She applied the “Page 99 Test” to Can't Never Tell, the fifth Southern Fried Mystery featuring Avery Andrews, and reported the following:
In Can't Never Tell, the Page 99 test gives a nice overview for the major themes in the murder mystery and for its protagonist, attorney Avery Andrews.Learn more about the author and her books at Cathy Pickens' website.
Captured on page 99 is the conflict with Professor Rog Reimann, a client whose wife disappeared over the edge of a waterfall and who doesn't think he needs representation, even as the police size him up as a likely murderer. Stir into the mix Eden Rand, a fellow professor who has taken Rog under her protective wing, despite the eyebrows raised by her obvious attentions to an until-recently married man.
The page also gives a glimpse of the growing and quirky friendship between Avery and Rudy, a high school acquaintance who is now chief sheriff's deputy.
Then there's the Fourth of July festivities in a small Southern town, complete with a waitress at Maylene's who resents having to work the holiday -- or work at all.
In small towns, the closeness and intimacy of the residents gathers alongside the tensions that familiarity can breed; those themes run through the book.
At its heart, the book is a traditional mystery, showcasing the small-town South, family closeness and long-standing friendships, the importance of food and celebration, even the classic scarred Formica table at the local diner where Avery contemplates whether the scratches "formed a Rorschach outline or a meditative maze I could trace with my finger."
Page 99 gives the flavor of a book that combines traditional puzzle mystery with quirky humor and a head-line death whose tendrils reach surprising places. Come and visit.
The Page 99 Test: Hush My Mouth.