Top critical review
3.5☆ cozy southern mystery for fans of "Fried Green Tomatos".
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 26, 2021
3.5☆As a Southerner, I was a bit offended by her portrayal of us as it seemed more like a Yankee's idea of what small southern towns are like. Using terms like "Mayberry" slanted a little snide and is set in Georgia. Outside of a few glaring plot-holes that threw me out of this fictional pice, it was fairley entertaining. It reminded me of a sort of sequel to the story of "Fried Green Tomatoes", another much earlier story of vaguely southern women banding together to help each other could have happened anywhere during the time it was set. Louisiana Longshot could have worked well set most any southern location if one does not take into account the location itself is also a sort of a character and poses it's own problems that seemed a little hit and miss with this reader's suspension of disbelef, which would through me out of reading flow. I may be interested in reading more from this series, but would be more drawn to this author's paranormal works in which suspension of reality becomes part and parcel as a matter of course.
[Stop here. Possible spoilers ahead.]
Points about suspending reality or continuity of thinking:
If other characters thought she was clueless enough to warn her not to leave clothes in the dryer to prevent mouldy must and give her the name and number of the local roofer along with a sobriety warning, then WHY didn't someone warn this out of towner that gator bellows sound like giant, loud bullfrogs and school her about their habits (and the other local wildlife) when she complained about them and later rescued from one by Officer Charming? Having swarms of mosquitos if one lives anywhere close to water is true for most warm places in the world. The humidity here almost seems an agressive thing for most of the year to those who did not grow up here and even some who have. Why she got those correct but didn't include the neighborly practice or at the very least, part of the protect and serve duty of southern police to educate newcommers about possible deadly wildlife in their own back yard, I found hard to believe. The officer did not advise the former beauty queen from somewhere else to be careful around water at night, something we are taught as children, or give her the number of a trapper as he did with her repair need or even offer to help her set up a gator trap if she didn't want them hanging around in her back yard when he was there. It's not illegal to shoot gators and racoons or trap them, especially if one is worried about their ancient pet being harmed by one or their own safety against them.
The religious tension between the Babtists and Catholics seems a little silly and overdone. It may have been true sixty years ago, but not now. The no pants taboo for women and arms covered is a modesty practice of the Holiness Movement, not a Baptist or Catholic issue. What IS considered slutty for church wear is if underware is visable above todler age.
A plothole action that could have offered the desired reasonable doubt for the list of suspects would have been a drug test for all top suspects who could have gained from the victom's death. The wife was out cold during the time of the crime and the drug that caused her to be incapasitated would have been hard to miss. Screening tests were available long before"five years ago" as part of crime investigations. Heck, you can buy them at Walmart. How the husband was murdered was also vague. Shots fired would have been reported by neighbors and respondants would have found Marie asleep as her possible aliby. Those are my plothole catches for this story.
Marge may have also seen Marie as sort of a daughter figure as it is implied there is some vague amount of age difference between the two characters. I don't appreciate that media is so scared to offend, that there must be character types shoehorned unnecessarily into stories of female strength. That Marge, retired from military service, cared for Marie, who was in an impossible situation and wanted to help her should have been enough motive to give aide, period. This was the same reason behind the other (also former military) Society Ladies' actions. They all knew Marie was trapped in a dangerous home situation by family and legal obligations. Womanly solidarity and fear for another person's safety in her abusive home is worthy motivation to render aide in their various ways. Charging him with abuse, sent to prison and die as a result would have also worked to solve Marie's problem. In southern prisons and maybe in northern prisons too, those who harm women and children tend to not last long enough to go before parole boards. It would have also brought the real killers and victom possibly closer in location. They could have still tried to frame the wife by using another type of weapon such as poison in swapped baked goods brought during a visit, could have been more easily done, and harder to prove against. I watch crime shows too.
*This has been my honest feedback.