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SAVANNAH BLUES
by Mary Kay Andrews
Perennial, March 2003
404 pages
$13.95
ISBN: 0060519134


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Eloise "Weezie" Foley is a native of Savannah. Her 10 year marriage to socialite architect Tal Evans has been dissolved. He kept the town house that she bought and decorated and is living in with his high maintenance, fiancee, Caroline DeSantos, but Weezie is living in the carriage house behind the main building and supporting herself by picking antiques for dealers who have shops.

She goes about it the right way. Dumpster diving, estate sales (real estates not piddly little garage sales), buying boxes without even knowing the contents, and she is making some money. What she really wants to do is open a shop so she can get the big money.

The contents of an old plantation house are to be sold, so Weezie and her friend plan to spend the night in her pickup truck, so they can be there as soon as the house opens for the sale, but an extra glass of wine makes her have to search for a bathroom. The house is locked but she climbs a tree and gets in on the second floor, finds a bathroom and relieves herself. While she's there, she secretes some small items in a plastic bag which she plans to hide on the premises until the next day. She opens a closet and out falls the body of Caroline DeSantos. The police come and she is arrested for murder.

I know Savannah and how it works having spent some time there before MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN... came out but during the time the events in that book were taking place. The author of this book spent time in Savannah during the trial. She also knows that it is who you went to school with that counts, and she knows the names of the streets and the institutions, such as Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House, but I didn't get the feeling that it was taking place in Savannah. It could just as well have been Charleston, which probably operates the same way.

The author also gives some tips on antique hunting but she should stay away from giving values. They fluctuate too rapidly to be accurate in print. Also, antique dealers are specialists. They can't know everything. Weezie goes to the shop of a man who hauls "white people's junk" away. This day, the take consisted of 1950s stuff, including a trunk containing a WW II uniform, under which were some Vargas calendars and "...the first issue of Playboy dated 1951, and the subsequent issue that featured the famous Marilyn Monroe pictorial" She thinks all the stuff, linens, magazines, Jadeite dishes, uniform, etc., would be worth $400 wholesale, so she takes the lot at the asking price of $175. Sorry Charlie. The first issue of Playboy IS the one with the famous Marilyn Monroe centerfold and is worth $4000-5000 by itself.

Usually, when I find an error such as the above in a book, I don't bother to read further, but there is something engaging about the characters that kept me going to the end. She does have some good hints on finding stuff and some other "secrets" that I did guess. But I've been dealing in collectibles for over 30 years, so I had an advantage.

SAVANNAH BLUES is a skillfully written Southern cozy. If Weezie and her friends come my way again, I'll be sure to offer them a glass of ice tea and visit with them awhile.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, April 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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