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Mama Does Time (A Mace Bauer Mystery) Paperback – October 8, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: A Mace Bauer Mystery (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK; 1 edition (October 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738713295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738713298
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Mama Does Time has it all -- murder, mystery and a brand new take on Florida's particular version of mayhem. " -- Bob Morris, fourth-generation Floridian and Edgar-nominated author of the Zack Chasteen mystery novels

"Not since the late Anne George has there been such laugh-out-loud Southern fried fun. Deborah Sharp's Mama Does Time is a hilarious page turner with crisp and intelligent writing." -- Sue Ann Jaffarian, author of the Odelia Grey Mystery series

"Who knew that a who-dun-it would not only keep you guessing--but have you laughing! Deborah Sharp is the new Edna Buchanan." -- Hoda Kotb, NBC "Today" show co-anchor

"Deborah Sharp's witty way with words makes Mama Does Time as much fun as a down-home visit with your quirky Florida cousins.'' -- Nancy Martin, author of the Blackbird Sisters Mysteries

"With a strong, funny heroine, colorful characters, and a look at a part of Florida the tourists rarely see, Deborah Sharp has an engaging new series. Make sure Mama Does Time does time on your bookshelf." -- Elaine Viets, author of Clubbed to Death: a Dead-End Job Mystery

About the Author

Like the main character in her “Mace Bauer Mysteries,’’ her family roots were set in Florida long before Disney or Miami Vice. As a native and former reporter for USA Today, she knows the spots not found on maps: Molasses Junction. Muse, and now, Himmarshee, her own tiny slice of “Authentic Florida.’’

To create Himmarshee, Deborah borrowed from the present-day ranching town of Okeechobee, and from the south Florida of her family’s past.

Not far from Ft. Lauderdale, her dad used to walk to town, leading the family cow. A generation later, Deborah rode her horse over the same citrus- and ranch-dotted terrain. Now, it’s all interstates and strip malls.

The difference between Mace’s hometown and hers: Deborah will never let Himmarshee be spoiled by sprawl.

The News-Press in Fort Myers gave Deborah her first job, in 1982. Her favorite assignment: getting cast as a zombie when Day of the Dead filmed on Sanibel Island.  Her fellow extras raved about her lurching.

A News-Press bonus: she met TV reporter Kerry Sanders in Immokalee, both of them shivering at dawn to see whether a winter freeze would ruin the green pepper crop. They’ve been married since 1989. No kids; no pets, but had goldfish once. Turned out badly—not a good omen for higher life forms.

When they moved back to Deborah’s hometown in 1991, the occasional stories she’d been writing for USA Today became a flood. Miami’s loony nature gives it a lock on headlines.

And then, 9/11, and everything changed.  One of her last assignments before she left the paper was profiling soldiers killed in war. Grieving parents; spouses; kids. She couldn’t absorb all that sadness anymore. 

So, at age fifty, fiction-writing beckoned. She’d get to determine the endings. Punish the bad and reward the good. And, she’d throw in some romance, too.

She likes writing about Mama because the character makes her laugh. And doesn’t everyone need a smile now and then?


◊ NBC's Today Show from November 4, 2008

◊ "Mayor's Book Talk" from January 14, 2009

◊ NBC6 "South Florida Today." from July 17, 2009

◊ NBC's Today Show from August 4, 2009

◊ WJXT-TV from November 17, 2009

◊ NBC's Today Show from August 24, 2010

◊ NBC's Today Show from December 28, 2011

More About the Author

Deborah Sharp, a former USA Today reporter, traded sad news stories for light fiction with her ''Mace Bauer Mysteries.'' Set in a sweet-tea-and-barbecue slice of her native Florida, Deborah's books are funny, with a soft Southern edge: Think Carl Hiaasen on estrogen.

This summer brings Book #5, MAMA GETS TRASHED (Midnight Ink, Sept. 2013). A scandalously clad murder victim in the city dump leads Mace to unmask a secret sex ring. Bondage and boinking in little Himmarshee? Good Gravy! Mama's blushing pinker than her favorite sweet wine. The series debuted in 2008 with MAMA DOES TIME. To research the trail-ride setting of 2009's MAMA RIDES SHOTGUN, Deborah saddled up for a 120-mile trek across Florida. What was she thinking? In MAMA GETS HITCHED (2010), Mama's fifth shot at tying the sacred knot is derailed when her caterer gets whacked before the first pig-in-a-blanket is passed. In 2011's MAMA SEES STARS, a Hollywood film crew comes a callin,' but Mama's big close-up may be with murder.

Deborah's short fiction and essays have appeared nationally. Her humor has been heard on NPR. She's chatted with Al Roker on TODAY about the wacky MAMA.
She lives in south Florida with husband Kerry Sanders, an NBC-TV reporter. No kids. No pets. They had goldfish once. Turned out badly.

Customer Reviews

This was a fun book to read.
While this book is not a real page turner, the characters were likeable, humorous, and interesting, and the plot had some interesting twists that kept me reading.
Dale Ann Jumet
This is my first time reading this author and I was lucky to get the Kindle version of this book for free.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Batiuk on November 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read a lot of mysteries. I started out with the "English Cottage" mysteries, so it's no surprise that I prefer mysteries that have a good sense of place, time and character. I also like mysteries that are part of a series. It's difficulty to find a good mystery, so when I do, I want there to be more.

