Cotton candy, corn dogs, and another corpse! As Buzz Miller and Sheriff J.J. Green pull yet another senior citizen out of a dumpster at the county fair, the town folk of White Bass Lake, Wisconsin realize something totally evil is afoot. Three bodies, three senior citizens, three separate dumpsters; Buzz knows they must be connected, but how? Not even Buzz’s “Irish magic” can make sense of dead end clues and a mysterious note. Swallowing her pride and eating a little crow is a small price to pay for Buzz when she is forced to enlist the aid of her little sister Alexandra, the “Librarian from Hell.” Can Al and her unbeatable research skills help Buzz unravel the grizzly mystery and find the murderer before another senior citizen shouts out their last “BINGO?” Al’s research takes the Miller sisters all the way back to 1929, where some secrets still lie silently at the bottom of Lake Geneva. Al Capone, missing diamonds, a murdered actress, and a brave little girl weave a tale of greed and murder that spans three generations. When the bad guy kidnaps Alexandra and ninety-four-year-old Alva Sweetwater, Buzz races against time to trap the murderer, and the entire town plays a part in the final showdown. Welcome to White Bass Lake, where the brats are on the grill, the beer is in the cooler, and the Miller sisters are dumpster diving for something Totally Evil.
Totally Evil is the third book in Gale Borger’s Miller Sisters Mysteries and woooo weeee do I loves me some Miller Sisters!! Totally Evil begins with exactly what the title promises a scene of pure evil with Buzz and J.J. all up in the middle of the drama. Someone has whacked a senior citizen and Buzz is working crowd control while J.J. and the Stooges dig through the dumpster looking for evidence. Little do the two know, this death is the first of several seemingly unrelated senior deaths that will not only jeopardize the safety of the town’s seniors but Buzz’s life as well and J.J. ain’t havin’ none of that!!
It’s pretty much pointless to give you a list of what I liked about this book because I liked it all, start to finish. Totally Evil is by far the most serious of the Miller Sisters mysteries but in typical Borger fashion, the drama is cut through with plenty of humor. Evil is a fantastic story of the past and her secrets crashing right on into the present – one of my absolute favorite story types. Nothing stays buried forever and in this case Buzz and J.J. are presented with a ton of randomness that is just that, random. It takes the Dynamic Duo quite some time and help from some very surprising sources before they are able to pull all the pieces together and figure out whose whacking seniors.
One of my favorite parts of this particular read are the surprising sources Buzz and J.J. call on to help them solve this mystery. The sources include the totally evil Miller sister, Alexandra and Mary Cromwell and the geriatric SWAT girls. Though Alex has made a few very brief appearances in the other two books, she sashays right on in to Totally Evil and makes quite the impression on everyone. Alex uses her impressive organizational and research skills to help Buzz pull together the pieces of the puzzle all while being impeccably well-dressed and kidnapped. Yes, kidnapped L And then there is Mary Cromwell and the geriatric SWAT girls: WOW are those girls some feisty old broads and I love them for every minute of their awesomeness. Truly, Mary is some kind of fantastic and her antics provide several laugh-out-loud moments.
As the novel steam rolls right on through to its dramatic ending, the whole town comes together to back up Buzz and J.J., rescue Alex and one delightful little old lady and, take down the bad guy. Though you don’t know if everyone is going to make it out alive, it is still a feel good moment seeing how everyone pulls together. Seriously? The rescue plan this town pulls off is audacious and awesome all at the same time! Also of note, throughout the entire read and through all the drama, J.J. pushes Buzz to talk about their growing relationship – man, oh, man is that is that man yummy! By the end of the novel, Buzz and J.J. (and the dogs, of course!) are stronger than ever and the big bad is taken down, Miller style!
The Bottom Line: The Miller Sisters and their mysteries are not slowing down one bit and Totally Evil is just as fresh and fun as the its predecessors, Totally Buzzed and Totally Fishy. Borger recycles nothing but the awesome! The plot is deep, a little dark, and totally (HA!) interesting and each of the characters continue to evolve and surprise me. I am a little in love with Alexandra and can’t wait to see her make an even bigger appearance in upcoming novels and the SWAT girls, WOW! More please! As always, I have absolutely no reservations recommending this read to a wide range of readers. It will certainly appeal to lovers of light mystery and romance and will absolutely appeal to all who are interested in a funny and well-written read!
A note about the cover: When Gale Borger contacted me about reviewing this title she mentioned nothing to me about the cover so imagine my surprise when I opened the eCopy, perused the cover and a saw a quote from one of my reviews on the cover. Yes, there was squeaking, squealing and the waking up of the husband to show him the awesomeness!! Thank you, Gale, it is an honor to be on the cover of one of your books 🙂
Some of my favorite Totally Evil moments:
Buzz reminiscing (on two separate occasions) about one of her least favorite people:
Tattle Tale Rosie grew up mean and graduated to Rosie the Floozy when she bragged about sleeping with her journalism professor to get a “B”. At the time I asked her if the grade was for journalism or did he think she’s just a lousy lay. (page 24)
She ignored me, I insulted her, and everything became right with the world.
