First in the series: A full-figured Southern police detective transplanted to sunny California untangles the murder of a politician’s husband.
Detective Sergeant Savannah Reid is a long way from Georgia, but she’ll go anywhere for good food and good friends. And policing the exclusive Southern California town of San Carmelita is as tasty as sausage-gravy-and-biscuits with super-spicy home fries. Until city councilwoman Beverly Winston’s husband turns up dead—and an unprecedented media frenzy sweeps the elite beach community like a tsunami.
The good news—Savannah is put in charge of the case. The bad—she’s pressured to investigate any person of interest except the main one: Beverly herself. And when Savannah refuses to play ball, she’s summarily fired for “being overweight.” But when another suspect hires her to find the truth, Savannah turns up the heat on an unsavory mess of triple-dealing, infidelity, and betrayal that will rock San Carmelita’s sun-soaked elegance to its core—and put a calculating murderer’s target dead on Savannah’s back.
Starring a “warm, winsome, and weight-bedeviled” heroine whose down-home savvy can solve the most sophisticated crimes, this series is a delight for mystery fans (Publishers Weekly).
McKevett's debut, set in San Carmelita, Calif., is an uneven mix of police procedural and gumshoe cliches. Georgia-born detective Savannah Reid and her staid partner, Dirk Coulter, are split up after the body of city councilwoman Beverly Winston's husband is found shotgunned. In an unprecedented move, Savannah is given the case alone and is told to concentrate on suspects other than Beverly. She learns why: Beverly and police chief Norman Hillquist are lovers. After refusing to abridge her investigation and discovering that Hillquist confiscated a piece of evidence, she is fired, ostensibly for being overweight. Then a prime suspect hires Savannah to find the real killer. In her private life, Savannah worries as her naive younger sister is wined and dined by a notorious pimp. An anonymous tipster, a gay detective couple and a computer nerd who finally breaks the case join Savannah and the ever-loyal Dirk as they careen from one implausible situation to the next, failing to settle into credible detecting.