I've also read a fair number of first-time authors, probably because I harbor a secret dream of being one myself. I'm pretty critical of first-timers. But I have to say that I really liked Deborah Sharp's MAMA DOES TIME. It has a comfortable voice. She doesn't try too hard to be funny--interecting humor in a way that doesn't call attention to itself. And Sharp has a delightful sense of time, place and familial relationships.

It meets all of my criteria. It's a great read--and there are more to come! How cool is that?
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Zink on September 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Wow, What a ride!!! I had heard about this book from a friend who heard the author talk about her new series. And being a Yankee who once lived in the south and constantly traveled to quirky parts of Florida, I thought I would give it a was like getting on a thrill ride that definitely did not disappoint! I love this colorful woman that everyone would want to know, and each character was so wonderfully bizarre that they felt real. This was so fun to read that I cannot wait for the next one. I immediately sent a copy to my friends who know I always am on the cutting edge of discovering new authors. I Googled the author's name to find something else y her and found this great blog - [...] as well as an index of her USA Today articles. Why she is not a syndicated columnist is beyond me. Erma Bombeck you may have met your match!!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. Sinnes on September 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
but not that bad. I threatened several times to just not finish, but in the end this light, predictable mystery was okay. The characters are a bit silly and nearly always did just exactly what you thought they might. It wandered off into a somewhat Christian direction at times, but wasn't "preachy". The girl-meets-wounded-hero fantasy woven around the main character Mace and Detective Martinez is... well, what's another word for PREDICTABLE... Expected. The book that I read just prior to this one left me thoughtful and a bit sad, so "Mama", requiring little thought and providing loads of fluffy meringue was passable. I will recommend this book to my mom, who loves a nice book with sexual innuendo and overtone(but no sex)and a good dose of lightweight fun. Not insulting my mother... she admits it herself.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Himmarshee, Florida, the setting for this new series ,may be a small town but it is brimming with colorful characters with lots of secrets. Mama, having enjoyed the delights at the local Dairy Queen, is wrongly accused of murder when an unidentified body is found in the trunk of her "big as a cruise ship "car. She frantically calls her middle daughter, Mace, to come to the police station to straighten out this little misunderstanding. Mace arrives with alacrity and confronts Detective Martinez, the handsome new officer in town. Mace's two sisters, Maddie and Marty arrive and add to the mayhem.

The daughters are mystified as to how Martinez could possibly believe their Mama, former Sunday School teacher, southern belle when she wanted to be, could commit murder. Everyone loves Mama, hasn't she been married four times and has prospect number 5 in sight? Isn't she always well dressed in perfectly coordinated clothing? Wasn't she playing Bingo at the Seminole reservation with a witness? Nevertheless, she has to spend some time in jail !!

Not being one to let the police pursue the investigation without interference, Mace begins to look into the murder and finds there is more than one person who had the opportunity and, more importantly, the motive to want the victim dead. When it turns out the murdered man was Jimmy Albert , facts turn up he was not who everyone thought he was. What they thought was he was just the short term fiance of Emma Jean, receptionist at the police station. Martinez reluctantly concedes he needs to look elsewhere and Mama is sprung from the slammer.

Although threats and warnings ensue, the sisters continue to look into who murdered Jimmy and why someone is trying to get them to stop putting their noses where they don`t belong.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By writealot on April 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently "found" the Mace Bauer mysteries and loved each one. They take place in Florida near where I live, and they shed an imaginative, yet accurate view of the area. I laughed at the dry humor, cried at the romance, and sat on the edge of the chair when surprise after surprise of mystery developed. Love them all...bought them all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BCBrownBooks on June 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy mysteries. As a genre that makes up more than half of my library, you can believe I am particular about a new mystery writer when I come across one. Not having had the pleasure of reading Ms. Sharp's work before, I found myself pleased.

Mama Does Time was a delightful read. Well-developed characters, believable relationships and reactions, and a plot with enough mystery to keep me guessing. The lead, Mace Bauer, is a typical "cozy" heroine - fiercely independent, quirky, and smart; her family, the plucky Mama, mulish Maddie, and circumspect Marty, had good dynamic; and the male love interest, Carlos Martinez, was suitably masculine with a haunted past. Ms. Sharp did go one step further, however, to complicate her cast with an additional love interest - Mace's old flame whom she still has feelings for. This made a nice tennis match of seeing who she might choose.

The mystery itself (Mama accused of murdering her friend's fiance and stuffing him in the trunk of her Cadillac) was straight forward. Sharp left enough avenues open for the reader to jump to conclusions about supporting characters, keeping the somewhat old fashioned story fresh and interesting for the reader.

Of a certainty, the dialogue in Mama Does Time made the story. Ms. Sharp managed to inject enough humor and comedic relief to make the story fun and playful without forcing it. Many authors don't achieve this task, but she did nicely.

On a whole, the book was enjoyable. It would be a recommended read to anyone I knew enjoyed cozy mysteries. Although it is not one I would "rave" about to people that they must try. On a scale of 5, I give it 3 stars for Liked. I will be reading the next in the series.

Review by BC Brown
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