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Highball Exit (2012)

by Phyllis Smallman(Favorite Author)
3.77 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
1927129796 (ISBN13: 9781927129791)
languge
English
publisher
TouchWood Editions
review 1: Billed as “a traditional mystery series serving Jack Daniels instead of tea,” this is the fifth in Phyllis Smallman’s Sherri Travis mysteries. The protagonist, who co-owns a restaurant/bar with her lover, Clay Adams, is going through difficult financial times in the current economy, and uneasy romantic times in her relationship with Clay. As the book opens, “Aunt” Kay arrives at Sherri’s house in a police cruiser, and tells Sherri that her former waitress, 21-year-old Holly Mitchell, has been found dead, in what the police declare to be a suicide: There was what appears to be a suicide note with an empty highball glass sitting on it; it is their belief that she washed down some pills with a strong drink. Three months behind in mortgage payments, and terrifi... moreed that she will lose the Sunset Bar & Grill, she finds a temporary solution to that problem when Aunt Kay persuades her to look into the young woman’s death, made more urgent by the fact that there is no sign of Holly’s baby, telling her that she will take care of the outstanding payments if Sherri will give her a week of her time.Now thirty-one, Sherri’s life had not been an easy one: Married when she was 19, she had survived the murder of her cheating husband, been kidnapped by a psychopath, and now takes martial arts classes, goes to the shooting range, and is never without her can of pepper spray, in spite of all of which she regularly suffers from panic attacks. Her current inquiries puts her life in danger from totally unexpected quarters, as she enters a world of drugs, sex workers, and perversion, but she is determined to get to the bottom of Holly’s death and to find her baby. The book is filled with interesting characters, starting with Elvis, “the only egret in all Florida who preferred hotdogs to fish;” feisty “Auntie” Kay, who had known Sherri from the age of five; Sherri’s father, Tully, and Sherri’s former mother-in-law, Bernice, who are now romantically involved, to Sherri’s consternation.This was a thoroughly entertaining novel, and it is recommended.
review 2: Book 5, in the Sherri Travis mystery seriesMs. Smallman definitely has oodles of ideas to keep her series vibrant and entertaining. You would think that after 5 novels her bartender protagonist, Sherri Travis, would learn she has enough trouble of her own and not get involved in the madness around her, but some people are just not cut out that way….. The inspiration behind this wonderful series is taken from the numerous headlines we witness in the news, in my opinion, the author is not about to run out of ideas. Local wildlife and weather conditions such as alligators and hurricanes always play an important part in spicing up the action and of course there is always a light touch of romance to titillate the reader’s imagination.In this saga Sherri is behind on her mortgage and about to lose the Sunset Bar & Grill, her home and source of revenue. To the rescue comes Aunt Kay with a proposition: she is willing to compensate Sherri for help in an investigation as to what really happened to Holly Mitchell and her daughter Angel. Aunt Kay was very fond of Holly and played an important part in her upbringing. They always kept in touch and when Holly was found dead and her baby girl missing, Aunt Kay was devastated. To Sherri this seems like easy money till one day she finds herself over her head in a world of drugs and hard core prostitution. I have always been partial to the style of writing in this series: it is sharp, funny and the plot keeps a steady pace with plenty of suspenseful moments throughout. “Highball Exit” is a bit more violent than the previous novels however the gruesome details have not been sensationalised. I love the new addition to the cast. Aunt Kay is a bubbly old lady with a colourful side (shocking pink outfit and all) but don’t let that fool you. In my view she really was the star in this novel and I hope to see her back someday. Sherri’s beau is still making promises and we are left wondering if he is going to finally settle down and make Sherri’s life a little bit easier. less
Reviews (see all)
Nirfolis
As always a very enjoyable read. Kudos Phyllis, keep them coming!
leba
Adequately written and entirely forgettable.
marieyl
Funny
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