I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Officer Elvis by Gary Gusick
Series: Darla Cavannah #2
Published by Alibi on April 26, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
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In the vein of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, Gary Gusick takes readers on an explosive ride-along with Mississippi detective Darla Cavannah, a Yankee transplant making her name in the Deep South.
After performing at a local old-folks home, off-duty police officer and part-time Elvis impersonator Tommy Reylander smoothes out his pompadour, climbs into his pink Caddy, and gets all shook up—fatally so, when a bomb explodes. Whether he was killed for his police work or bad singing is a mystery that detective Darla Cavannah is determined to solve.
Though it’s been several years since Darla (reluctantly) partnered up with Tommy, she convinces her boss to let her lead the murder investigation. As the new regional director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Shelby Mitchell can think of better uses for his star detective’s time, but not even the most hardened good ole boy can resist Darla’s smart, savvy persuasions. She soon embarks on a roller coaster ride through the world of Elvis tribute artists while tracking down one of the most bizarre serial killers in the history of the Magnolia State. Aiding her pursuit of the killer is recently reprimanded officer Rita Gibbons, fresh from the trailer park and described by Shelby as “half a licorice stick short in the manners department.” But Rita’s plenty smart, even when this case takes their suspicious minds in an entirely unexpected direction.
Darla Cavannah is back, this time as a lieutenant for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, still working under Shelby who’s the regional director. She’s investigating the murder of her former hapless partner who also moonlighted as an Elvis impersonator.
Gusick again manages to capture the endearing aspects of the Southern locale, from the vernacular to the politics and social customs of the community. The case is interesting, taking some interesting turns while immersed in the fandom of Elvis Presley and the world of his impersonators.
I really enjoyed this story and how it deftly fused mystery and suspense with intelligent humor. The characters are creatively and expertly developed, providing me with a truly pleasurable reading experience. And, if you haven’t read the first book, you won’t be lost as the continuity is summarized succinctly and sufficiently. However, that one was a gem, too, so I’d make a point of reading it.
Bring on the next book!
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