thistle And twigg
Jane Thistle is a widow who has just settled down in Tullulah, Alabama, after a long and happy life with her husband, a career military officer whose job took them all over the world. But now that she’s on her own, she’s just as happy to have found this delightful small Southern town to call home. Her new best friend is Phoebe Twigg, also a widow, who has lived in Tullulah all her life. Phoebe is about as different as could be from the worldly and refined Jane Thistle, but her colorful personality and warm, welcoming Southern nature make them quite a team.  The two ladies become fast friends when they stumble on a dead body while on a walk in the woods near Jane’s new house. And that’s not all of the mysteries interrupting the slow life in Tullulah: Someone seems to be threatening Jane’s neighbor, a local old recluse who seems to have more interest in the land than in its inhabitants; a firebomb explodes in Phoebe’s kitchen; and unexplainable sounds and objects turn up at the strangest times in Jane’s house. Jane and Phoebe quickly become partners in investigation in Mary Saums’s funny and charming---and surprising---debut mystery.
Read A Review:

Jane Thistle, a widow, has recently moved to Tullulah, Alabama. Her husband was a career military officer and his job took them all over the world. He recently died, and she wanted to settle down in a small Southern town.

Phoebe Twigg, also a widow, has lived in Tullulah all her life. She and Jane become fast best friends. Phoebe is not as refined as Jane, but she has a welcoming nature and is very warm and personable.

Jane's neighbor is an old recluse, but he and Jane soon forge a friendship. When a body is found on his land by Jane and Phoebe and he is nowhere to be found, the police put him at the top of their suspect list. Jane knows he is more interested in the land than anything else and can't believe he would have killed someone.

A firebomb explodes in Phoebe's kitchen, and unexplainable sounds are heard in Jane's House. Can these two charming and funny women uncover the killer while keeping each other safe?

Jane and Phoebe are such opposites, but they get along so well and complement each other so much that this cozy mystery is a big hit! I can't wait to read more of their adventures. The Southern small town setting is fabulous. The author has plenty of twists and surprises to keep the reader guessing. I highly recommend this book.

Dawn Dowdle

Jane Thistle moves to Tullulah, Alabama after her husband, Colonel Thistle dies. She chooses Tullulah, a town which she had passed through years earlier while moving their household to another military base to which her husband had been posted, because of it beauty and quietude. The town had stayed in her head for many, many years.

A snake moves through her house with the movers on her first day in her new home prompting her to purchase some bullets for her pistol. She was a peaceful person, but didn't feel the need to take unnecessary chances living on the edge of a wildlife refuge and privately owned forests. Jane meets Phoebe Twigg at the sporting goods store and while the two women are as different as can be imagined, a solid friendship is struck up.

Jane expresses an interest of purchasing a parcel of her neighbor's property to her Realtor and manages to overcome his obvious reluctance to approach Cal Prewitt. They pass several No Trespassing signs only to be shot at in his front yard. This concluded her desire to purchase any of his property.

Cal shows up on Jane's porch that night in a highly inebriated state and the two of them get to know each other over tea. He invites her to visit his house and property the next day. He shows her his firing range and tells her she is free to use it whenever she would like.

Jane takes Phoebe to the range with her, Phoebe has no experience with guns and Jane thinks she would have a good time learning how to shoot. Instead of a peaceful afternoon together they find a man shot dead behind some large rocks at the end of the range and Cal has disappeared.

Phoebe house is firebombed shortly after she and Jane have dinner together and this sets the pair into motion to discover what exactly is going on in the small town of Tullulah.

Jane and Phoebe really are two entirely different characters. I must admit that I was a little skeptical when I first began reading Phoebe's narrative, but soon I began to really appreciate that the two of them were perfect foils for each other. They are delightful women and I hope that this series continues. I would love to see what other situations these two might end up in together. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys feisty older characters with interesting personality quirks.

Mary Fairchild

After her husband's death, Jane Thistle moves to sleepy Tullulah, Alabama, a town that has been calling to her since her first visit years before. She moves into an old house on the edge of a wildlife refuge and quickly becomes good friends with Phoebe Twigg, a lifelong Tullulah resident. Jane also manages to befriend Cal Prewitt, her eccentric neighbor and the owner of a piece of untouched wilderness.

When Jane and Phoebe find a body on Cal's land, Cal becomes the chief suspect in the murder. Because of Jane's belief in Cal's innocence, the two investigate, discovering a dangerous conspiracy. The natural world, Native American lore, an excellent sense of place, and touches of the supernatural frame the story. Jane and Phoebe, who alternate as narrators, are sympathetic, well-developed characters whose developing friendship adds to a satisfying mystery. While the crime seems a bit intense for a cozy, Phoebe and Jane, with their quite different personalities, make an interesting team in this series debut.


THISTLE & TWIGG, the most entertaining and innovative series debut in many years, brims with intelligence, humor and insightfulness. Sheer delight.

Carolyn Hart

Saums ably weaves humor, suspense, and a dash of the supernatural in this winning twist on the Southern cozy.

Publisher's Weekly

THISTLE & TWIGG takes readers on a wild ride ... mixes mystery, fantasy and fairy dust into a delightful concoction .. The characters are so rich, the premise so cool that I hope the author writes at least two books a year in this series.

Cozy Library