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Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite
Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Mertz is a side-splitting, pee-in-your-knickers hilariously funny cozy mystery, thanks to its cast of colorful characters. At the centre of the storyline is Martha Maye Applewhite who, along with her daughter, Butterbean, has left her husband and has moved back to Goose Pimple Junction where she’s being courted by the town’s chief of police, Johnny Butterfield. Complicating things is Lenny, Martha Maye’s good-for-nothing husband, who’s arrived in town, determined to win back his wife – and escape the loan shark’s goons who are out to re-arrange his body parts. Lenny Applewhite is one complication the chief of police can do without since he’s already got his hands full with a thief and a murderer on the loose.
Amy Mertz crafts a solid mystery that’s enveloped in not-so-genteel ‘Southernisms.’ In addition to the inevitable references to sweet tea and fried chicken, her laid-back prose is peppered with more unique expressions like ‘thick as snot on a doorknob’ and references to unheard-of country hits like ‘I’d Rather Pass a Kidney Stone Than Another Night With You’ (yup, nothing says unrequited love like kidney stones!). What I especially loved about Heroes & Hooligans was that although some of the characters’ names should be found on exotic spice labels (like Peekal Culpepper and Paprika Honeywell), the story stays true to its roots and loses none of its down-home charm – even in the midst of a murder investigation. As far as cozy mysteries go, you can’t get any better than Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction!