MARSH MADNESS by Caroline Cousins


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Mayhem with a Southern accent.

Attending the opening of the Gatortorium in Indigo Island, S.C., Margaret Ann Matthews (Mam), her sister Bonnie Lynn Taylor (BLT) and their cousin Lindsey Fox (who’s keeping company with Will McLeod, the local sheriff’s deputy) find poor Lorna Spivey dead drunk in a bathroom stall—and dressed up to look like her boss, mantrap actress MaryMar, who’s come home to be a bridesmaid at sweet, tasteless Sue Beth’s wedding at Pinckney Plantation. Mam, in charge of the flowers and everyone else, corrals BLT and Lindsey into corsage making, kudzu clipping, even seashell collecting—an activity that lands them smack in the middle of a marijuana farm. While Mam’s daughter Cissie is having her heart stomped on, MaryMar is being stalked, and the exterminator is riding around in a van with a dinosaur-sized cockroach effigy on its roof. Lorna, with no kinfolk to mourn her, expires. Gnats buzz. Lights flicker. Waves pound. Raindrops fall in torrents. MaryMar makes eyes at Will. And a peculiar scent reminiscent of cat urine emanates from a white van that turns out to be a mobile meth lab.

Cousins, a real-life writing trio of cousins (Fiddle Dee Death, 2003), knows her Dixie, from Coca-Cola for breakfast to sweet tea for lunch. The slender plot is enlivened by sly humor and Southern hospitality with a bite.

Pub Date: June 30th, 2005
ISBN: 0-89587-315-X
Page count: 239pp
Publisher: John F. Blair
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2005