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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2006
Patricia Ann (Mouse) and Mary Alice (Sister) are sisters living in Birmingham, Alabama and though they love each other they have very little in common. That disparity in their personalities though is what makes these books so much fun, because their little spats and the tricks that they play on each other tend to drive the plot and are usually hilarious. Understanding the relationship between the two is therefore critical to enjoying this series so I would heartily suggest that you read these books in order since the first book provides a lot of the history necessary for the reader to reach that understanding.

In this entry Sister convinces Mouse to attend an art showing featuring a group of "primitive" artists from the area. Much taken by the beauty of the art they find at the showing the sisters are very surprised the next day when they learn of the death of the young owner of the gallery of an apparent heart attack. Apparent is the key word here and once again the sisters are drawn into the mystery, not by curiosity but by the involvement of one of Mouse's former students who turns to her former teacher for help. Being a retired teacher can apparently be a dangerous thing.

Most of the recurring characters are introduced in the first book but they are filled out a little more in this entry and unlike the characters in some "cozy" mysteries these people are very believable. You may in fact find that you know some of these people, or someone very much like them, they just have different names and don't live in Birmingham. One new character in this book is Sister's overweight and very spoiled cat named Bubba. Bubba has his own heating pad on the kitchen counter where he comfortably lounges away the days. He just sits there and waits to be adored and Mary Alice provides that in plentiful doses. That is, when she isn't busy being a sex slave for Santa at the mall. No, I'm not going to explain that statement, you will just have to read the book.

