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Mama Rides Shotgun (A Mace Bauer Mystery) Paperback – July 8, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Mama Rosalee and middle daughter Mace are on the Florida Cracker Trail for the annual six-day commemorative horse ride across the state. The idea is for them to have some bonding time before Rosalee marries her fifth husband. Mama also hopes to do a little matchmaking for independent Mace. Both ladies are having a great time before an old rancher boyfriend of Mama’s dies of an apparent heart attack while preparing his Cow Hunter Chili for the trail riders. Mace is suspicious, while everyone else seems resigned to the death. After Mace’s tent is ripped open with a knife, and her horse runs straight onto a busy highway after being flicked with a cow whip, Mace’s sisters and former beau, detective Carlos, decide to join the ride to help protect Mace, who may have figured out something someone doesn’t want her to know. Sharp writes a funny mystery without resorting to stereotypical one-note characters. Furthermore, her descriptions of a part of Florida most of us know little about add to the appeal of this entertaining mystery. --Judy Coon


"An amusingly wild ride through parts of Florida tourists rarely visit."
-Kirkus --May 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: A Mace Bauer Mystery (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink; First Edition edition (July 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738713309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738713304
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Dean Murphy on August 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Book quote: "Snores rumbled from inside Sal's Cadillac. How in the world could he sleep with Mama rattling the windows like that? I tapped at the glass by her head. `Wake up, it's me again.' I'd left my campsite without touching anything, backing away from my shredded tent the way I'd come. I didn't want to trample any evidence that might be collected. `Mama, open up. It's colder out here than a freezer full of sheared sheep.'"

Following successful MAMA DOES TIME, Deborah Sharp continues the Mace Bauer series with MAMA RIDES SHOTGUN. In both, Sharp readers know that native Floridians take pride in being called Cracker. Now, Mama encourages daughter Mace to join her on a six-day horseback ride called The Florida Cracker Trail, a real-life ride in which the author participated. Originally, the Cracker Trail was a cattle drive, not unlike the Chisholm Trail. As always, Mama hopes to marry off her middle daughter who has entered the precarious age of 30-something--even considering for Mace an aged physician who is suspected in tampering with evidence in the subject murder.

This humorous mystery questions who would want to bump off wealthy Lawton Bramble by adding a "spice" not found at Publix grocery store to the cattleman's chili he prepared for riders on the Cracker Trail, chili "spicy enough to peel paint." Agatha Christie fans will be thrilled to learn that Sharp has written in as many possibilities as there are passengers on the Orient Express. Surely Rosalee Deveraux ("Mama") isn't a suspect, though Lawton has a heart that flutters like a candle and used to be Mama's beau--one of many. (Blanche Devereaux, eat your golden-girl heart out.) The young widow Wynonna, who beat Mama to the alter, displays insincere grief that's obvious even to the visually challenged.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AKH2001 on August 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll get my (not really) criticism out of the way first. Mama Rides Shotgun is just not as funny as Mama Does Time. MDT is 'slap your leg, howl til you cry and your stomach hurts' funny ... MRS not so much. BUT MRS is a good solid mystery with a solution that confounds 'til the very end. Sharp does an excellent job writing a story with a very tight setting (the Florida Cracker Trail ride) that would trip up many other authors. Mace is a character that stays true to the original writing of her but also manages to change and grow organically.

The best part of this story was that I learned about an event/experience that was fascinating. The Florida Cracker Trail ride and why it is so importnat was brought to life by Sharp's loving treatment of her state's unique heritage and history. This book informed and entertained throughout.

I will definitely be checking in for the next installment of Mace Bauer's adventures as I find Sharp's treatment of the cozy genre to be appealing and fresh.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Prator on June 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Mama series is getting better and better. I can comment on the great story and witty writing, but that seems to be a given with Deborah Sharp. What I especially love is all the "supporting" characters. "Supporting" is in quotes, because you can't call them that (I just can't come up with a better word, which is probably one reason why I am not a writer). In so many mysteries or book series, you have a main character who is the sole focal point, the one who is so much smarter/more insightful than everyone else, the one who figures everything out. The other characters, even those who appear throughout the series, can be little more than caricatures, or complicated props. As a result, a series of books can quickly become stale, "new" cases merely becoming echoes of earlier ones.

Maddie, Marty, Carlos, Mama (of course), and even Sal, are much more complicated/complete than your initial introduction to them. Even within Mama Does Time, their characters are fleshed out and evolve, and that continues with Mama Rides Shotgun. Who would have thought Marty would go from the mousy librarian to a (threatened) leg-breaker?!? And, especially with Mama and her girls, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. They all contribute during their "group-think" sessions; it's not just Mace (the protagonist) who figures everything out. As long as this continues, this is a series that will never get "old." I agree with an earlier reviewer that, although this book can stand alone, to truly experience the growth of the characters you really should read Mama Does Time first. Plus, Mama Does Time is a great book itself!!

Another huge attraction for me to Mama Rides Shotgun is knowing that the Florida Cracker Trail is a real event, and that the author actually made the ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David C Wile on December 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Hey folks,

"Mama Does Time" was witty and charming; I rated it four stars and would have gone for four and a half if possible. In my review of same, I stated, "Mama does everything and Mace is Everyman's idea of their favorite girl next door." I also stated that Mace reminded me of my best friend - my wife of 50+ years.

Since then, I have read three more of the "Mama series," and while I still enjoy the stories, I must admit the constant sexual tension between Mace and Carlos is just plain boring. I think the stories would be much better if author Deborah Sharp had not taken Mace and Carlos' characters down the road of acting like teenagers who are constantly peeved over dumb misunderstandings and then constantly being in heat for each other. I really like Mace's character, but the immature stuff with Carlos is simply distracting.

The Mace I enjoy is the independent, level headed Mace from the first novel who reminds me of my wife when we were young. That is the Mace I would like to see in the future.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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