Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Burning Heat by David Burnsworth - #review #giveaway

As darkness blankets the holy city of Charleston, South Carolina, Brack Pelton, an Afghanistan War veteran, steps out of a rundown bar after a long night. Before he gets to his truck, he finds himself in the middle of a domestic dispute between a man and a woman on the sidewalk. When a little girl joins the couple and gets hit by the man, Brack intervenes and takes him down. But the abuser isn’t finished. He pulls a gun and shoots the woman. Brack saves the little girl, but his world has just been rocked. Again.

The next day, while sitting on a barstool in the Pirate’s Cove on the Isle of Palms, his own bar, Brack scans the local paper. The news headline reads: Burned Body of Unidentified Hispanic Man Found at Construction Site. Nothing about a dead woman in the poor section of town. Brack feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around to see an eight-year-old girl standing behind him. She’s the little girl he rescued the night before, and she wants him to look into her sister’s shooting.

Violence and danger make up Brack’s not-too-distant past. Part of him craves it–needs it. And that part has just been fed. Things are about to heat up again in the low country. May God have mercy on the souls who get in the way.



Seeing as my favorite genre is cozy mysteries, many of the books I read tend to be oriented towards women, have women MC's, etc.  Burning Heat by David Burnsworth practically screamed "MALE"!

Brack is a veteran and now owns a bar in Charleston, which he inherited from his uncle who was murdered (see the first book in the series, Southern Heat, for that story).  When he saves a little girl from getting shot (the older sister was not so lucky), and the sister's body was not where Brack said it was when police arrived on the scene, the detective assigned to the case accused him of reporting a non-existent attack to bolster business at his bar!

As if the investigation is not enough to mess up his days, Brack's business comes under attack when the local entitled holier-than-thou rich folks get his liquor license pulled, and he is involved (to varying degrees) with three different women during the course of the book - the aforementioned police detective, a tv news reporter and the woman that owns a business he ducked into to conduct surveillance across the street.  And the sad thing is...he doesn't wind up with any of them!  Poor guy!

I also enjoyed the male friendships in Burning Heat.  There's always a female BFF in cozies, and the guys deserve their guy friends too!  First, there's Mutt.  He owns another bar in the city.  He calls Brack "Opie".  (Since I grew up with the Andy Griffith Show, that brought a smile to my face every time I saw it.)  Then there is the Reverend, a huge bear of a man, who preaches peace, but has his limits...I wouldn't want to cross him, that's for sure!

Aside from the fact I love books where the economic and social 'elite' get taken down a notch or two...I was cheering for Brack and Co. when they had successes in their investigation, and gasped more than once when things were not going so well.

The villains are bad, the heroes are human, and this book is a keeper!



David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Southern Heat is his first mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife along with their dog call South Carolina home.



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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my objective review.  Post contains affiliate links.)


This book helps me fulfill the following 2016 Reading Challenges:

52 Books in 52 Weeks
Mount TBR Reading Challenge
Southern Literature Reading Challenge


  1. Thanks so much for your review! I loved it, too.

    1. Thanks, Rowena. Brings a whole other dimension to "I want to feel the heat." :O

  2. Excellent review and I agree with you. Screams male and I love that they also have their best friends. Mutt is a hoot and I was hoping we'd get a bigger show and tell about Reverend. Bring on book three!