The Consignment Shop Mystery Series by Duffy Brown is yet another of the most recommended Cozy Mystery series in our monthly recommendations. The first book from the series is Iced Chiffon from 2012 and the series is already up to book five. (Great news for us!)
In Iced Chiffon we are introduced to the heroine, Reagan Summerside, whose mother is a local judge and a staunch Republican (thus the name “Reagan”). Reagan has just recently divorced from Hollis Beaumont, a seemingly well-off and well-connected in Savannah, real estate broker. The marriage lasted seven years. Against the stern advice from her mother, Reagan had married Hollis and had signed a prenuptial agreement that had left her pretty much destitute after the divorce. The only things she has left are her house (which her ex-husband has agreed to sign over but has not yet done so in the first book) and some of her clothes.
The book opens with Reagan living in her much loved sparsely furnished Victorian house that she and Hollis had bought and that she has partially refinished. Most of the furnishings have gone to pay some of her bills, and she is going through her clothes to take them to a consignment shop to pay even more bills. Instead, she eventually opens her own consignment shop (the Prissy Fox) due to the rapidly spreading of the word that Reagan has some nice designer clothes to sell. When she discovers the body of her ex-husband’s new girlfriend in front of her house in his car’s trunk, not only does the hunt for the killer begin, but Reagan’s new business gets some free publicity! (Hmmm, I think it’s a good thing…)
Our plucky heroine gets involved in solving the mystery to prevent her house from needing to be sold to pay for Hollis’ attorney fees when he (inevitably) is arrested for the murder. Reagan, along with her Aunt Kiki (who conveniently lives and runs a dance studio right next door), begins searching for clues and suspects in order to get her ex-husband off before the attorney’s fees rack up too high.
Set in and around a district with lovely historic homes in Savannah, Georgia, Reagan and her Aunt Kiki make a classic modern Cozy Mystery sleuth duo. With those two, along with Reagan’s practical, stern, and political mother, and Reagan’s two retired teacher neighbors who make money being paid to attend wakes, there are plenty of interesting recurring characters to get to know. (Yes, that’s what I said! Paid mourners!)
And, there is the handsome ex-gang member lawyer, Walker Boone. Walker represented Reagan’s ex in their divorce proceeding and has been retained to defend him over the murder charge. Reagan can’t stand Walker Boone because of the divorce negotiations where she lost practically everything. But she has to work with him (after a fashion) to try to get her ex-husband off before the attorney fees skyrocket and she loses her house. A handsome lawyer with a bad-boy past whom our heroine hates but has to work with. Hmm, I wonder where that leads?
Duffy Brown’s Consignment Shop Mystery Series is frequently recommended in our monthly recommendations >>> and I know why. It is a modern Cozy series with interesting and quirky but not too kooky characters. It has a setting filled with southern charm (and possible romance), with a sleuth who adopts a stray dog, is not daunted by having to take the bus (she has sold her car) to search for clues, and stops at nothing to get the truth to save her house and business. Recommended for anyone looking for a light and fun modern Cozy Mystery read.
P.S. If you’d like to see other entries about some of the most recommended Cozy Mystery authors, be sure to check out the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.