A down-home attorney becomes an amateur sleuth in this quirky overture to the MisAdventures of Miss Lilly series.
After discovering her fiance in flagrante delicto with his secretary, Lilly Atkins leaves her Dallas law firm behind to start her own practice in her hometown of Brooks, Oklahoma. Though Lilly is a former cheerleading captain, salutatorian, and rodeo queen, she says that “ ‘pretty’ isn’t the right word” to describe herself: “It conjures up images of sweet and soft looks. I’m striking and I stand out.” In rapid-fire Southern drawl, she introduces a head-spinning number of family members and friends, notably a sister with model looks, a bigmouth grandmother with a pacemaker, and an ex-boyfriend, Cash Stetson, who can’t sign his divorce papers fast enough when he sees Lilly. It would be too much exposition if the back stories weren’t so funny. One-liners are let loose as if from a slingshot: “I’d like to buy her for what she’s worth and sell her for what she thinks she’s worth,” says Lilly’s hairstylist about Cash’s wife, Tina. Lilly’s friend Mark Ames is dead, and Ronnie Duvall, the local mortician, needs Lilly to find out who replaced the corpse’s femur with PVC pipe and stole all his fingernails. In order to keep the disturbing news from reaching the police—and Mark’s family—too soon, Lilly and her friend Fae Lynn head to the morgue to investigate. In a small town where everyone is looking (and then looking the other way), gossip trumps police work, with hilarious results. The only person who might foil Lilly’s sleuthing is Spencer Locke, the Yankee nephew of Tina’s lawyer. Lilly is either Spencer’s “worst nightmare” or his next girlfriend. Unfortunately, the big-haired, small-town lawyer has barely shaken the dust off her favorite boots before she and her friends solve the case, which slips away as quickly as the last few grains of sand in an hourglass.
Featuring a heroine worth accompanying home, this brief yet punchy debut begs for a sequel.