Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies (A Romaine Wilder Mystery) (Romaine Wilder #1) by Abby L. Vandiver: Review

SECRETS, LIES, & CRAWFISH PIES features Romaine Wilder, a medical examiner in her early forties being forced into making big changes in her life. She's moving from a successful and fast paced life in Chicago back to her hometown of Roble, Texas where life moves at a slower pace but with deeper connections. Romaine's professional and personal life is in flux and she is none too happy about it. Torn between believing that she has outgrown her small town roots and wanting to be respectful of where she comes from, Romaine is in a tough spot. Her Aunt Zanne on the other hand knows exactly what Romaine needs to do, much to Romaine's chagrin. 

SECRETS, LIES, & CRAWFISH PIES is a completely enjoyable and entertaining cozy mystery with everything that I would have wanted in this type of story. Likable main characters in Romaine who happens to be at a crossroads in her life and her busy body Aunt Zanne who knows everyone's business in their small home town in East Texas and has a desire to set things right herself. I completely related to Romaine's relationship with her aunt. I myself have family members who have the same magical powers of getting me to do things that I know that I said I didn't want to do. I have often found myself at church functions, charity events, and general social functions wondering how the hell I ended up there while also knowing exactly how it happened. 

Abby Vandiver also created secondary characters that I hope will continue to play a role in future books. Some who I expect will add interest and some with opaque pasts that I hope will add some twists and turns to future stories. Best of all for me, this is a cozy mystery written by a Black woman featuring Black women, and it doesn't hurt that it is set in a part of the country that I have great personal affection for and can easily picture while reading. I love when a good story is set in a place that I am familiar with.

 I am so happy that I had the opportunity to read this book and will happily continue the series. 

**I received a review copy in exchange for an honest opinion.**

Romaine Wilder, big-city medical examiner with a small-town past, has been downsized and evicted. With few other options, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Robel in East Texas, leaving behind the man she’s dating and the life she’s worked hard to build. 

Suzanne Babet Derbinay, Romaine’s Auntie Zanne and proprietor of the Ball Funeral Home, has long since traded her French Creole upbringing for Big Texas attitude. She’s a member in a number of ladies’ auxiliaries and clubs, including being in charge of the Tri-County Annual Crawfish Boil and Music Festival. 

Hanging on to the magic of her Louisiana roots, she’s cooked up a love potion or two—if she could only get Romaine to drink it. But her plans are derailed when the Ball Funeral Home, bursting at the seams with dead bodies, has a squatter stiff. 

Dead Guy is a problem. 

Auntie Zanne can’t abide by a murderer using her funeral home as the dumping grounds for their crimes, and Romaine doesn’t want her newly elected cousin, Sheriff Pogue Folsom, to fail on his first murder case. Together, Romaine and Auntie Zanne set off to solve it. 

With a dash of humor, a dollop of Southern charm, and a peek at current social issues in the mix, it’s a fun romp around East Texas to solve a murder mystery of the cozy kind. 

About the Author

Website  Twitter  Facebook

WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR, Abby L. Vandiver is the author of three cozy mystery series - Logan Dickerson, Normal Junction, and Tiny House, and one mystery sci-fi series, The Mars I Origin. She also penned a historical fiction book, At the End of the Line with Kathryn Dionne.

Recently, Abby contracted with Henery Press for the three-book Romaine Wilder series. The first book, Secrets, Lies and Crawfish pies will be out in June 2018.

Abby is a former lawyer and college professor of Economics. She spends her free time reading, watching mystery movies and enjoying her grandchildren.


  1. Sounds like my cup of tea. And, I do love a good cozy mystery. Nice review!

  2. Thanks Jazmen and I hope that you enjoy it too!


Find Book Goodness (I'm an Amazon Affiliate!)