TouchWood Editions (2014)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (12/14)
While I am sure that most of us have had some regrets about having “just one more drink,” In “Martini Regrets” by Phyllis Smallman, it throws Sherri Travis’ life into complete disarray. This choice results in her ending up robbed and stranded, late at night, at a gas station in the Everglades. Realizing that something much bigger is involved, she runs for her life. Well, she actually has to steal a canoe and paddle away. This escape plan leads her to a plant nursery where she finds a dead body. Obviously the victim of foul play, Sherri is desperate not to get involved. At this point she is really regretting that one last martini.
Certain circumstances cause Sherri to be pulled directly into the drama. Trying to maintain secrecy about what she saw puts her life even more at risk. This also causes her to become involved with a cast of eccentric characters, any one of them could have committed the murder. Her efforts to remove herself from this group of people seem to draw her further into the drama. From attending a fancy masquerade ball, to visiting an isolated island of a seemingly wealthy suspect, Sherri is off on an adventure to solve the mystery so that she can free herself from these people.
I found myself hooked, as soon as I started reading “Martini Regrets.” Sixth in a series, the novel stands well on its own, however, I enjoyed it enough to go back and read the earlier ones in this series. The author has a knack for creating some eccentric characters. She also does an excellent job describing the everglades in a way that makes the reader feel like they are there. The vivid descriptions, especially of the wildlife, make me happy that I am not there! While it is obvious that the main character Sherri has been through a lot of painful trials in the previous novels, her character also gets tested and has to evolve even more in this book. I appreciated how she had to reach deep within herself to use all of her reserves to survive both physical and emotional ordeals. I highly recommend “Martini Regrets” by Phyllis Smallman for individual readers and for reading groups.