The most pleasant thing about this book and this series is that you will find yourself laughing out loud but at the same time this author doesn't sink to the slapstick level that many other authors in this genre do. The characters are not only believable but you will learn to care about them and worry when they get hurt. You are also impressed by how caring these people are and it is that caring nature that leads these snooping sisters to the solution of the crimes involved in this book. Murder it seems is not the only game afoot in the iron city.
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on August 7, 2001
Southern fiction and a cozy mystery all in one. Sixty-ish Southern Sisters Patricia Ann and Mary Alice, come upon a second set of sisters and a variety of local characters as they muddle through the Christmas holidays and - a couple of murders. From the very first sentence (which completely gives away the author�s sense of fun) the reader will be charmed at the writing, at the dialogue and especially the characters. While the petite former English teacher Patricia Ann drools in the library, and comes up with clues in poetry; the more robust Mary Alice is trying to cope with being Santa�s sex slave. Police Officer Bo Peep is just trying to keep order and Bonnie Blue Butler makes another appearance too. Come along with this pair for plenty of shopping, some wonderful food, a little local art lore and muddling through danger zones- all under the watching, err, eyes of the Vulcan. I wanted to crawl into the back seat of the car when they were loading up with colorful quilts and Christmas trees on top. A great way to cool off in Dallas in August. A fun frolic with a couple of real characters!
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on July 27, 2001
An odd and unlikely set of twins Mary Alice is over 200 pounds and 6 feet tall, while her sister Patricia Anne is all of 5 foot 1 inch and 105 pounds on her heaviest day. In their sixties and vibrant as the day is long these southern ladies solve mysteries and this particular mystery is tied into some of the folk art of their Alabama town. The story is interesting and well written; the conversations between these two sisters are nothing short of superlative. The banter between our ladies is sharp, witty and will leave you amused and laughing.
Mary Alice has taken on a job at the mall as Mrs. Claus for the Christmas season and she arrives at Patricia Anne�s house only to claim that she is a sex slave to her man who has been hired to be Santa at the mall. It is at this opportune moment that she opens her coat up to dazzle all within blinking distance. Upon her shirt and decorated with blinking lights is her name and career move as Santa�s sidekick. She has decided to stand by her man even if she has to where a wig that looks like a mangy white poodle. It is not so much the situations that these ladies get into but the repartee between them that keeps you laughing.
This was a fun mystery I would give 3.5 stars. I am anxiously looking forward to another of their mysteries. Kelsana 7/26/01
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on July 2, 2000
I usually have 2 books going...a more serious read and a light one. Just discovered Anne George this week-end. What a hoot! Two sisters in their sixties who are total opposites (one petite and more mild-mannered and one large and out-spoken). Just imagine the large one playing Mrs. Claus at the local mall (Birmingham, Alabama) with a funky wig and a top with blinking lights. An opening at the local art gallery ends in death. Now the sisters are on a quest to find the murderer. The
dialogue is clever, the situations are rather unique, and the gallery owner has been deemosoed. Read it to find out. I LOVE Joan Hess. Her tales of Maggody have often made me laugh out loud. Now, after reading all of Hess's, I have a new Southern author to seek out. Patricia Anne and Mary Alice (the sisters) are my new "light read." Funny, I finished this one in 2 days while my "serious" book kept calling to me. I'm off to Border's to find more of Anne George.
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on January 19, 2001
This is the second book in the "Southern Sisters" series -- which looks to be a series that's worth reading in order. (Murder on a Girl's Night Out is the first in the series.) Once again, being sixty-something and retired in Alabama is looking to be lots of fun and a little bit dangerous.
This time the sisters get involved in a death at an art gallery featuring "outsider" art (think quilts, primitive oils, etc.) The book is strong on humor, sisterly chat (and teasing), winter in Birmingham and teacher love. The mystery is pretty weak -- particularly the conclusion which both comes out of nowhere and is way too convenient.
Bottom line -- a fun, light read of the cozy kind. As another reviewer mentioned about Anne George, it's nice to find an author that you can recommend to your senior citizen mother.
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on October 22, 2001
I have only recently been introduced to the charms of Mouse and Sister and have totally fallen for the Southern Sister's mystery series. They have got to be the most unlikely pair of sleuth's that I have encountered. Not only do they keep you on your toes quessing but can make you laugh along the way.
Patricia Anne and Mary Alice have been invited to the opening night of a new art exhibit featuring The Outsiders art work. Accepting the invitation sets off a chain of events that neither sister could possibly have imagined. Dead bodies seem to be popping up everywhere as well as past students from Patricia Anne's days of being a teacher. Mouse and Sister's off beat methods of solving the murders makes this a truly enjoyable book that has left this reader wanting more.
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on October 11, 2002
I have always been a big fan of Southern writers; Conroy, Samms, Edgarton, Burns, and of course Mitchell to name a few. And now I have a new name to add to the list: Anne George. Her books are just precious and her characters are lovable! As I have previously stated, since I live in Alabama, I especially enjoy all the references to the Birmingham landmarks. When I read about highway 280, the Vulcan and the Galleria I feel that I am part of the story. Speaking of the story, I loved it. The writing is crisp, the dialogue forceful, and the plot is scrumptious! If you want a great book that will grasp you on the first page and is effortless to follow, get a copy of Murder on a Bad Hair Day: A Southern Sisters Mystery--you won't regret it!
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on October 27, 2000
I love eccentric characters in mysteries, and these two gals are the epitomy of eccentricity. Two southern belle sisters in their sixties, and oh so "southern". The characterization in this book is extremely good, and the two old gals are wonderful. Unfortuantely, I didn't find the story line as good. There are some pretty big holes in this plot, and the last part of the story, or the denouement made no sense, but I still enjoyed the book because of the characters, and because of the setting. I think I will give Ms.George another try. It's definately fine for light reading.
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on December 25, 1997
When my online book pals told me I HAD to read this, I thought--oh no--another book to add to MT. TBR (To Be Read). BUT...word of mouth is RIGHT.
If you like FUN, snappy humor, and characters you wish you could hang out with, come meet MaryAlice and Patricia Anne. (MA and PA) This is a sister act you won't want to miss.
Oh, and yes Virginia, there is a mystery too. And unlike some other writers (who cheat), Anne George gives you a good logical ending that WON"T make you throw the book across the room at the end.
Enjoy, and then come back and tell someone else!
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on January 16, 2003
I am looking for a new author to enjoy (I like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series a lot). So, when I saw this book, I thought it would be really good - it was only okay. Yes, it has some entertaining areas - but I thought it took a little bit long to get to the fact that someone had been murdered...maybe I need to practice a little more patience, but I wanted to know what they were looking for sooner!
I did finish the book, so that bodes well - I am wondering if it I would have enjoyed it more if I started with the first in the series.
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