I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons why I enjoy Josie Belle's Good Buy Girls mysteries so much is that, by reading them, I experience something I've never had: the close friendship and emotional support of a group of women. These books almost make me want to start wearing nail polish and looking for bargains on shoes. Almost. (Sorry, Jenn, but I never was and never will be a girly girl.) This time around, Maggie and her friends are still dealing with the dangerous diva, Summer Phillips, but the emphasis is less on bargains and cat fights, and more on family, relationships, and a first-rate mystery.
Another thing that I love about this series is that no character is really left behind. When a long-married couple splits in one book, they don't disappear; we get to see how they deal with living apart. When these amateur sleuths help a dead woman's daughter, the next book shows us how she is coping-- and how she is able to move with her life. This is definitely a series about family and about friends, and while a killer is being hunted, Buried in Bargains really delivers. A word of warning: when reading about the fancy dress Christmas ball, please have tissues on hand. You will need them. It's one of the very best cry-for-happy scenes I've read in a long, long time. I also have to admit that finally getting a chance to see Maggie's daughter was a bonus-- as well as watching further progress in the relationship between Maggie and Sheriff Sam Collins.
If you love feeling invested in the crime fiction you read, get hold of the Good Buy Girls series. The whodunit aspects are good, and the cast of characters is so strong that you'll wish you could move to St. Stanley, Virginia, to become a part of such a loving, supportive group. Buried in Bargains is the best of the bunch so far. It can be read as a standalone since the author does provide enough backstory for you to get a feel for the characters, but I'd advise that you read 'em all. Why deny yourself the pleasure?
Bring on the next one-- I have my coupons ready!