"Highball Exit", by Phyllis Smallman

Highball Exit (The Sherri Travis Mystery Series) - Phyllis Smallman

Book 5, in the Sherri Travis mystery series

Ms. Smallman definitely has oodles of ideas to keep her series vibrant and entertaining. You would think that after 5 novels her bartender protagonist, Sherri Travis, would learn she has enough trouble of her own and not get involved in the madness around her, but some people are just not cut out that way….. 

The inspiration behind this wonderful series is taken from the numerous headlines we witness in the news, in my opinion, the author is not about to run out of ideas. Local wildlife and weather conditions such as alligators and hurricanes always play an important part in spicing up the action and of course there is always a light touch of romance to titillate the reader’s imagination.

In this saga Sherri is behind on her mortgage and about to lose the Sunset Bar & Grill, her home and source of revenue. To the rescue comes Aunt Kay with a proposition: she is willing to compensate Sherri for help in an investigation as to what really happened to Holly Mitchell and her daughter Angel. Aunt Kay was very fond of Holly and played an important part in her upbringing. They always kept in touch and when Holly was found dead and her baby girl missing, Aunt Kay was devastated. To Sherri this seems like easy money till one day she finds herself over her head in a world of drugs and hard core prostitution. 

I have always been partial to the style of writing in this series: it is sharp, funny and the plot keeps a steady pace with plenty of suspenseful moments throughout. “Highball Exit” is a bit more violent than the previous novels however the gruesome details have not been sensationalised. I love the new addition to the cast. Aunt Kay is a bubbly old lady with a colourful side (shocking pink outfit and all) but don’t let that fool you. In my view she really was the star in this novel and I hope to see her back someday. Sherri’s beau is still making promises and we are left wondering if he is going to finally settle down and make Sherri’s life a little bit easier.