Carl Hiaasen meets Lisa Gardner in Gary Gusick’s edgy, irresistible Darla Cavannah series! In The Legacy, a college coed’s murder exposes deadly tensions tearing through the Deep South.
When the governor of Mississippi requests her help, Yankee transplant Darla Cavannah can hardly say no—even if the timing couldn’t be worse. She and her dreamy husband, Dr. Stephen Nicoletti, have just been approved to adopt a baby girl in China, and getting wrapped up in a high-profile homicide will almost certainly complicate, if not derail, all their plans. But as Governor Wilson Burnett relays the details of the case, Darla feels deep sympathy—and blinding outrage at a promising life cut short.
On the campus of prestigious Ole Miss, a young African American student has been found killed just hours after her initiation into a previously segregated sorority. The murder would be shocking under any circumstances, but this student is Caitlin Burnett—the white governor’s adopted daughter.
With public outrage building and media coverage intensifying, Darla’s partner, Rita Gibbons, proves invaluable. Her deep roots in the community—or “trailer trash cred”—helps considerably as the crime-solving pair sift fact from fiction. If this murder was racially motivated, why does the most damning evidence appear to have been staged? As the trail leads from Caitlin’s fellow Delta Betas to radical white supremacists and her father’s political enemies, the detectives close in on the disturbing truth—and a devious manipulator pulling all the strings.
In the vein of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, Gary Gusick takes readers on an explosive ride-along with Mississippi detective Darla Cavannah, a Yankee transplant making her name in the Deep South.
After performing at a local old-folks home, off-duty police officer and part-time Elvis impersonator Tommy Reylander smoothes out his pompadour, climbs into his pink Caddy, and gets all shook up—fatally so, when a bomb explodes. Whether he was killed for his police work or bad singing is a mystery that detective Darla Cavannah is determined to solve.
Though it’s been several years since Darla (reluctantly) partnered up with Tommy, she convinces her boss to let her lead the murder investigation. As the new regional director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Shelby Mitchell can think of better uses for his star detective’s time, but not even the most hardened good ole boy can resist Darla’s smart, savvy persuasions. She soon embarks on a roller coaster ride through the world of Elvis tribute artists while tracking down one of the most bizarre serial killers in the history of the Magnolia State. Aiding her pursuit of the killer is recently reprimanded officer Rita Gibbons, fresh from the trailer park and described by Shelby as “half a licorice stick short in the manners department.” But Rita’s plenty smart, even when this case takes their suspicious minds in an entirely unexpected direction.
Praise for Officer Elvis
“With its comical Down South style and its wide variety of sequined, pompadoured characters, Officer Elvis is an intriguing mystery with more than its share of quirks. Even if you’re not a fan of the King, you’re sure to get plenty of laughs out of this rockin’ and rollin’ whodunit.”—Kristin Dreyer Kramer, NPR’s Shelf Discovery
“An absolute hoot from beginning to end . . . Be prepared to be all shook up by the ending.”—Reading Reality
“If you are a fan of Elvis, murder mysteries and could use a few good laughs at the same time, pick up this book and give it a read. You won’t be sorry.”—Open Book Society
“The region and societal habits are so present, the setting is like an additional character to the story. I stayed up an hour past my self-imposed bedtime to read more.”—Lilac Reviews
In a fast-paced, suspenseful debut novel for fans of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, detective Darla Cavannah goes Deep South in pursuit of a merciless killer.
Outside the local women’s health clinic, the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge waving his protest sign is a familiar sight. But that changes early one morning when someone shoots the beloved Reverend Jimmy dead. Sheriff Shelby Mitchell knows the preacher’s murder will shock the good people of Jackson—and the pressure to find the killer is immediate and intense, which is why Shelby calls in detective Darla Cavannah.
When police detective Darla moved from Philadelphia to Jackson with her husband—hometown football hero Hugh “the Glue” Cavannah—she never imagined the culture shock that awaited. Then after Hugh dies in a car crash, Darla enters a self-imposed exile in her Mississippi home, taking a leave of absence from the sheriff’s department. Now she’s called back to duty—or coerced, more like it, with Shelby slathering on his good-ole-boy charm nice and thick, like on a helping of barbecue.
Reluctantly partnered with a mulish Elvis impersonator, Darla keeps a cool head even as the community demands an arrest. The court of public opinion has already convicted the clinic’s doctor, Stephen Nicoletti, but Darla is just as sure he’s not guilty—even as she fights her growing attraction to him. From the genteel suburbs to a raunchy strip club, Darla follows a trail of dirty money and nasty secrets—until the day of judgment comes, and she faces down an ungodly assassin.