Savannah Reid, that big, sexy, Souther-born sleuth with a black belt in karate has finally established herself as a P.I. in posh San Carmelita, California. All her Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency needs now is enough business to pay the rent and put some serious sweets on the table.
No sooner does Savannah complete her first case–finding the long-lost sister of a local real estate broker–than murder enters the picture. Framed in a diabolically clever double-cross, she sets out to find the real culprit…only to discover that she’s the prime suspect among the lovers, losers and liars lurking in the shadows of the victim’s past. Each of them has a motive. Not one of them has an alibi. Now Savannah must call upon all her resources to sort out the baffling clues, clear her own name, and corner a killer whose appetite for murder is growing every day…
In Bitter Sweets, G. A. McKevett serves up a mystery where the suspense is sweet and everyone gets their just desserts. And in Savannah Reid, she give us an earthy, exuberant sleuth to believe in, root for and care about.
Bitter Sweets by G. A. McKevett. Book #2 in the Savannah Reid Mystery series. Published by Kensington Publishing Corp and Wheeler Publisher, 1997. Large print edition by Chivers, 2005. 343 pages. Triggers: domestic abuse.
I read this as part of the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge last year. I needed a title that had the word “salty, sweet or bitter” in it. I thought it would have been easier to find a title with those words in it with all the cozy mystery culinary type books out there! I was kind of surprised that it took me til the end of the year to find something. XD
Now, I have NOT read book 1 in this series. I had never heard of this author or this series before. I needed the book for a reading challenge at the end of the year, so I was running out of time to be picky or OCD about where in the series the book was from. I didn’t even read what the plot blurb said, I just found it at the library and checked it out STAT! I went into this book without knowing anything.
The main character, Savannah Reid, and I did not see eye to eye pretty much right from the start. She really rubbed me the wrong way and was difficult for me to connect with or care for. The more I read, the more she grated on my nerves. OMG, the woman went on and on about boobs, food, PMS, God and wanting babies. Bleh. I kept rolling my eyes so hard I thought for sure they’d roll out of my head by the end of the book. Savannah was super judgey and kinda bitchy about her assistant being thin, athletic, and small chested, and how she (Savannah) was better because she was curvy, had huge boobs and could cook amazing food which = getting all the men. I don’t remember direct quotes, but she’d say stuff along the lines of “God blessed her with filling up her bra cups” or something like that. Ooookay. Savannah was pushy about getting people to eat something and she mentioned repeatedly how she “missed out” on having kids because she was “too old” now, which, she wasn’t.
Hey, I AM a southern girl, ok? I was born and raised in New Orleans. My grandparents basically lived out in the bayou. I get southern charm and southern living, I do. But Savannah…. I don’t know, man… something about her was just YIKES. Something was missing from her southern lady routine, but I can’t exactly put my finger on what. I have heard from other people that it takes several books to warm up to her, so I don’t know. I don’t care to explore her character growth in the rest of the series. I’m good.
There are a handful of characters that round out Savannah’s team. I liked basically all the supporting cast way better! I almost want to read more of the series just for them. Almost. They seemed much more interesting to me.
I was kind of surprised at how dark the story was for a cozy mystery. Domestic abuse, child abuse. Focused heavily on the loss of a child. A little bit more… I don’t know… violent, I guess? Still a cozy, but more on the darker side of the spectrum then most.
Bitter Sweets is a pretty quick read. The Plot is ok. Certain parts of it were pretty entertaining and creative. Other parts just felt like a cheap attempt to pull on your heartstrings with a child. HA! Good Luck with that! If you really wanted to pull on MY heartstrings, you would have had the killer kidnap and threaten the pets! 😛 It wasn’t super obvious who the killer was until the second body turned up late in the book. The ending was very…. anti-climatic. It was basically Savannah confronting someone, saying “You did it.” and the person says “Yeah. I did.” and then sits down to wait to get arrested. I’m not saying it had to be a knock down drag out fight or anything but…. it was just kinda… there. And then the end.