Over the Fence by Mary Monroe

Over the Fence by Mary Monroe
The Neighbors Series Book 2
Publisher: Dafina
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full length (336 pages)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Bootlegging was Milton and Yvonne Hamilton’s ticket out of poverty, prison time, and plain bad luck. Now they’ve moved on—to a bigger, richer pool of clientele—right in their own respectable new middle-class backyard. And their growing friendship with seemingly-perfect couple Joyce and Odell Watson is proving golden in more ways than one . . .

As Milton soon learns, Odell is hiding an outside family and dubious business dealings. It’s the perfect recipe for a blackmail scheme that will help Milton hide his own dirty
secrets—even from Yvonne. Better yet, he can take ever more dangerous risks to ace out his
liquor-smuggling rivals—and add a lucrative temptation to his illicit services. And Yvonne, emboldened by her husband’s new gravy train, delights in tormenting Joyce about everything the snobbish matron doesn’t have—especially children.
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But even a winning hand can be played too far. Pushed past their limits, Odell and Joyce will play on Milton’s careless boasting—to get him and Yvonne out of their lives for good. And soon, a devastating frame-up will plunge one couple into a living nightmare—and set the stage for explosive retribution . . .

A mix of bootlegging, blackmail and two neighbors who are total opposites something is bound to happen.

Bootleggers Milton and Yvonne Hamilton and the seemingly-perfect couple, Joyce and Odell Watson, are neighbors. In the second book in The Neighbors series we hear Milton and Yvonne’s story told through their alternating points of view.

This is the second book in the series and before reading this book I didn’t read the first book. I use to read a lot of Mary Monroe’s books but at some point I stopped keep up with her latest writings and I am sorry that I didn’t because I’ve surely missed out. I enjoy her writing style and the way she tells a story with such lively memorable characters. As soon as I finished this book I started reading book one.

The characters are authentic and the dialogue is believable and humorous. I enjoyed Yvonne and Milton’s solid love for each other. Yvonne loved Milton despite that others thought he wasn’t that attractive to look at. Another favorite character of mine was Willie Frank. Willie Frank is a true friend to Milton and Yvonne. He and Milton were thick as thieves in their get rich quick schemes. Even though they are up to no good I still felt the need to hope the outcome for them was good. The grammar is perfect for the setting of the late 1930’s. The detailed description of the food, the town and its people puts the reader right in the midst of the south.

Milton and Yvonne have made enough money to move to a better neighborhood where the wealthier colored people live. Because of their background of prison and being lower class, their new neighbors Joyce and Odell seem to look down on Milton and Yvonne because of their lack of education and upbringing. Joyce’s holier-than-thou act impacts Yvonne, and her husband gets an ear full each time Yvonne’s feelings are hurt. But remember there are two sides to every story and we are only hearing Yvonne’s side to her conversations with Joyce. Milton also has to hear from his wife how wonderful Odell is but it doesn’t bother Milton as much as it should to hear his wife boast about another man because Milton knows a secret about Odell. Reading the antics that Milton goes through with his habit of gambling and his bad money habits is tiresome. While reading I keep wondering, at what point will he learn? I knew something was bound to happen, that Milton couldn’t keep going the way he was going so the ending wasn’t a total surprise. I was more surprised of the details that happened at the ending. Let me warn readers that this book didn’t bring about closure. A third book in the series is expected and I will be waiting for the release date!

I enjoyed the story and found it very entertaining. Once I started reading it I didn’t want to put it down. Milton and Yvonne are characters whose personalities stayed with me long after I finished reading the book.

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