In five superlative mysteries, cleaning-lady-and-sleuth Callahan Garrity has patrolled the uneasy border where antebellum and New South converge. Now, in her most timely and intricate adventure yet, she must step in when hippies, yuppies and crackers clash with murderous consequences.
Overnight, it seems, Callahan's Atlanta neighborhood is morphing from a genial mix of hobo and boho into an upscale, cappuccino-drenched quarter. The most unsettling portent of this change is that YoYos, a venerable headshop, is being forced out of business so that a microbrewery can take over its prime location. As the neighborhood gears up for its raucous Halloween revels, Callahan realizes that trouble is brewing. Not only is a fierce tornado bearing down on Atlanta, but Wuvvy, the aging flower child who runs YoYos, is on an uncharacteristic rampage. And in the storm's aftermath, Callahan's fears are confirmed when she finds the bludgeoned corpse of the grasping young entrepreneur who was pushing Wuvvy out.
The police are quick to pin the crime on Wuvvy, but Callahan can't believe that this gentle soul would commit such a brutal act. Callahan's unique ability to mingle both with superannuated hippies and small-town Southern belles allows her to dig into the victim's past and Wuvvy's. She unearths a slew of succulent revelations about Wuvvy -- a tabloid-worthy tale strikingly at odds with the woman Callahan thought she knew. Her search also forces her to reassess old friendships in light of deadly new developments.
As Callahan's investigation unfolds, she unleashes her wry wit, tussles with the outrageous band of "girls" (and one newly recruited "boy") in her cleaning business and rekindles romance with her rugged beau, Mac McAuliffe. All in all, Strange Brew is superbly intoxicating suspense.