As my loyal readers know, I am a big fan of stories with strong women. Josiah Reynolds and her friends are definitely that. Over the previous three books Josiah has been thrown off a cliff; her husband left her, taking off with all of her money; and her daughter became a professional thief. But she is a survivor and manages to keep going and keep her Southern bearing through everything that life tosses at her.
The first few chapters of Death by Bourbon were very confusing to me because the author does not give a lot of backstory but seems to assume the reader has read her previous books. By chapter four, and after re-reading the first three chapters, I was able to figure out who was who and what was going on. The plotline is typical mystery fodder, but it is the characters and the Kentucky upper class lifestyle that really make the story come alive.
Here's one of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Sometimes right and wrong look the same in the daylight, but opposite in the reflection of moonbeams."
and here's another:
"It must be in our genes to possess beauty, whatever form it comes in."
If Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun had a few too many drinks at Churchill Downs and a seventh grader transcribed their notes, this book might be the result. it's a fun read, but it could have been better written.