Publisher: Witness Impulse

Published: December 17, 2013

Format: ebook (372 pages)

Origin: Publisher through Edelweiss: Above the Tree Line

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Andrea Kendricks owes her mother big.  This Debutante Dropout doesn’t flaunt or use her family position or wealth, but when a friend is in need, Andy asks her mother for assistance.  However, the repayment to her mother, Cissy, stretches a mile and then some.  For instance, Andrea Kendricks is now working temporarily for one of Cissy’s closest friends, Marilee Mabry, and this assignment is taking painstakingly long.   Andy wants to get back to her nonprofit work, but it will take a while.

However, just when Andy’s nearing the finish line for this temporary job, Cissy has yet another angle to wangle.   

You see one of the many dates that Cissy Blevins Kendricks imposed on her daughter has actually led to chemistry.  Her and Mr. Malone are doing okay in Andy’s book, but Cissy feels this relationship has stalled.  Now, Andy’s repayment includes attending the “soiree” of her temporary employer in designer duds to keep interested the many expected male counterparts that will attend. Never you mind that Andy has all the interest she wants in Mr. Malone.  

In the meantime, Brian Malone has other ideas for Andy’s time on that date.  This is when Andy comes up with a plan, hit the party, stay an amount of respectable time, and take Mr. Malone up on his timely offer.  

Accepting the duds wasn’t as stressful as Andy thought, since wearing designer fashions that made her look pretty wasn’t what this debutante dropout expected.  She arrived at the party as planned, but when she went to check out the video equipment, Andy got an eyeful.  Marilee Mabry’s daughter is, um, entertaining on the office sofa.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, the man she kept busy was the young stud belonging to her mother.  Not wanting to deal with this messy situation, Andy ignored Kendall Mabry’s rant about how awful her mother is and what she’s done to deserve this treatment and set to finish the job she was there to do.

Soon, the party was getting underway and Andy saw even more cracks in the behind the scenes on set of The Sweet Life.  The domestic diva, Marilee Mabry, fights with a chef and the chef’s retaliation is something that would gross out the toughest stomach. This launch seems to be headed for a mud match, but unbeknownst to Andy, the best is yet to come. 

Marilee herself has more than one agenda. 

Her arrival on set starts out with a rare, expensive bottle of Dom Perignon and a public lambasting of Marilee’s ex-husband and his wife (husband’s playmate during his marriage to Marilee).   The two women get into a physical tussle that ignites the flames of hell, literally.  The set catches fire, the sprinklers activate, lights go out, and Andy finds a body on the floor.  Seeing Kendall down and barely breathing in bathroom leads Andy to suspect foul play, and she’s not the only one.  When Cissy adds her conspiracy theories, things only go from bad to worse, but luckily Kendall is going to survive.

Despite the mayhem of it all, the prescheduled filming of The Sweet Life segment at the Dallas Diet Club member’s home of Cissy Blevins Kendricks is still on.  Stage hands, props, filming, and audio gear turns the beautiful home into a stage of false wood floors and fights.  More disgruntled infighting comes to the surface, and the domestic diva stabs to death a pecan pie.  

Soon, the filming begins, but a life ends.  While Kendall is alive and well her mother, Marilee Mabry, is lying dead on the floor of her friend’s home. 

My Take:

THE GOOD GIRLS GUIDE TO MURDER: A DEBUTANTE MYSTERY by Susan McBride is a tale within the twisting highway of the society pages!  

Getting to know Andrea, Andy, Kendricks makes her someone to like.  She’s down-to-earth, smart, and funny who struggles to keep herself away from the wealth, glitzy, glamour, and pitfalls of the high society scaffolding in Dallas.  The mystery is not just in the murder or the happenings but also in the people you’ll meet and their motivations.  While new neighbors are welcome, they have their secrets, but the employees of the wealthy hide their own agenda and come armed with knowledge.  However, you’ll also meet those who hang on to the coat hem to be dragged along for the ride with little of their own power being expended.    

Susan McBride’s THE GOOD GIRLS GUIDE TO MURDER: A DEPUTANTE MYSTERY ebook is a re-release of her original hardcover by Avon Harper Collins (2004).  The paperback re-issue will released January 7, 2014.  While this title is a standalone novel, you’ll want to catch the other titles in the Debutante Dropout mysteries!  


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