May Cooler Heads Prevail (Hometown Mysteries)
T. L. Dunnegan
Barbour Publishing (2010)
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (3/11)
“May Cooler Heads Prevail” is a fictional story surrounding a close-knit, but extremely odd, family. After Dixie Tanner receives a bewildering phone call from her Uncle Rudd stating that the man who disappeared over forty years ago after standing up her Aunt Connie at the altar has returned to town, but was found murdered shortly afterward. It does not look good for Connie because his body was found in her flower shop with her standing over him, scissors in hand. Dixie says she will get there as soon as possible and inquires about the police investigation. Shockingly, she learns that her relatives have decided to hide the body and search for the killer themselves.
The characters in this book are wacky, but lovable. Dixie, a psychologist in Little Rock, should be able to talk some sense into the family, but she is quickly drawn into their web of chaos. Living in a small town has left Aunt Nissa innocent and trusting. Aunt Connie is feisty and enjoys playing the role of matchmaker for Dixie. Uncle Rudd can make even the most illogical plan sound perfectly feasible. Singularly, none of the characters could serve as the focal point of the book. However, the way the author combines their eccentricities and personalities creates a much deeper insight into each of them.
The author chose an extremely clever title for this book (although I will not say why so as to not give too much away). The story is humorous and the plot moves at a pretty rapid pace. Choosing a small town as the setting was a good idea. Doing that made it much more difficult for the family to conceal what they were doing. This resulted in many near misses which led to even more humorous situations.
“May Cooler Heads Prevail” is intended for an adult audience. It provides a light-hearted look at a serious subject. The suspense, matchmaking efforts, and list of endearing characters make this an enjoyable book that will leave the reader satisfied. It might even make them wonder what kind of crazy things their own relatives may do in the privacy of their own homes.