Murder in Mayberry: Greed, Death, and Mayhem in a Small Town by Mary Kinney Branson and Jack Branson

Oh, puh-lease!
Review by Kim Cantrell

Murder in Mayberry by Jack Branson and Mary Kinney BransonIn January 2003, elderly Madisonville, Kentucky, lifetime resident Ann Branson was murdered in her Main Street home.

Best known among neighbors for being an early Dairy Queen proprietor, the town was shocked when her murder appeared to be headed for the cold case archives.

But Ann had a strong force in her corner; her nephew Jack Branson, a federal agent. Along with his wife, Mary Kinney Branson, he was hell bent on solving Ann’s murder.

And it wasn’t a big surprise when the trail led right to the door of Jack’s cousin, Russell Branson. Considering that Russell had a gambling addiction and was quickly sinking financially and Ann’s fiance, Bob, had been quickly eliminated as a suspected, that it took so long for him to even be considered.

Yet bringing Russell to justice wasn’t just a finger point away. Nope, before it was over America’s Most Wanted and Interpol would be involved.

Jack and Mary tell of their search for the truth in their 2009 book Murder In Mayberry: Greed, Death, and Mayhem in a Small Town.

One of two things seemed to have happened with this book: (1) The Bransons wanted to share the story of Ann’s murder but discovered pretty quickly that there just wasn’t enough for a book but pushed forward anyway or (2) they really, really enjoy talking about themselves.

Murder in Mayberry spends more time boasting of Jack’s ability to one-up small town cops or all of them keeping up appearances than it does on the crime itself.

I spent more time skimming to get to the heart of the matter than I did reading. So, sad to say, this one of those books that makes it on my “Do Not Read” list.


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