4 star

Officer Elvis

Darla Cavannah Mysteries series – #2

By  Gary Gusick 

ISBN# 9780553390285

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

officer_elvis Synopsis:

After performing at a local old-folks home, off-duty police officer and part-time Elvis impersonator Tommy Reylander smoothes out his pompadour, climbs into his pink Caddy, and gets all shook up—fatally so, when a bomb explodes. Whether he was killed for his police work or bad singing is a mystery that detective Darla Cavannah is determined to solve.

Though it’s been several years since Darla (reluctantly) partnered up with Tommy, she convinces her boss to let her lead the murder investigation. As the new regional director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Shelby Mitchell can think of better uses for his star detective’s time, but not even the most hardened good ole boy can resist Darla’s smart, savvy persuasions. She soon embarks on a roller coaster ride through the world of Elvis tribute artists while tracking down one of the most bizarre serial killers in the history of the Magnolia State. Aiding her pursuit of the killer is recently reprimanded officer Rita Gibbons, fresh from the trailer park and described by Shelby as “half a licorice stick short in the manners department.” But Rita’s plenty smart, even when this case takes their suspicious


Officer Elvis is the second book in the Darla Cavannah Mysteries series. Though this is the first book by author Gary Gusick that I have read, I am happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery 🙂    I plan on reading the first book as well now!

This is a novel featuring Darla Cavannah. She is a strong-willed female detective from the North, living and working in Jackson, Mississippi.  In this story Darla is investigating the murder of a fellow law enforcement officer (and her former partner) and part-time Elvis impersonator on the side, Tommy Reylander. Lieutenant Darla Cavannah is with the MBI – Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (statewide agency), Jackson Office.  While Tommy’s death is a local matter, Darla pushes to have the case…..

“Remember the line at the end of the movie The Maltese Falcon? When somebody kills your partner, you’re supposed to do something about it.”

Major Shelby Mitchell does not want a dud of a case hanging around, and I quote:

“the unsolved murder of a fellow police officer is not the kind of case a law enforcement official in my position wants hanging around his neck, not if he has in mind to keep his job. As you well know, I officially serve at the will and pleasure of the governor.  Which means I can be sacked without so much as a never you mind.  …Lookie here, Miss Darla, the media is going to have a feeding frenzy if Tommy’s killer ain’t caught.  And I don’t favor them feeding on me.”  

Shelby finally capitulates and gives Darla 3 days to solve the crime, or it gets dumped back to a local county sheriff.  There is no one on staff that Darla would want to work with (their thoughts “Darla had a directness and lack of gentility that most Mississippians-including most of the other detectives in the bureau-saw as offensive.”)  So, Darla is paired up with Rita Gibbons, a quirky character that once you get to know her idiosyncrasies, she is quite the character…which Darla learns and comes to appreciate.  They made quite the crime solving team.

The twists and turns abound.  One murder turns into another and then another….looks like a plot to kill all Elvis impersonators?  With superior sleuthing skills, Darla uncovers something bigger than first anticipated, a serial killer of Elvis impersonators.  But why?  Well that you will have to discover for yourself.  The mystery was well laid out and kept my attention throughout the book.

The manner in which all the different Elvis’ were introduced kept my interest.  And Cilla (Tommy’s widow) kept me smiling.  I could SO picture her!  Big hair and all.  I was said though when that beautiful car was trashed by way of explosion.  Really??? Sacrilegious to blow up such a fine vehicle – in my opinion.  I also loved all the song title dropping.  Like a blast from the past of a well-loved entertainer.  “All Shook Up”,  “Blue Suede Shoes”, etc.

If you are a fan of Elvis, murder mysteries and could use a few good laughs at the same time, pick up this book and give it a read.  You won’t be sorry.  Thank you, thank you very much. 🙂

*OBS would like to thank the author and TLC Book Tours for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*