Hush My Mouth

A spring day brings attorney Avery Andrews a new case. Fran French comes from Atlanta looking for her friend Neanna, who’s more like a sister to her. Neanna went to Dacus looking for information on the unsolved murder of her aunt Wenda, and now she’s missing.

Twenty years earlier, Wenda’s body was found posed on a memorial bench in the cemetery, her packed luggage at her feet, as if ready for a journey. When Neanna is found in her car, dead from a shot to the head, the police want to call it suicide. Fran insists it’s impossible that Neanna killed herself and urges Avery to help her prove it.

While Avery is sifting through Neanna’s and Wenda’s confused past and present, her office mate Melvin Bertram is befriended by a trio of ghost hunters who arrive in search of ectoplasm from the long-dead. The trio, christened “the ghosters” by Avery, hope to talk Melvin into investing in their TV pilot, oblivious to the fact that someone is baiting them with increasingly ridiculous ghost sightings. In no time at all, the ghosters are having altercations with the resident biker gang and with Avery’s private investigator. Let no one say life in Camden County is uninteresting.

In this latest in Cathy Pickens’s Southern Fried Mystery series, Avery explores the nature of family—the ones we’re born into and the ones we find—and learns about the haunting power of the past in the process. Hush My Mouth offers an original blend of humor and mystery, peppered with quirky characters and boasting a decidedly Southern flavor.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
An eternal question: If I started sliding, would a sticky patch of roofing tar stop me from plummeting two tall stories to my death?
I inched along the steep roof with my knees bent and mentally rehearsed aiming my fanny into a quick sit should gravity threaten to draw me over the edge.
Of course, with my natural grace, a slip of the foot would grab a patch of roofing tar at just the wrong angle and send me flying over the leaf-clogged copper gutters, past the too-often-painted gingerbread eaves, and onto the patched sidewalk or wide brick steps below. No chance I’d be


Reviews from Goodreads



  • Cathy Pickens

  • Cathy Pickens, an attorney who specialized in complex civil litigation, teaches law and ethics in the McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte. Cathy grew up in South Carolina, where her family has lived for generations.
  • Cathy Pickens Photo: Byers Studio, Darlington, S.C.


Available Formats and Book Details

Hush My Mouth

A Southern Fried Mystery

Southern Fried Mysteries featuring Avery Andrews

Cathy Pickens

  • e-Book



Minotaur Books