Corpse Suzette is the 11th book of the Savannah Reid series. Savannah is a 40-ish ex-police officer who turned private eye many years ago. She is based in the fictional town of San Carmelita, which I think could be anywhere on the California central coast. Originally from Georgia, Savannah loves cooking and eating yummy rich food (think Paula Deen) and is happy about her zaftig size. She has no problem getting around as she sleuths the traditional way. In contrast, Savannah's assistant is a slim, hyper health nut named Tammy, who is also a computer whiz.
Savannah's other sidekick is Sgt. Dirk Coulter, her ex-cop-partner who still serves on the local force. Because no one wants to work with him, Coulter often calls on Savannah to do surveillance with him on cases that she has an emotional stake. The love they have for each other is manifested through food. Coulter buys doughnuts and burgers for her; she makes homemade meals for him.
This adventure is about finding the missing owner and plastic surgeon, named Suzette, of a brand new la-di-dah spa in town. Is she really missing or just took off for a few days like she often does? Or, did her creep of a husband or his new love, the spa's publicity manager, kill her? Weaved through the plot are the issues that women have about weight and aging. The conflict of self-image is presented in Tammy's cousin who is visiting from the east coast. Unbeknownst to her, Tammy had won a makeover prize for her at the new spa, and of course she (the cousin) does not jump up with joy when told.
I've read a few other Savannah Reid stories, and will probably read others. I like to imagine that if I was a gumshoe, I'd be feisty, smart, and levelheaded like Savannah.
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