Exit the Turtle Lady

Cleland Reid
PublishAmerica (2014)
ISBN 9781611027808
Reviewed by Michel Violante for Reader Views (02/15)

In “Exit the Turtle Lady” by Cleland Reid, the story begins with R. A. Endicott, a local handyman, who is with his best friend Skipper and his wife and daughter at a local fair in Lockman County, Idaho one morning.  They were going to the main grandstand in the main arena to see the logger competition. While standing there they saw smoke coming out from Ivy Slimjohn’s place across the street. Suddenly a big explosion followed the smoke. After the flying debris landed and the ambulance took injured Ivy Slimjohn, also known as the “turtle lady” due to the infinite amount of turtles she harbored, the authorities started their investigation directing their attention to Endicott and his friend Skipper.

They interrogated Endicott due to a quarrel Ivy had with him when he ran over one of her turtles by accident. Skipper’s problems with Ivy were over whether he used organic composed or not for his pecans. Finally, they were not considered suspects for too long and Ivy, who was a passionate environmentalist, left the hospital and stayed at Endicott’s neighbor since she had lost her home; but the mystery had just begun, and Endicott couldn’t keep his nose out of it.

Reid created a witty mystery through exceptional character development filled with picturesque scenery and situations where everything that seems to be, is not really at all. The characters are awesome and genuine to the setting and story. The plot is filled with twists and turns while keeping small town simplicity. An amazingly well written story of small America meets big mystery plot created an entertaining, funny, and delightful story sure to become a favorite amongst readers. The book is easy to read, and I actually finished it in a couple of sittings, as it kept me turning pages, pausing only to laugh out loud.

"Exit the Turtle Lady” by Cleland Reid is a hilarious and unique must read book. I totally recommend it to all readers who enjoy light mysteries, and rate it a five star read!