New Books from Phillips and Flagg

Two authors I can always depend upon for a thoroughly enjoyable read are Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Fannie Flagg, both of whom released new books in the past few months.

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Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ latest entry in her Chicago Stars series (#8) is First Star I See Tonight, the story of first-star-i-see-tonightCooper Graham, retired Stars quarterback now running his own night club and thinking about expanding to run clubs for other players, and Piper Dove, who has bought her late father’s detective agency back from her wicked stepmother and landed a job trailing Cooper for the investor thinking about financing his expansion.

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Piper annoys (and impresses) Cooper so much that he hires her to analyze the security at his club, while both of them, in true romance fashion, find reasons to resist their attraction to each other. Not content with one job, Piper finds herself driving for truly annoying Middle Eastern princesses and looking for her elderly neighbor’s dead husband. Along the way she manages to drag Coop into her adventures, and into her heart.

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I’ve read several of Phillips’ previous books (what romance lover hasn’t?) but this was my first Chicago Stars novel. I immediately went out and found the previous entry in the series, Match Me If You Can, to find out how two of the supporting characters in First Star got together.

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Fannie Flagg’s latet novel is The Whole Town’s Talking, an oddly structured novel about the town of Elmwood Spring, Missouri, from the establishment of a hilltop cemetery in 1889 through its last interment in 2016. A the-whole-towns-talkingfour-hundred-page collection of vignettes about the people who established, built, and lived in the town, the novel centers around the strange goings-on in the cemetery (not, I assure you, the least bit frightening).

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I’ve read several of Flagg’s books, too, most recently I Still Dream About You and The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion (which I loved to the point of forcing it on several friends), but I did not know that she wrote three previous books set in Elmwood Springs. Now that I’ve met the folks there, I want to read more about them. I’ve rounded up Standing in the Rainbow and Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, but I still have to find Welcome to the World, Baby Girl.

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Sigh. So many good books, so many authors with back lists, so little time to read. I’ll keep you posted. (Join me on GoodReads, if you like.)

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