What I’m Reading Now: Laid To Rest by Patricia Ann Preston

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

If you heard wild laughter a couple of weeks ago, you’ll know exactly when I was reading Patricia Preston’s deliciously funny short story Laid to Rest.  I’m sorry I haven’t shared this with you sooner, but vacation last week threw me off schedule.  Still, if you’re in the mood for a short, black comedy, this book is the ticket.

Darlene Higginbottom is determined to shake the dust of Clayburn, Mississippi from her shoes and head for stardom in Hollywood.  However, traveling money is hard to come by in 1957, so Darlene tries to make a little on the side in the world’s oldest profession.  Trouble is, her first customer, Mayor Stroud, dies in her bed.  Now she must rely on two good ole boys, Richie Underwood and Tommy Ray Petty (Clayburn’s answer to Dumb and Dumber), to help get her out of this pickle, and the mayor out of her bed and back to his home.  All without his wife’s knowledge.  Their journey that night will keep you turning pages as your eyes water and your stomach aches with laughter.

Six sentences of Laid to Rest was the first snippet I ever read on Six Sentence Sunday over a year ago.  That’s how memorable it was.  I loved Darlene’s voice, the premise, everything told me, in just those six sentences, that this book was going to be fantastic.  I’m so glad I was proved right!  The humor has the quintessential Southern charm, the characters remind me of people I have known, and the descriptions recall hot summer nights of my youth (though never so colorful!).

My absolute favorite scene comes when Darlene discovers the mayor in her bed (she has just come from putting her “fee” away before getting down to business):

“The mayor was sprawled on top of the bed.  All two-hundred-plus pounds of him lay face down on the sagging mattress, crosswise.  When I looked at his pale, butt-naked body, all I could think of was a possum in the moonlight.”

That’s when you heard my wild cackling.  In a public place, too!

The only bad thing about this book is that it’s too short.  But I have it on good authority that this is not the end of Darlene, Ricky and Tommy.  I’m looking forward to the promise of that future book, so happy they have not, like Mayor Stroud, been laid to rest.

Laid to Rest is available on Amazon and the other usual e-vendors.

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12 Responses to What I’m Reading Now: Laid To Rest by Patricia Ann Preston

  1. Cera duBois says:

    Sounds like a haliarious read. Thanks.

  2. Ha, this book sounds hilarious. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Yes, she did draw you in with and make you want more. Thanks Jenna.

  4. Brenda says:

    LOL, oh wow, this sounds so damn good! I have to read it.

  5. Neecy Kelly says:

    Thanks for the heads-up! I love those type of stories.
    Neecy

  6. That does sound funny.

  7. There aren’t too many books that make me laugh out loud, but if it tickled your funny bone, Jenna, then I’m sure I’ll love it too. Gonna go get a copy right now.

  8. D'Ann Lindun says:

    I love those kind of stories! I am going to look this one up!

  9. sue says:

    Yeah I remember that from SSS also. hmm that was my tag line on the defunct Devil’s Mistress. Gues great minds think alike. Laughing in public is fun Jenna, I do it at the pool. Unfortunately the book fell into the pool…

  10. Kary Rader says:

    OMG, this one sounds like one for me! LOL It’s on my list.

  11. jerridrennen says:

    I’ve seen this book a time or two on-line. It sounds like a really fun read.

  12. Sounds like a fun read Jenna…gotta love a book that can make you laugh out loud! Thanks for sharing :)

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