by Sandra Murphy
This week we have reviews of two mysteries by Ruth Moose-Doing It at the Dixie Dew, and her latest book Wedding Bell Blues. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Wedding Bell Blues, and a link to order both from Amazon.
Doing It at the Dixie Dew: A Dixie Dew Mystery by Ruth Moose
Review by Sandra Murphy
Beth McKenzie has returned to her hometown of Littleboro and opened a B&B. That sounds like a safe enough business until one of her first guests is found dead in her room. Miss Lavinia Lovingood is elderly, but her death was still premature since it wasn’t by natural causes. She was murdered. That’s not going to help the B&B’s reputation.
Littleboro is full of odd characters or at least what most people would call odd. There’s Miss Reba who lives under a tree. She’s prone to entering any unlocked house and helping herself to food or a bath. Ida Plum Duckett is Beth’s right hand in the B&B, checking people in, making the delicious food, and keeping the rooms clean. She knows all the dirt on everybody in town. Scott is an unusual handyman. He brews exotic blends of coffee, and seems at home wherever he is. He’s a lot better than the first guy Beth hired, the one who ordered materials but never used them.
Miss Lavinia was poisoned, so of course, suspicion falls on Beth. On the other hand, Miss Lavinia had checked in and gone straight to her room, not even asking for anything to drink or eat. How could Beth be blamed for her death? The police chief takes the attitude, if it happened at your house, you must be involved.
There are threatening notes, a whisper that Beth’s grandmother didn’t die a natural death, a man-made bog, a mausoleum door that closes itself, and more for Beth to figure out before there are more deaths, including her own.
The first book is full of Southern charm that makes a reader feel right at home with all the unconventional (some say crazy) people who live there. Verna knows everything about everybody. She has a pet rabbit named Robert Redford. The music teacher Miss Tempie Merritt always wears a hat, gloves, and has lace trim on her socks. Finding out what really happened and when is a puzzle Beth has to solve—with a little help from her friends.
Wedding Bell Blues: A Dixie Dew Mystery By Ruth Moose
Review by Sandra Murphy
Miss Reba, she’s the one who lives under a tree and visits any unlocked house for a snack or quick bath, is getting married. She’s got a big diamond on her finger, and it’s anybody’s guess whether or not it’s a real ring or something she found at a yard sale. When Beth, the owner of the Dixie Dew, Littleboro’s B&B, gets a call from Reba, you know something’s not right.
Beth didn’t know where Reba would get a cell phone and surely didn’t think she’d know how to use it, but here she was, talking about killing God, who of course, she was engaged to marry. There was something about a truck, and God wouldn’t wake up which seemed to make sense to Reba but not to Beth. Of course, when she figured out where Reba was and got there, found a dead man to boot, things didn’t make any more sense than before.
There is a real wedding coming up. The police chief is marrying a friend of Beth’s, so she has to go all out to make the ceremony a nice one. It’s hard to get handyman Scott to work on the gazebo, since it’s also the First Annual Green Bean Festival, and the mayor’s keeping him busy with booths and all.
The chief arrests Reba, and although Beth was sure Reba would hate being in captivity as it were, since she’s used to living outdoors, it seems like Reba is settling in just fine. Figuring out just who got murdered is hard to do. There’s a guy who went through town on a regular basis, stayed at the motel, but Alison who runs the motel is not only no help but a hindrance as well. And Beth has to consider Reba’s story of the God truck. Of course, when the jealous female wrestler shows up and threatens Beth, things get a little dicey.
This is the second book in the series. Readers will get as caught up in the small Southern town’s characters and quirks as Beth is. Of course, she grew up there and has a head start on that. Verna, owner of Robert Redford, the big rabbit, Reba and her possibly imaginary fiancé, the pastor and his ever so proper wife, crazy guests, and Scott, Beth’s love interest, all make for a breezy, great read that will have readers laughing on nearly every page. Get both books. One visit to Littleboro just won’t be enough.
To enter to win a copy of Wedding Bell Blues, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “blues,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 12, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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