Kensington, Feb 2001, 22.00, 256 pp.
Mrs. Reid loved Georgia so much she named each of her daughters after a city in the Peach State. Savannah Reid, the oldest child, moved to California, where she joined the San Carmelita police force. Unable to abide by the mountains of regulations, she left to open up her own private investigative firm. Although clients seem rare, Savannah is happy with her work.
Ms. Reid's latest job is security guard at the Miss Gold Coast beauty pageant, a piece of cake assignment. However, Savannah reassesses her initial opinion when one the contestants, Barbie Matthews, vanishes. Someone abducted and killed Barbie. To make matters worse yet personal, Savannah's sister Atlanta was Barbie's roommate and everyone knows the two women loathed one another. Not that Atlanta was alone since everyone detested the nasty victim. Still, Savannah and her crew know they must keep the participants safe from a killer.
The tragedy side of entering children in beauty pageants is brought home in SOUR GRAPES, a mystery that bitterly satirizes the practice as almost unholy. The story line seamlessly merges a social message inside a strong who-done-it so the reader is educated while being entertained. G.A. McKevett uses humor to lighten a tense plot and making her characters seem even more human, especially the full figured and proud of it Savannah.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner