It begins quietly on a balmy Southern night as some locals gather at Bo Peep's, one of the town's favorite watering holes. Within an hour, however, a man will be murdered and his companion will be "disappeared." An unlikely detective, Morgana Musgrove, doyenne of Savannah society, is called upon to unravel the mystery of these crimes. Morgana is an imperious, demanding, and conniving woman, whose four grown children are weary of her schemes. But one by one she inveigles them into helping with her investigation, and soon the family uncovers some terrifying truths—truths that will rock Savannah's power structure to its core.
The Kingdoms of Savannah doesn’t read as sweaty or overworked: It’s layered, but like a parfait goes down sweet, chilled and easy. Saturated in regional detail and studded with oddballs, it has the flavor of Southern Gothic without the bitter aftertaste ... Green wants to hammer home that undergirding Savannah’s beauty — all the flowers and fashion and conviviality — is unspeakable ugliness that must be given voice ... The Kingdoms of Savannah is an ensemble piece with no real center of gravity, and way too many kooky humans to enumerate here: a slumlord, a lazy boatman, a whistling vagrant ... Truth be told, I couldn’t always follow it, but I dug it. Green shows how you can love a place’s stink, find it splendid even as you despise its sediment.
Intriguing and immersive ... Darkly mesmerizing ... Green's historical notes at the end of the book offer fascinating details about the real-life people and events that inspired him to write The Kingdoms of Savannah, which is a masterful and multifaceted work: finely crafted mystery, thought-provoking social commentary and an indelible portrait of a complicated city.
This fascinating story takes readers from homeless encampments to elegant homes as Morgana and her children probe the doings of a strange, dysfunctional family and discover appalling injustices in the city’s past. Based on historical events, Green’s literary thriller will draw those who loved John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.