March 20, 2012Yipes!!! Slipped under the radar.
Ah, the publishing world, what a strange and mysterious place. And, it seems as time passes there are going to be more and more books that I'm going to miss just because it's getting harder to find them on a list. Well, it almost happened again with The Devil has Dimples, a little gem of a book. Or should I say ebook. A self-published ebook. A self-published ebook in first person and also a contemporary. And, no this isn't some kind of twilight zone SidneyKay must be a pod person thing. I actually liked this book.
It was a very charming book with some very unique southern characters in it. There is also a faster moving mystery to be solved...the mystery of who Sara's father is/was. You see, our heroine, Sara, finds out that she's adopted and that her natural mother has died, leaving her an antique shop where she has to stay for six weeks. This all comes has a bit of a surprise to Sara; the parents she thought were her parents aren't, so she is determined to find out who she is. Sara has never felt that she belonged with her parents, or as it turns out, adoptive parents. So, there are a lot of things going on in her search for her father, because along the way she also searches for clues to her real mother's life. And, let me tell you that there were a number of surprises awaiting Sara. There are also a number of people who are hostile to Sara and don't want her finding out all of their secrets. Almost everyone in the town of Boggy Bayou is disrupted by Sara's arrival. Especially our hero.
Enter Grant, our hunk, so handsome his smile will blind you. He has a butt you can bounce nickels off of, he's an attorney and he lives in the building that Sara's real mother owned...right across the hall way. He's got his problems: he's angry with his father, doesn't like his step-mother and has been dating the queen of psychotic romance women almost forever.
There are a lot of sparks flying all over the place, a lot of humor, and southern small town quirkiness. You can almost hear that slow, southern accent dripping off the page. It was mighty enjoyable following Sara in her search for herself.
Now, there were some things that threw me out of the story (see it happens in contemporaries). Sara's real mother, Maudie, is supposed to be sixty-six, which if my calculations are correct would put her in high school in the middle 60's. Now, she hung around with a group of girls who called themselves the six-pack...so, they are all about the same age. Well, one of them mentions that Lash LaRue was the hottest movie star of her day. Well, my mind immediately said, "I don't think so." You see, my children, Lash LaRue made what are lovingly called B-Westerns. I vaguely remember the Western Theater on Saturdays. My brother and I would sit and watch these old cowboy movie reruns and yes, I think Lash LaRue was in some. However, Lash's heyday was between 1941-1950, so, when someone who was in high school in the 60's says Lash LaRue was the hottest movie star in her time, it throws me for a loop. If she had said James Dean, Cary Grant, Sal Mineo, Troy Donahue, Paul Newman, Jeffrey Hunter, Rock Hudson, Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck, or even Peter Brown, then I would have been more accepting. Maybe Lash LaRue was big in the south.
Another throw-out-of-the-moment scene was when Sara is looking at a photo of the Six-Pack, not just any photo, a "sepia" photo. Now, for all of you who don't really know me in real life, photographs just happen to be one of my specialties and I can see an old "black and white" photo from the 60's being what Sara had in her hands, but a sepia? That would have been a photo from the late 1800s or early 1900s, unless there was some really bad chemicals being used to develop that photo. Or maybe it was one of those horrible Polaroids. There are a couple of other odd time-not-feeling-right moments in the book, but these are just minor quibbles.
Overall, I thought this was a fast-moving, enjoyable book, even with Birds are tweetin', Butterflies are a flittin', Hummingbirds are a hummin' happy happy ending. This is a feel good book, it will make you smile, maybe even laugh. It's sprinkled with a bit of poignancy and a lot of pretty good writing. I hope Pepper Phillips is intending to write some more books, because I think there is some room for her out there in Bookland.
Time/Place: Current Time, Boggy Bayou
Sensuality: Not quite Hot!