What Happened on Beale Street is an exciting addition to the Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These standalone, complex crime dramas follow a private investigator’s quest to make the world a better place…solving one case at a time.
A cryptic plea for help from a childhood friend sends cousins Nate and Nicki Price from New Orleans to Memphis, the home of scrumptious barbecue and soulful blues music. When they arrive at Danny Andre’s last known address, they discover signs of a struggle and a lifestyle not in keeping with the former choirboy they fondly remember.
Danny’s sister, Isabelle, reluctantly accepts their help. She and Nate aren’t on the best of terms due to a complicated past, yet they will have to get beyond that if they want to save Danny.
On top of Danny’s alarming disappearance and his troubled relationship with Isabelle, Nate also has to rein in his favorite cousin’s overzealousness as a new and eager PI. Confronted with a possible murder, mystery, and mayhem in the land of the Delta blues, Nate must rely on his faith and investigative experience to keep one or more of them from getting killed.
Mary Ellis is the best selling author of seven Amish inspirational novels that include The Wayne County series and The Miller Family series. She grew up in Ohio close to an Amish community. Before becoming a full-time writer, Mary taught middle school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. All three of her Miller Family series books have made the CBA and CBD bestseller lists. A Widow’s Hope was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards for 2010 and a runner-up in the 2010 Holt Medallion Awards.
What Happened on Beale Street was By The Book’s January 2017 selection. We read book 1, Midnight on The Mississippi, in 2016 and really liked it. Mystery/suspense is our favorite genre, and when you combine it with potential road trip destinations . . . well, we are definitely in! The second book in Ellis’s Secrets of The South series features returning and new characters and a brand new mystery to investigate. These novels are standalone offerings, allowing the reader to jump in at any time. While those who read the book (yes we don’t always get the books finished before our meetings 😉 ) generally liked it, the general consensus was that it was a bit slow to develop. Also there are two mysteries being investigated, and we felt that the progress of the story lines often felt interrupted. Overall, though, we enjoyed What Happened on Beale Street and would recommend it.
In this second novel in the series, Nate is the main character. His character is expanded and he is introduced to a love interest. Nicki and Hunter, the two main characters from the first book, are given a secondary story line that was innovative and interesting. Although there is a mystery to solve with plenty of suspects and a stalking to thwart, What Happened on Beale Street was more about Nate and Izzy’s attraction. This is a romantic suspense where romance is front and center. In the end, the resolution of the crime was quick, almost too quick. However, I was ready for the mystery to be solved. One unusual feature of this book is that the victim was a genuinely good guy who everyone loved (at least almost everyone!). Many times authors make the victim the bad guy that no one mourns or often are glad they are gone. Danny’s character was revealed through those he had interacted with during his life. His death left a void in all the characters’ lives.
At least two more books in the series remain. We will probably be along for all the mysterious doings with Nate, Izzy, Nicki and Hunter.
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(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)