“DON’T KILL THE DEAD GUY!”
Don’t kill the what? (pages 23-24)
Buzz to the indomitable Mary Cromwell:
“All right, Mary Cromwell, toss whatever you didn’t want Sheriff Green to see into the trunk”
Wide-eyed, Mary blinked slowly at me while she reached inside the pink monstrosity. She proceeded to pull out a sap, two pair of handcuffs, four cans of pepper spray, a Bodyguard 380, a Model 29 Smith with an eight-and-three-eighths barrel in chrome. It would have made Harry Callahan weep. . . . . She pulled out pliers, a Slim Jim, a pair of nun-chucks, a sock monkey (a sock monkey? Involuntarily I shivered), and the largest box of condoms I’d ever seen (No, I did not ask).” (page 260)
Again with the awesome of Mary:
“You know, the Green boy can be such a stick sometimes. How the heck is a lady supposed to protect herself in her own home or feel safe on the streets if she is forced to leave her .44 at home? Why, it’s an open invitation for some bad guy to break into my house and steal my Dirty Harry Special!” (page 280)
Trouble seems to follow Buzz Miller, and this time it finds her outside the town of White Bass Lake, Wisconsin, where the dead body of a neighbor woman turns up stashed under her mother’s house! The retired detective is reluctantly roped into finding out “who dunnit.”
In order to snag the bad guy, Buzz, along with her Biology teacher sister Mag, “The Maggot” Miller, have only to find the murderer by following the trail of a dead horse, uncovering the illegal importation of rare plants, breaking up an international drug trafficking ring, uncovering a designer drug lab, and avoid being bumped off by the bad guys.
Simple enough, right? That is, until her mom’s wacky “Geriatric S.W.A.T. Team” cronies turn the crime scene into a neighborhood barbeque and Buzz’s 160 pound Newfoundland chews up most of her initial investigation!
After a shoot out at the Not-So-OK-Corral, Buzz has to explain to Sheriff Green why his only solid suspect was now pushing up daisies while lying dead in the petunias!
Buzz Miller is up to her hip waders in trouble…again.
Two South American scientists swim in dangerous waters while assassins stalk them. A world-famous tropical fish collector is on a mountaintop involved in something very shady and totally fishy.
In White Bass Lake, two bargain basement hit men keep knocking off the wrong guys, and Buzz and her sister Fred find it more and more difficult to separate their criminal cases from the basket cases as 80-year-old Mary Cromwell is pole dancing on a parking meter in a blue go-go dress and orthopedic shoes!
Eventually, Buzz and Fred, along with the two scientists and a limo driver from Queens, try to reel in the bad guys while dodging bullets in the Venezuelan jungle. They dig up more than dirt when people and fish are dropping dead all around them, and they find themselves in danger of swimming with the fishes–permanently!
Can the Miller Sisters snag the bad guys hook, line, and sinker, or are they just cutting bait?
Welcome back to the zany world of the Miller Sisters where the brats are on the grill, the bait is on the hook and the Miller Sisters reel in another bad guy while leaving you up to your gills in laughter!
Gale Borger is the author of the hilarious Miller Sisters Mystery Series. Gale brings to life the small town of White Bass Lake, Wisconsin and its wacky inhabitants in Totally Buzzed, a madcap romp through murder and mayhem. Second in the series, Totally Fishy is an uproariously funny tale complete with a pole dancing granny and two bumbling hit men who can’t seem to bump off the right guy! Gale’s short story, Totally Decked, was out in time for Christmas, 2010. Gale’s books are published by Echelon Press, LLC.
With over 20 years in law enforcement-the last fifteen years as a correctional officer, Gale has extensive experiences from which to draw material for her books. Growing up in a screwball household with a lifetime of practical jokes and a whole lot of laughter behind her, lends much humor to her writing. As Gale puts it, “I’ve always been told ‘write what you know,’ and I know bad guys and funny stuff, with a little gardening thrown in for good measure.”
Gale has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Education. She lives in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband Bob, their sometimes-seen college student (dragging behind her a trombone and her dirty laundry), two dogs, two cats, about 1,000 tropical fish, a leopard gecko, a Pac-man frog, two turtles, and more flowers in her yard than grass. Visit Gale and get to know the Miller Sisters at http://galeborgerbooks.com
**Author info and photo from Goodreads**
Because I am awesome and I love this series so dang much, I have decided to offer ONE lucky US ONLY-winner a paperback copy of Totally Buzzed (Book #1: Miller Sisters Mysteries) and Totally Fishy (Book #2: Miller Sisters Mysteries). Total value of both books is $25.88 USD and the winner will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter; if you would like to review them, all the terms and conditions are available. To enter for your chance to win click the Rafflecopter link below and good luck 🙂