Reporter Molly Darter must obtain the family-placed obituary of a dead nudist to keep her job at the weekly paper. With her husband’s infidelity stamped on her mind, she doesn’t want anything to do with naked people. But the dead woman is a friend, the nice lady from the Marshview organic produce stand.
The nudists insist Barbara Jean didn’t die of natural causes. Though their murder claim rattles Molly, she has no intention of looking into a law enforcement matter. She has enough trouble on her plate dealing with her cheating husband, taking care of her precocious son, and waging war on her trampy sister.
When revealing photos of her father and other community leaders consorting with Barbara Jean at the produce stand come her way, Molly must act. To protect her father, she delves into the dead woman’s past. Barbara Jean had former ties to the community and hidden wealth.
Things heat up when her estranged husband’s undercover drug ring investigation collides with her murder probe. While the sheriff eventually labels the death a homicide, Molly’s questions place her in jeopardy.
Who killed Barbara Jean? Was it the judge, the preacher, or the banker? Or was the killer someone she knew intimately? Only one thing’s for certain. The killer is watching every move Molly makes.
“MURDER IN THE BUFF is one of the best cozy mysteries I’ve read, and I read cozies frequently. Maggie Toussaint is a gifted author whose wit shines through to provide a fast-paced, hilarious read.” – Caroline Clemmons
“A highly entertaining read, written in a flowing style. I shall be looking out for more of Maggie Toussaint’s work.” – Lindsay Townsend
“Murder in the Buff starts like a cozy mystery and ends in high-tension suspense. Along the way, I often found myself smiling and chuckling. Great mix between, “Ha, I knew it!” and “Oh, wow!” Murder in the Buff is a well written, vivid, engaging and intriguing story. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more of Maggie Toussaint’s books.” – E Parzefall
“A hilarious suspense novel. M. Toussaint kept me reading, laughing, and biting my nails until I finished MURDER IN THE BUFF. I highly recommend it.” – Mona Risk
“Maggie Toussaint blends humor, witty dialog and steamy love scenes perfectly in this well plotted mystery. MURDER IN THE BUFF is one laugh-out-loud, terrific read.” –Sharon Woods Hopkins
“Brilliantly Executed Southern Mystery. This is a guaranteed-to-please read by a skillful author…and that’s the naked truth.” – Suzanne Rogers
“Toussaint’s writing style is crisp and sharp. She engages the reader from the get-go. Her contemporary voice brings a rich authenticity to Molly and her predicament. Just when you think it can’t get any worse for the heroine it does. Toussaint keeps the reader on their toes with all the twists and turns in the plot.” –Stephanie Burkhart
“I loved this book! The American South was portrayed beautifully, the characters are quirky, and there are plenty of twists and turns. Not to mention laugh-out-loud humor – a real page turner.” – Ashantay1
“Murder in the Buff is a fun romantic mystery, only lightly sensual, and is full of quirky characters that will raise some eyebrows and provide plenty of entertainment.” –LK Hunsaker
We’d also heard the naturalists were retired call girls. No telling what went on back in these dark woods. Orgies. Wild rituals. Substance abuse. Anything was possible in such a remote location.
I checked the time again and sighed.
If I left right now, my mother would never know I’d been here. However, Ted would fire me if I returned without this family-placed obituary. Jobs were scarce in our county of ten thousand people, and with my changed personal circumstances, I couldn’t afford to lose this one. Air huffed out of my lungs, up my warm face, giving flight to the wispy bangs on my forehead.
I dried my sweaty palms on my jeans and ramped up the air conditioning another notch. What was taking so long? I rubbed the back of my neck to ease the stiffness.
Behind the stockade fence, briars and weeds flourished. Spanish moss and ropy vines choked the tops of the oaks, pines, and cedars, adding to the sense that anything could and would happen deep in that jungle of green.
Jungle love gone wild.
I grimaced at that carnal image. My gaze fell to the thick ground cover outside my door. I couldn’t see the sandy soil at all. I gulped. There were probably rattlesnakes galore out here.
Cottonmouths and copperheads, too.
I bet every tick known to mankind lurked within the dark green foliage, waiting for me to step out of my vehicle. I’d have to be diligent as I checked every inch of skin tonight for ticks.
Without warning, a narrow-faced woman with gray braided hair peered over the top of the fence and waved her bare arms. My heart sunk as her lips moved. Dang, she was talking to me. With my windows up, I couldn’t hear a word she said.
Please, dear God, let her have clothes on behind that fence.