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Bookish Ames

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
~~Louisa May Alcott

Gone With a Handsomer Man - Michael Lee West I'm not the biggest fan of mystery, especially something this cutesy, but I really enjoyed this book! Part of it was the setting, which is Charleston, South Carolina. Before having gone to Georgia, the way things are done in the South would not have made a big impact on me. But now having had a taste of the South, it makes a big difference in how I tackle books and characters from there. I really enjoyed this one because the characters seemed real to me.

Teeny Templeton is from Georgia but she is living in SC with her fiance, whom she has just discovered is cheating on her. In her anger, she throws some peaches at him and his skanks, which I guess is illegal is SC. So Teeny is brought up on assault charges and her ex takes out a restraining order against her. After she's put on probation, Teeny cannot go back to Bing's (her ex). But Bing's stepmother offers Teeny the old ancestral home, the Spencer-Jackson. I liked Miss Dora. She said things like "Oh poop!" and she called Bing 'Bing Laden'.
"The problem isn't Bing's feelings about this house," I said. "It's his feelings toward me."
"Darlin', I hate to be crude, but Bing Laden is sniffing after poontang. He's not thinking about you."

I love that line! LOL

So Teeny is at the Spencer-Jackson and trying to figure out where to go from her busted engagement. She needs to find a job and somewhere to live. But Bing's girlfriend is trying to sell the Spencer-Jackson out from underneath Teeny. And then Bing texts Teeny telling her he still loves her and to stop by his place. Teeny goes and Bing is dead in the kitchen. She's knocked out and when she wakes up and calls the cops, she's their number one suspect. Only someone is trying to kill her! With the help of her first love, Cooper, his wife (yes, his WIFE) and a surly private investigator, Teeny has to find the real murderer and bake a bunch of cakes!

I enjoyed this book. It reads super fast and I was kept guessing for a little bit before something tipped me off. That's always a good thing. I don't like feeling dumb when I can't figure out who the villain is. And Teeny is a very likeable character. She bakes and cooks to relax, the family cookbook is filled with poisonous recipes (just hypothetical of course) and as one character calls her, she's a homegirl. She's dependable, solid, sweet, and doesn't see much in herself (her momma took off when she was a young girl). And she's still in love with the first boy who broke her heart in high school. She's also quirky and thinks bad thoughts and had me cracking up a time. She also loves her dog, a sweet bulldog puppy named Sir. Awww.

Coop. I liked Coop. He was honest about why he broke up with her back in the day and he's honest now about wanting her back. He's a lawyer. But he's also married. To a British goddess archaeologist. LOL Who wants her man back! I liked Ava's character. But they've been separated for over a year!

My only complaint would be Coop - I wanted more from his perspective but this was told from Teeny's point of view. So yeah we get that he wanted her...but I didn't really take him at his word and I would have liked something more concrete from him at the end. And the ending was abrupt. Luckily I read this book now and not last year, so I don't have to wait a whole year for the follow up.

For a fun, quirky mystery with a fine dash of romance (yes, despite the hero being married to someone else) read this book.