Deborah Sharp’s “Mama” Marries Mayhem

“Mama Gets Hitched” by Deborah Sharp. Midnight Ink. 328 pages. $14.95.

As the curtain rises on the third installment of the Mace Bauer Mystery series, Mace’s mother, Rosalee, is doing a bridezilla number as she prepares for her fifth trip down the aisle. Along the way, she is driving Mace and her other daughters, scolding schoolmarm Maddie and sweetness Marty, bonkers. Her over-the-top wedding theme of Southern Belle pastel is truly garish, at least to Mace who is a plain clothes, tomboyish kind of gal. All are in a frenzy of preparation for the big day when suddenly Ronnie, the caterer, is found murdered.

Will murder in Himmarshee (Sharp’s version of Okeechobie, Florida) ruin Rosalee’s wedding? That question looms larger to some than that of whether the murderer will be brought to justice.

The crime throws Mace back into contact with her sometimes beau, Carlos Martinez, a Cuban-born Himmarshee policeman. As much as they care for each other, Mace and Carlos have had their misunderstandings, and they continue to annoy each other through much of this novel, providing grand opportunities for making up. However, the pinnacle of bickering is not between Mace and Carlos, but rather among the sisters and Rosalee. A good deal of the fun in Deborah Sharp’s series comes from her uproarious delineation of how family members who truly care about one another cannot avoid finding endless sources of conflict. The author’s dialogue of dispute, humiliation, and payback is high comedy, southern style.

To read the full review, as it appears in the July21-27, 2010 issue of the Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the July 22-28 issue of the Naples Florida Weekly, click here: Florida Weekly – Deborah Sharp (2)

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