by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this review on how to win a copy of Dye, Dyeing, Dead. Check out a fantasy short story by Bobbi in this issue of KRL.
After the end of her marriage and equipped with a college degree that usually requires additional doctorates to insure employment, the chance to live with her aunt was a godsend for folklorist Kendra Harper. The contrast between Austin and tiny Nameless, Texas was a bit of a shock, but it gives Kendra the chance to research and write about ghost stories and local legends. When Kendra isn’t at a cemetery photographing tombstones, she helps Aunt Jewel with gardening classes. The most recent is the prophetically titled Dyeing with Plants workshop.
The class for the Nameless Garden Club has a rocky start as the ladies arrive fully dressed for a formal Southern Tea and bring along their own heckler. Eula-Mae Bunch spends the entire workshop denouncing the need for natural dyes while praising cheaper manufactured versions. Aunt Jewel finally kicks Eula-Mae out. The next time the abrasive woman is seen, she’s a corpse. Jewel’s neighbor declares he witnessed Jewel kill Eula-Mae which means the sheriff isn’t going to look too hard in any other direction. Knowing how gossip can damage a reputation, Kendra and her best friend Jeremy Clifford conduct their own investigation to discover who among Eula-Mae’s many enemies was finally pushed over the edge. The fact that Eula-Mae was on a righteous march to censor the library certainly doesn’t make her any more sympathetic.
As a novella, the pace moves quickly while still fleshing out the characters of Kendra and her closest friends. Readers may spot the clues and the identity of the murderer far ahead of Kendra, but she has the task of weeding through numerous suspects, none of whom are shedding a tear for Eula-Mae. The tone remains light with Jeremy encapsulating most of the humor with his eccentricities and Spock ears. Kendra has a low-key romantic relationship with a deputy and even Aunt Jewel may have a potential beau on the horizon which makes this a very funny and romantic blend of Southern charm and mystery.
To enter to win a copy of Dye, Dyeing, Dead, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Dye,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 23, 2014. U.S. residents only.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL!