Jed Had To Die by Tara Sivec
Standalone Romantic Comedy/ Mystery.
If you have followed Ana’s Attic for any length of time, you know that Tara Sivec is one of my favorite authors, especially her romantic comedies. The Chocolate Lovers & Chocoholics Series are still my favorite all-time series, but The Holidays and now Jed Had To Die are joining the ranks.
The thing I love about Tara’s comedies is that she writes awesome friends that you totally want to hang with (this is the reason I started Wicked Book Weekend 4 years ago). While Jed Had To Die covers some serious issues and is a tad bit less zany and raunchy than her other comedies, it is no less fun to read. In fact, it reminded me of a funnier, sexier Janet Evanovich book (The Stephanie Plum Series is still a favorite).
Payton Lambert left her small hometown of Bald Knob (snicker) Kentucky as fast as she could after high school, and headed off to Chicago to get a business degree and fulfill her dream of opening her own coffee shop called “Liquid Crack”. Word spread that she sold the best coffee in the city, there were no frou-frou drinks, no working, no business calls, and all of the coffee was served in fun, unique mugs and drank in cushy sofas and chairs, so her business was successful, and about to be franchised.
When you come up to the counter at Liquid Crack, your size choices are I’m Okay, My Head Hurts, My Eye is Twitching, and PEOPLE ARE ABOUT TO DIE.
That last one is the extra-large, obviously.
Payton and her other coffee-obsessed employee, Bettie, take coffee very seriously, and I love how they treat people who come in wanting the fancy venti caramel soy lattes.
“You are a disgrace to coffee. Go away before I yank off those stupid Uggs and beat you with them.”
Payton hasn’t been home to Bald Knob in 12 years, but when she gets a phone call that she is listed as the In Case of Emergency number on her High School best friend’s hospital admittance papers, she heads home for the first time to rescue Emma Jo. While waiting for Emma Jo to wake up, she bumps into “Hot Guy”, and can’t stop thinking about him. It turns out Emma Jo has been beaten yet again by her husband Jed, the guy she married right after high school, who is also the town mayor, and the guy everyone loved. And it turned out ‘Hot Guy’ was the town sheriff who used to be the scrawny nerd that tutored Payton in high school.
Everyone might like the wife-beating Jed, but they certainly don’t like Payton. The town can’t forget the troublemaking antics she pulled in high school so everyone just assumes Payton is there to make trouble. But she is there to help her friend, to force her to leave the asshole. To change the locks and stand up to the son-of-a-bitch. But lots of wine makes for some really bad decisions, including baking poisoned pie. So when Jed turns up dead, the girls assume he ate the pie.
Between yelling at a dog peeing on her feet, neighbors remembering Payton stealing wine coolers and peeing on their lawn in high school, and more, the investigation into the murder is looking worse and worse for Payton. She shows up in town and the mayor is dead, and they all heard her threats.
“First it’s stealing wine coolers, then it’s selling your body for the marijuana, and next thing you know, you’re murdering someone in cold blood.”
During the zany investigation, Payton and Sheriff Leo Hudson are getting closer.
“I am not about to let how good he looks in a uniform mess with my head. Or his dimples. Or his bright blue eyes. Or how nice it was that he went out and got me coffee even though it tastes like what Bo Jangles pee smelled like.”
I loved how Payton and Emma Jo were awesome friends despite not hanging out for 12 years. And I loved Payton and Bettie’s banter. But I really really loved Payton and Leo.
“Leo Hudson’s tongue is in my mouth.
I repeat, LEO HUDSON’S TONGUE IS IN MY MOUTH!”
Despite his nerdy high school persona, Leo has turned into a fine manly man….yummy. But the real question is, will he find out about the pie? Will the girls go to jail? Can Payton and Leo get together? She lives in Chicago (or possibly jail), he is sheriff of a small town Payton wants no part of. Will Bo Jangles out the killers?
- Laugh out loud humor that is a little less crude than Tara’s previous books but still funny as hell.
- A group of characters you totally want to hang with.
- A fun mystery.
- The chapter titles are funny coffee mugs.
- The length and pacing were perfect.
- An accurate portrayal of small town life where everyone is in everyone else’s business.
- A sexy alpha cop.
- I honestly couldn’t find any.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 4.5 stars, 4 Heat
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