Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp is the first book in the new “Mace Bauer” mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, October 2008
Meet Mama: a true Southern woman with impeccable manners, sherbet-colored pantsuits, and four prior husbands, able to serve sweet tea and sidestep alligator attacks with equal aplomb. Mama’s antics — especially her penchant for finding trouble — drive her daughters Mace, Maddie, and Marty to distraction.
One night, while settling in to look for ex-beaus on COPS, Mace gets a frantic call from her mother. This time, the trouble is real: Mama found a body in the trunk of her turquoise convertible and the police think she’s the killer. It doesn’t help that the handsome detective assigned to the case seems determined to prove Mama’s guilt or that the cowboy who broke Mace’s heart shows up at the local Booze ‘n’ Breeze in the midst of the investigation. Before their mama lands in prison — just like an embarrassing lyric from a country-western song — Mace and her sisters must find the real culprit.
Mason Bauer, who works at a nature park, gets a call from her mama telling her she is jail because a body was found in her car trunk. Mace being the middle daughter calls her two sisters and one by one they arrive at the jail house where they immediately butt heads with the new detective who insists upon keeping their mother in jail. Because Mace is determined to find the killer who jeopardized her family, she is run off the road; someone threatens her mother’s prized pet and strange things are happening. With the assistance of her sisters and lawyer cousin, Mace helps the police find the killer. I really enjoyed this mystery with its funny cast of characters and Southern charm.