Sunday, February 25, 2018

Book Review: 'Paradise Series: 1,2,3 Crazy in Paradise, Deception in Paradise, Trouble in Paradise Box Set' by Deborah Brown

South Florida author Deborah Brown books are infectious. She has a joie de vivre that pours out of every page of her books. Having read only the later books in this series (Books 5, 6, and 7) it is gratifying to see that this fun loving writer continues to pull of this Florida Keys mysteries series (The Paradise series) for a fully committed audience. According to the scant bio she states, ` I wanted to create books with a wide-range of unforgettable characters, with heat and romance, and lots of guns. It wouldn't be complete without a slice of humor and charm. My personal ad would read: There's nothing a new pair of shoes can't cure. Redhead. Long legs. There's nothing like a strawberry-lemonade in summer. Favorite activity: Filling my pockets with seashells. An avid rule follower when eating Animal Cookies: Broken ones get eaten first, match up the rest, duplicates next, line them up favorite to not, least favorite go first. South Florida is my home, with my ungrateful rescue cats, and where Mother Nature takes out her bad attitude in the form of hurricanes.' So even before beginning Chapter 1 you love her!

Having met the ladies of Paradise, aka Florida Keys, it is great to go back to their beginnings and see how they have grown into icons of chick lit. Three separate stories here: Crazy in Paradise - Madison Westin has inherited her aunt's beachfront motel in the Florida Keys. Trouble is she's also inherited a slew of colorful tenant's - drunks, ex-cons, and fugitives. Only one problem: First, she has to wrestle control from a conniving lawyer and shady motel manager. With the help of her new best friend, whose motto is never leave home without your Glock, they dive into a world of blackmail, murder, and drugs. Deception in Paradise: With Madison's never-say-no style she's smarter and packing an attitude not to mention her Glock. This time, trouble rolls into Tarpon Cove in the form of Madison's ex-husband, Jackson Devereaux, whom she hoped to never see again. His arrival brings unparalleled chaos and an uninvited corpse. Teaming up with her hot friend, Fabiana, the two women go from chasing the usual cast of misfits and weirdos to hunting down a murderer. The action turns deadly serious when they stir up a nasty enemy as they try to stay one-step ahead in a game of cat and mouse that threatens their lives. And finally, Trouble in Paradise: When a dead fisherman rolls up on shore, Madison cannot resist jumping into her new role as Private Investigator. But she soon discovers the people in The Cove who normally gossip about everybody's business are unusually tight-lipped. The bad tenant radar still not working, the cottages continue to be full of riffraff. Madison gets arrested, shot at, and outsmarted. She teams up with her best friend - the Glock carrying Fabiana. Together they take on cases no other investigators would ever touch!

And that is the frothy speed of action that continues through the books. Add a smidgeon of greed, mystery, frank sexual innuendoes, mystery, snappy and at times naughty dialogue - everything that makes Deborah Brown's style a good read - and you have a dandy trio of books to consume your summer reading. Perfect beach reading - are just about anywhere you decide to be thoroughly entertained. Grady Harp, August 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.