In In for a Penny by Nancy Naigle and Kelsey Browning, Lillian Summer Fairview comes from one of the oldest and most prestigious families in Georgia, but her late husband had a gambling problem and used up all the family money. Too proud to let anyone, even her best friend who lives with her, know about her plight, Lillian tries to keep up Summer Haven, her Southern mansion, by pawning her items one by one. One day Serendipity, known as Sarah, ends up living on her property in her van that she has been using to travel around the country as a 50-year-old California flower child. Then, Lillian leaves Summer Haven with just a note asking Maggie, her best friend, to pick up her father’s highly valuable car, which she promised him on his deathbed never to sell, from an unnamed address. When Maggie arrives there, she discovers that Lillian is in federal prison.
When Lillian’s husband died five years earlier, Lillian didn’t have enough money for a funeral to the standards expected of her family, so she asked Nash, the funeral home owner, to delay reporting the death to social security a couple months in order to get the money needed for the funeral. But “somehow,” when the government discovered the discrepancy, she suddenly owed them 10 times the cost of the funeral. Though Lillian accepts the situation and is resigned to serving her time, Maggie is sure that Nash never reported the death at all and kept the rest of the money. So she determines to find out the truth.
I really enjoyed this book. I don’t actually remembering buying this book from Audible and just discovered this amid my list of books, but I decided to try it without reading the summary, since I must have found it intriguing if I purchased it. So I didn’t know what to expect. But I loved it! It takes a while to get into the mystery, but even before I learned anything about the crime, the book really drew me in to its depths. It also has its own unique form of humor that I had a lot of fun with.
Probably the best thing about this book is the characters and their fun natures. It is great to find a book about clever senior women. There are four main character women, with each having real depth and unique features, very different from each other. As the three women on the outside work to free the one in prison, they bond and learn to use their individual strengths to work together.
Pam Dougherty narrates the audio edition of this book. She does good voices for each character, which includes the people from Georgia, where the book is set, and women from California and Texas. I do have a complaint about the recording, as the volume went up and down at times, not staying steady. Otherwise, I enjoyed the audiobook.
In for a Penny concludes on a fun high note, with the important issues addressed. But it still leaves some other issues hanging. I realize the authors did this likely to attract readers to the next book in the series, but I personally have a strong aversion to cliffhangers and think of them as cheap gimmicks to get people to read the next book, even though if they read the first when it originally comes out, they have to wait while for the next book to get released, which is frustrating. However, despite my dislike of the way the authors wrapped up the book, I still fell in love with it and plan to get the next book in the series soon. I give this five bright gold stars!
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.