This is the first book in the Destinee Faith Miller Mystery series by Lane Buckman. When I saw the tour for this book, I was a little uncertain about it since this is a book about a former beauty queen and I have never been a girly-girl. I was afraid I wouldn't connect with the character. But I do love a good Cozy Mystery so I decided to give it a shot. Well first off, yes, Destinee Faith is a former beauty queen, but she is also a true G.R.I.T.S. (Girl Raised In The South) and that I CAN relate to. As a matter of fact, much of Destinee's life is very relate able to any girl with a close, involved family and a drive to follow a particular dream.
The story opens with Destinee remembering a scene she witnessed 7 years prior at the Miss Alabama American Universe pageant. She was Miss Teen Alabama American Universe and saw the true lengths some of the girls were willing to go to in order to win the crown. It was an eye opening experience for her and will continue to haunt her for years and years to come. Up until recently, Destinee thought she saw the depths to which people could sink. She will soon learn differently.
The next chapter takes place in April of last year and continues on in a type of retrospective style. The entire story is told from Destinee's view point in a very narrative tone. It is a bit different than I am used to, but when I got to the end I figured out why it was important. Just go with it and trust in it. It really does make sense in the end.
One of the things I really liked about Destinee, is that she tries very hard to be the good, kind person. She tries to rise above insults and slights and is very aware of being a role model and exactly what that means. This doesn't men she let herself get pushed around. Destinee firmly, but politely, sets her expectations and encourages you to meet them. She is the type of person that I try, and fail (to be honest), the majority of the time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying she is perfect. Oh no. Destinee can also be a bit of an idealist as well as seem the ditzy blond. Of course, her major bloopers have all managed to be caught on camera and shared with the world . This more than anything has helped to keep her humble and down to earth.
Bottom line, I really liked this book. I totally connected with Destinee. She is likable and real and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.