Book Review

If You’re a Lover of Short Crime Fiction, Then This Book Is a Must-Read for You

Book: Sweet Southern Charm – A Short Murder Mystery
Genre: Mystery thriller
Author: Lanie Goodell
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Stavyah Vatsarah

Sweet Southern Charm by indie author Lanie Goodell is not as sweet as its title is. It’s a murder mystery after all, so it’s supposed to be anything but sweet! The incredibly fast-paced story proves to be an interesting read though. At least, I found the story refreshing; and after reading the story, I got the feeling of having read a crime novel in its entirety.

I suppose the reason for my feeling so is that Ms Goodell variegates the story by adding elements of mystery, romance, love, hate, and friendship – elements that you are sure to find in a crime novel. Furthermore, she does a great job of transporting the reader to the scenes she describes powerfully, employing crisp adjectives and vivid verbs. I took about half an hour to complete reading the book, but if you happen to be a slow reader, you might take about forty to fifty minutes to finish it, that is, if you read it in one go.

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Two Murders With Striking Similarities

Sweet Southern Charm begins with an interaction between Janet Cramer, a ‘trashy’ woman living in a posh locality, and Chester Barfield, a guy masquerading as an employee of a company that offers a free assessment of personal security. The latter manages to make an entry to the former’s house, and it is what ensues that makes the story. Janet is found murdered, and investigator Georgia Beaumont and her subordinate Collin Cavanaugh are consequently roped in to figure out who perpetrated the crime. While the story on the one hand fast unravels the mystery, it also details the love-hate relationship Georgia and Collin share on the other.

Investigating the neighbours of the victim does form an integral part of the story, which also witnesses another murder bearing striking similarities to the first. A lady around the same age as Janet’s is found dead, and her body, like that of Janet, bears no wounds. Also, an eerie resemblance exists in the manner in which the dead bodies are left after the murder. All of this indicates that the perpetrator is a professional who knows his job well.

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The Missing Link Does the Magic

Nonetheless, there is something that Georgia seems to be missing, something that she feels can provide a crucial link between the two cases. This ‘missing link’ adds magic to the story, thereby ensuring the reader continues to read with rapt attention. And why the book is titled the way it is titled is known thereupon.

Having said this, I think it is also important for me to mention that I unearthed the suspense halfway through, so a large part of my reading happened only to find out if what I had surmised was correct.

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Give It a Read!

I would recommend this book to lovers of crime fiction who don’t have the time to sit through a long novel or who are perhaps looking forward to reading something interesting before hitting the hay. I myself happened to read this book last night, and I did not regret picking it up. You can download the book by clicking here. It is free on Kindle Unlimited.

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