What Happened on Beale Street is an exciting addition to the Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These standalone, complex crime dramas follow a private investigator's quest to make the world a better place...solving one case at a time.
A cryptic plea for help from a childhood friend sends cousins Nate and Nicki Price from New Orleans to Memphis, the home of scrumptious barbecue and soulful blues music. When they arrive at Danny Andre's last known address, they discover signs of a struggle and a lifestyle not in keeping with the former choirboy they fondly remember.
Danny's sister, Isabelle, reluctantly accepts their help. She and Nate aren't on the best of terms due to a complicated past, yet they will have to get beyond that if they want to save Danny.
On top of Danny's alarming disappearance and his troubled relationship with Isabelle, Nate also has to rein in his favorite cousin's over-zealousness as a new and eager PI. Confronted with a possible murder, mystery, and mayhem in the land of the Delta blues, Nate must rely on his faith and investigative experience to keep one or more of them from getting killed.
My thoughts: WHAT HAPPENED ON BEALE STREET is the second book in Ms. Ellis's Secrets of the South Mysteries series, but it easily stands alone. I didn't read Midnight on the Mississippi, the first book in the series, and didn't get lost in WHAT HAPPENED ON BEALE STREET at all.
Set in Memphis, Tennessee, that is enough to set this country girl's teeth on edge. I am not a Memphis native, but I have been there a grand total of three times in my life (so far) and it is scary enough without reading about the seedier part of town. Add in a murder, druggies, down-and-out individuals, creepy stalkers, and missing jewels and you've got a tale that is sure to please most cozy mystery lovers.
The story is rather slow. It is definitely not edge of your seat, have to keep reading fiction. It is not scary and is easy to put down. Out of the mysteries included I found the missing jewels the most intriguing and the one I most wanted to read about. Ms. Ellis is talented with Amish, historical, and cozy mystery, and author that apparently can write anything with ease. Fans of her Amish or historical will likely love her contemporary cozy mystery, too. Don't miss WHAT HAPPENED ON BEALE STREET for a taste of Memphis you won't soon forget. 4 stars.