Phyllis Smallman is the first receipient of the Arthur Ellis Award for Unhanged Arthur from Crime Writers of Canada in June 2007. She was short listed for the Debut Dagger by the Crime Writers of the UK, and nominated for the Malice Domestic Award in the U.S. Margarita Nights was published in 2008 by McArthur and Co Publishers. It has just been short listed for the Best first Novel of 2008 by the Crime Writers of Canada.
The sequels in the Sherri Travis series, Sex in a Sidecar andA Brewski for the Old Man, were published in 2009 and 2010 respectively.Champagne for Buzzards will be published in the spring of 2011. There are two other books that will follow: Highball Exit and Last Call.
In a small Florida beach town, Sherri Travis is a bartender with attitude and a woman with an inconveniently murdered husband who turns out to be as much trouble to her dead as he was alive.
Sifting through the debris of Jimmy’s life, Sherri finds more than a few people who wanted her lying, scheming, scam artist husband gone — but which one actually did the deed?
This is the first book that I have read by Phyllis Smallman. I do love a good cozy and this one did not disappoint. While Sherri did a few things that I wouldn’t have done (like left a video tape with evidence in her VCR), if she hadn’t it wouldn’t have been a cozy! You expect those sort of things from someone investigating a crime without the proper training or experience. Sherri also has an interesting relationship with her mother, but then who doesn’t?
I also liked how it was set in Florida and the descriptive text used throughout the book. I was able to picture the scenery in my mind and the various locales depicted within the novel.
Overall I give the book 4 stars and can’t wait to read the next two in the series. So be sure and check back for those reviews!