Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Guest Review - I Can't Make You Love Me, But I Can Make You Leave

I Can't Make You Love Me, But I Can Make You Leave
By Dixie Cash
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 5, 2011

The Domestic Equalizers are back with book 7, and it may be their funniest adventure yet. Darla Denman was once the brightest star in the country music galaxy, but currently her star has so shrunk in size and luster that she’s reduced to a third-rate tour on a single bus that may or may not get her to her next gig. She’s a living legend who’s been off the charts so long that her fans believe she’s dead. On her way to a telethon in Midland, Texas, the tour bus breaks down near Salt Lick, a town Cash fans will recognize as the home of hair stylists and sleuths, Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin, whose “Styling Station,” in what was once a gas station, gives equal billing to their two professions. When Darla finds herself missing two backup singers, she persuades Debbie Sue and Edwina, both loyal Darla Denman fans, to take their place.

Before the new backup singers get their moment in the spotlight, Roxie Jo Denman, Darla’s much younger opening act and current wife of Bob Denman, Darla’s ex-husband and manager, is found murdered. Roxie Jo has managed to alienate nearly everyone on the tour bus and half the population of Salt Lick, and thus, the list of those who would like to have made her disappear is too long for a single page of a legal pad. But Darla is the prime suspect. Debbie Sue and Edwina, convinced of Darla’s innocence, are determined to do what they do best—“talking, listening, and spreading some bullshit around.” The Domestic Equalizers are on the scene, and all their skills will be needed for this case since Darla has confessed and been given a county-appointed attorney named Rooster, who never heard of Perry Mason.

Just the title of a Dixie Cash book is enough to set a reader smiling, and once the story begins, the smiles turn to laughter. Darla, “tucked, plucked, and sucked” in her battle against age, is an endearing character with a heart as big as her reputation once was, and readers will root for her HEA with Bob, ex-husband #1. The large cast of secondary characters is colorful and humorous. But it is Debbie Sue and Edwina—their sleuthing, their friendship, and their relationships with their husbands and their community—who keep the reader hooked and eager for their next outrageous act. They may occasionally doubt themselves. Edwina responds to Debbie Sue’s reminder that they are professionals on a mission with these words: “I feel more like Lucy and Ethel . . . . And I’m not sure we can even save ourselves.” But the reader never doubts that the Domestic Equalizers will prevail, although they may be battered and bewildered before they win.

Dixie Cash is the pseudonym of sister act, Texans Pamela Cumbie and Jeffery McClanahan. I Can't Make You Love Me, But I Can Make You Leave, like their other rollicking tales, will appeal to those who like the humor in their funny mysteries broad. It may be less palatable to those who prefer classic mysteries. Some readers may also be troubled by a victim so self-centered and malicious that the story’s justice seems to lie in her murder rather than in the mystery’s resolution.



  1. Worth a read for the title alone -I "Can't Make You Love Me, But I Can Make You Leave' - I just love that. There is always room for humor in a book.

  2. I do believe I've read one of these books before. If it wasn't by Dixie Cash, it was someone with the same idea of the girlfriends and the PI comapny. Love, love, LOVE the title though! It alone would make me want to buy it, I think.

  3. Love the title of this one! Makes you want to read it.

  4. Thanks for the great guest review, Janga! This sounds like one hoot of a book!

  5. Buffie took the words right out of my mouth--this one sounds like a hoot!! LOL

  6. This sounds like fun. I have not heard of this series or Dixie Cash, but I am going to be looking for them. We all need an escapist read every once in a while. Any character that would compare their abilities to Lucy and Ethel is sure to be fun.
    Thanks for the review and the heads-up about these books.

  7. Thank you for introducing an author new to me. I'm always on the lookout for new writers and as already posted, I,too, love the title! Sounds like it could be a Country/Western song, Like "I Lost My Heart on the Freeway of Love"

  8. I love the humor and wit with which Dixie Cash writes. My daughter and I are huge fans of her books and this one sounds like a jewel!

    Connie Fischer

  9. I do enjoy these books and have recommended them to others as quick, fun reads. The titles do make me smile.

  10. I injured my shoulder (getting better). Yesterday, I mentioned the title of this book while I was getting Physical Therapy. Not only the therapist, but everyone laughed out loud at the title! Now, I have to buy it and read it. So many books TBR. Lucky, lucky me.


  11. I love reading books my the duo Dixie Cash.
    I love their down home humor and common sense.