This book was fun. Harper crafted a sparkling, snappy, cosy set in a small town in Texas in 1968.
When Wanda Jean Bodine Milton is arrested for killing her husband, Hilton Milton, local study club president, Clara Wyler, and three other members swing into action. This book could have gone on forever and I would still be happily reading because these five small town women were smart, funny, determined, and capable of instilling fear into the hearts of misbehaving men.
Harper nailed the small town dynamic, where your family, your politics, your religion, and your hemline defined your place in the hierarchy. And as Clara, Sugar, Mae Ella, Wilma, and Wanda Jean delve into Hilton’s life they find that some of their neighbors aren’t what they seem and that includes quiet, upstanding Hilton himself.
If you lived through the 60s or are a fan of the 60s then this book is a must. From Clara’s cherry red Ford Fairlane to Camel cigarettes, from Aqua Net lacquered bouffant hair to go go boots, from LBJ to Kennedy, Harper brings the 60s back with a deft and loving hand.
I was happily cruising along with the ladies enjoying their conversation and reactions to some surprising revelations about their friends and neighbors when the worst thing happened- the book ended. The. Book. Ended. I felt the ending was not quite up to the standard of the rest of the book but it wasn’t a terrible ending, just a little off.
Well-crafted and entertaining. I’m waiting very impatiently for book 2.