the author kept throwing red herrings in my way to confuse me. I had to jog extra for our last food post because, did I mention that delicious Southern food is not low-calorie? But it sure is HIGH in taste! I had to slap myself, it was so good. Fixin To Die was so good too and I am looking forward to new adventures in Cottonwood with Kenni, Finn and of course, Poppa.
Click HERE to buy Fixin’ To Die by Tonya Kappes