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These fun southern books are some of my favorites. So I want to share them with my friends who read this blog. I’m definitely a southern girl through and through—even after growing up in a U.S. Air Force family. And I’ve always loved to read heartwarming books.
We moved around quite a bit, but my parents never let me forget where I came from. And I’m not talking about where I was born—Alaska. I’m talking about where my family has roots—Mississippi.
I occasionally write reviews. But it’s really unfair since I’ve been a fiction author for more than a quarter of a century. When I read, it takes an incredible plot and amazing characters for me to get lost in the story.
Being a reader all my life has given me insight into so many different types of personalities. I think that reading southern fiction helped me to become a better southern mama.
My Favorite Books
The books and novellas I’m listing here have some of the best characters I know. The fiction that holds my interest the most involves characters I care about. I want to be their friends, and in my mind, I am. I worry with them, cry with them, laugh with them, and root for them to reach their goals.
So here goes. I’m also adding links that will take you directly to the books on Amazon. Most of them have the “Look inside” feature so you can get a taste of the author’s style before you commit to buying the book.
I’m an Amazon affiliate, so if you click on any of the book links and make a purchase, I’ll get a little bit of commission.
I also want to disclose the fact that I’m adding some of my own books to this list. I’ve written southern romance, southern-set mysteries, and southern women’s fiction.
In case you need an explanation of some of the southern expressions you’re likely to see, check out my post on Southern Sayings.
Fun Southern Books with Romance
Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh
This Christian romance is by one of my favorite authors who grabs the reader on page one and doesn’t let go until the story is over.
As the first book in the series, you’ll get acquainted with a heroine who tries to be someone she’s not, until she realizes it’s truth that gives her what she truly wants and needs.
The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe
This poignant story isn’t as lighthearted as Leaving Carolina, but it’s just as compelling. The heroine in this story returns home to discover the virtues of reconnecting with family, and in the process, she opens her heart to love.
Author Mary Alice Monroe has quite a few books, so if you like this, there are plenty more to enjoy.
Belles in the City Series by Debby Mayne (me)
This three-book series is three stories about southern women moving to New York City and finding each other. Each of them is there for a different reason, so when they meet men who get their attention, they grapple with their torn emotions in different ways.
It was fun to connect the lives of these southern women who are just different as they are alike. I loved writing all three of these books, and I’m happy to present them to my readers as a package deal.
Fun Southern Books with Mystery or Suspense
Beware the Orchids by Cynthia Hickey
After getting ditched at the altar, this southern heroine’s world gets even crazier. Go on a journey with this woman as she quits her job, takes a totally new position, and … discovers a dead body. And she becomes a suspect. Yikes!
Cynthia Hickey writes romance, mysteries, and women’s fiction, so you’ll have plenty of reading to look forward to if you like her style.
Murder on a Girls’ Night Out by Anne George
Patricia Ann and her sister Mary Alice manage to stumble over dead bodies everywhere they go in Birmingham. These southern sisters are hilarious as they do their amateur sleuthing—this time to clear their own names.
I was sad when this author passed away. Her writing always amused me, and I couldn’t wait for her next book. Now I find myself going back to her Southern Sisters series over and over.
Murder Boogies with Elvis by Anne George
Yes, this is another one of the late Anne George’s books that had me laughing and worrying at the same time. Although there is humor in this story, murder is no laughing matter … especially when an Elvis impersonator is the victim.
You’ll find equal parts amateur sleuthing, sisterly love, and humor in all of Anne George’s books.
Summer Walsh Mystery Series by Debby Mayne (me)
This is another three-book set that’s a great bargain for people who enjoy quirky mysteries.
Summer is a former Nashville detective who decides to leave the police force so she can lead a normal life. But what’s normal about tripping over dead bodies all over the place?
Southern Women’s Fiction
Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey
This book delves into the intricate relationships between mother-and-daughters, sisters, and the world around them.
This story is about unrealistic expectations and accepting what you can’t change. Slightly South of Simple is one of those books that will stay with you long after you finish it.
Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank
This story set in the Lowcountry will both tug at your heart and leave you chuckling as you go on a journey with the main character who is closer to her bees than anyone else in her life.
Yes, she’s a beekeeper whose world is rocked by her family’s shenanigan’s that never seem to stop. Dorothea Benton Frank has quite a few books you can enjoy if you like this one.
Pretty Is as Pretty Does by Debby Mayne (me)
After being voted “most likely to succeed” in high school, Priscilla drops out of college to pursue her dream of becoming a hairdresser. Everyone around her thinks she’s crazy, but she knows what she’s doing. Or does she?
You’ll discover that everyone has insecurities that rise to the surface at the reunion. This is the first book in the Class Reunion series that starts with the 10-year reunion and then moves on to the 15-year and 20-year reunions.
Favorite Authors of Fun Southern Books
I have so many favorite authors it’ll take me several more posts to list all their books. Please feel free to check the listing descriptions and determine whether or not the story lines interest you. If not, take a pass. However, I think you’ll discover some wonderful books that will pull you into their fictional world. Happy reading!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy having something to much on and a drink. This buttery popcorn (without any butter) and this lemonade smoothie are perfect refreshments while you’re enjoying any of the stories.