WR6                                                                                     THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR
                                     SATURDAY, JULY 2, 2011

Champagne For Buzzards


Uncle Ziggy, Tully and Clay are back with bartender - turned- Sweetheart Sherri Travis for another dead-bodies-and-Florida sunshine mystery, Champagne For Buzzards ... the best tale by Phyllis Smallman yet. Sherri sparkles with all the rhinestone glitter and trailer-trash heart of gold a reader could hope for. The conversational dialogue around the kitchen table, and the blunt, animal-like confrontational climax, reveals Smallman has hit her stride. Champagne For Buzzards is the fourth in a series that gives the reader a casual style and storytelling with staying power. The pacing is that of a southern drawl, with a core of beer, bars and bad behaviour. There's a dark side to this tale, one of sexual stalking and slave labour but it's Smallman's "down-home" story telling that paints the scene and welcomes you into the action. This novel is just the ticket for a summer escape of lounging with a beer, a barbecue and a mystery.

Freelance reviewer Don Graves
lives in Burlington, Ontario.

by Phyllis Smallman
(McArthur & Company, $24.95)