Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Review: Murder on a Girls’ Night Out by Anne George

Mary Alice flung her purse on my kitchen table, where it landed with a crash, pulled a stool over to the counter and perched on it.
[First Sentence]

Murder on a Girls’ Night Out by Anne George
Avon Mystery, 1996
Crime Fiction (MYS); 244 pgs

From the Publisher:
Patricia Anne -- "Mouse" -- is respectful, respectable, and demure, a perfect example of genteel Southern womanhood. Mary Alice -- "Sister" -- is big, brassy, flamboyant, and bold. Together they have a knack for finding themselves in the center of some of Birmingham's most unfortunate unpleasantness.

Country Western is red hot these days, so overimpulsive Mary Alice thinks it makes perfect sense to buy the Skoot 'n' Boot bar -- since that's where the many-times-divorced "Sister" and her boyfriend du jour like to hang out anyway. Sensible retired schoolteacher Patricia Anne is inclined to disagree -- especially when they find a strangled and stabbed dead body dangling in the pub's wishing well. The sheriff has some questions for Mouse and her sister Sister, who were the last people, besides the murderer, of course, to see the ill-fated victim alive. And they had better come up with some answers soon -- because a killer with unfinished business has begun sending them some mighty threatening messages...

Comments: I cannot remember where I first heard about this particular series, but I have had a copy of this book sitting in my TBR collection for quite some time. I added it to my 1st in a Series Challenge list in hopes of finally getting to it—and I am so glad I did. Anne George’s novel is both funny and charming.

I adore the main character, Patricia Anne, and her husband Fred. They both reminded me a bit of my husband and me in the way they interact and talk with each other. Mary Alice, Patricia Anne’s sister, is both eccentric and a hoot. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the interactions between the two sisters. The banter between the two, barbed at times and sweet at others, set the mood of the book nicely. The Southern setting was especially alluring.

The mystery itself was interesting and kept me guessing for the most part. I did figure out bits and pieces here and there, but the outcome was not quite as simple as one might expect in a cozy mystery such as this.

I definitely am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. If the other books are anything like Murder on a Girls' Night Out, they are sure to be delightful fun.

Rating: * (Very Good)

Check out the author's official fan website for more information about her books.


  1. Never heard about the series. I find the cover a little odd.

  2. I've read, and enjoyed, all of these books. It was so sad when Anne George passed away.

  3. After reading this review, I am all for rreading a murder mystery. I have not done that for a long time!


    BTW, I have read/reviewed three short stories by Adichie. Please check my blog whenever you have time.

  4. Patricia Anne, Fred and Mary Alice sound like characters I'd like!

  5. I love Anne George. I already have this on my TBR list. I'm glad you liked it because that moves it up on my list.

  6. Love a cozy mystery! My favorites are published by Prime Crime (Berkeley).

  7. Aha! Finally, a book I've read. ;)
    I really enjoyed this one, although not enough to continue reading the series. By the time I read it, I was about to hit the wall when it came to mysteries. Still, I liked it enough that I was really sad when I heard the author had died -- not too long after I read this book.

  8. I've not seen this one before, Wendy. I might check it out one day. :)

  9. I heard so much about the series that I added it to my TBR. I'm glad you liked this book.

  10. Sounds like a good read, Wendy! I'll have to check out this series. :D BTW, I love the colourful cover.

  11. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, Wendy. It's one of my favorite series.

  12. Cathy - I can see why it's among your favorites. It's got just the right amount of humor mixed in with everything else.

    Melody - I hope you will check it out. It's a fun little series.

    Yvonne - It definitely made for a good choice after reading Out.

    Alice - I hope you do!

    Nancy - Isn't it nice not to have to add one to the ol' wish list for a change? I remember when Anne George died. It's always sad to hear of an author's death, especially one you are familiar with.

    Jen - There are some good ones out there!

    Nikki - I hope you will like it when you get to it!

    Shana - They are so much fun! I read somewhere that Patricia Anne is a lot like the author herself. I may have a new author to add to my lunch invite list the next time that question comes up!

    Gautami - It's a fun series. :-) I printed out a short story by Adichie recently, but I haven't had a chance to get to it yet. Maybe this weekend.

    Kathy - It was sad. I hadn't read any of her books at that point, but I had heard of her and knew I wanted to try her books one day. I am glad you enjoyed the series.

    Violet - It's quite colorful anyway. It doesn't really say much about the book other than perhaps that it has a little something to do with a country western bar.

  13. What a fun cover and a great sounding book!!

  14. I've got this on my TBR list based on a couple of other positive reviews I've seen. Good to hear you liked it too.


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