Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review/Book Giveaway/Guest Post: Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James

About the Book

Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in A Southern Ladies Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: October 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads...

The new series from the author of The Silence of the Library and Murder Past Due...

New York Times
bestselling author Miranda James returns to Athena, Mississippi, with an all-new mystery featuring Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote, two snoopy sisters who are always ready to lend a helping hand. But when a stressed socialite brings murder right to their doorstep, even they have trouble maintaining their Southern hospitality…

With the Mississippi sun beating down, An’gel and Dickce are taking a break to cool off and pet sit their friend Charlie Harris’s cat, Diesel, when their former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, shows up at their door unexpectedly, with her ne’er-do-well adult children not far behind.

Rosabelle’s selfish offspring are desperate to discover what’s in her will, and it soon becomes clear that one of them would kill to get their hands on the inheritance. Suddenly caught up in a deadly tangle of duplicitous suspects and deep-fried motives, it will take all of the sisters’ Southern charm to catch a decidedly ill-mannered killer…

My Review

A brand new series by Miranda James! I love James’ “A Cat in the Stacks Mysteries”, so there was no way I wasn’t going to read the newest series, “A Southern Ladies Mystery”. This series gets off to a brilliant start. It helps that we had a special guest appearance by Diesel, the star of the “Cat in the Stacks” series. It’s always fun catching up with Diesel.

This series has a cast of characters in its own right that are fun, portrayed realistically and, of course, are mixed up in murders. This series features two elderly sisters, An’gel (pronounced “ahn-JELL”) and Dickce (pronounced “Dixie”) Ducote.

Their Southern hospitality gets them in quite a bit of trouble when a former sorority sister shows up on their doorstep claiming that a family member wants her dead. They open their door to help her, but their good intentions turn into misery. When the woman’s entire adult children and grandchildren show up, the Ducote sisters can’t help but welcome them into their home as well. It turns out to be the biggest mistake of their lives, as murder enters their home.

The Ducote sisters put on their amateur sleuth hats and get right on the case to find out if there is a murderer under their roof. The quicker they find a killer, the quicker they can get rid of their unwanted guests.

This book is filled with humor, realistic dialogue and oozes with charm. It’s a fast-paced book that I couldn’t put down. It made for an enjoyable weekend of reading. I’m definitely adding this to my “must read series” list. Excellent from beginning to end.

FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

 Author Guest Post
Miss Marple Hooked Me
By Miranda James

I have always had a predilection for female amateur detectives, ever since I first discovered Nancy Drew over forty years ago with The Secret of Shadow Ranch. That was the first mystery I read, and when I graduated to adult mysteries, I discovered Agatha Christie and her spinster sleuth, Miss Jane Marple. I was hooked. As much as I have enjoyed Dame Agatha’s Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple is still my favorite.

Perhaps the root of my preference lies in my upbringing. My mother had four sisters, all of whom I knew well growing up. Then there were my paternal grandmother and her sister, my three paternal great aunts, and of course my maternal grandmother. They were all strong Southern women with inquisitive minds, and I learned many an interesting tidbit about human foibles and misdeeds by playing quietly by myself in the corner while these ladies chatted. (Or gossiped, whichever you prefer.)

Spinster detectives – or “little old ladies” as they are sometimes called, not necessarily affectionately – have been part of the mystery genre since 1897, when Anna Katherine Green introduced Miss Amelia Butterworth in That Affair Next Door. Miss Amelia established the essentials for the amateur spinster sleuth – a woman of “a certain age” with enough financial means to live independently, an inquisitive turn of mind, and a depth and breadth of the knowledge of human wickedness that often shocked her more na├»ve neighbors.

In 2011 I met two sisters, both married with children, who made an immediate impression on me. An’gel Ducote Molpus and Dickce Ducote Little are both bright, witty, and inquisitive, and we quickly became friends. When I was working on Out of Circulation and need two spinster characters who were the arbiters of society in Athena, Mississippi, I thought of An’gel and Dickce right away. I made them quite a bit older, childless, and single, and put them in a book. Readers loved them, as do I, and when I wanted to write a second series with a couple of sisters, I didn’t have to look far for the right characters. That was the beginning of my new “Southern Ladies” mysteries, and in Bless Her Dead Little Heart, readers can see just what Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce get into on their own without Charlie Harris being in on the case. Diesel makes a cameo appearance. The sisters are cat-sitting while Charlie and his family take a well-earned vacation in France.

I’m already at work on the second “Southern Ladies” mystery, Dead with the Wind. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce are visiting an old sorority sister to attend a wedding, and when the bride dies under strange circumstances, naturally the sisters have to poke their noses into everything. Dead with the Wind should be out in October of 2015.


How would you like to win a paperback copy of Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on October 21st (midnight est) and ends on October 28th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love the title of this book and I would love to read this book—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  2. This is an enjoyable book. Looking forward to more adventures of Diesel, Endora and Peanuts.

  3. I love trying out new series especially from authors I already read. Kuzlin at aol.com

  4. This looks like a really good book! Love Southern charm!

  5. Looks like a fun read, thank you!

  6. Miranda James you rock the cozy mystery scene. I love the covers of your books as much as what is inside. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

  7. Sounds fabulous, I can't wait to read it.

  8. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

  9. Thanks for this cozy which sounds captivating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. A favorite author, new series, little old ladies - what's not to love!!

  11. Thank you for an enjoyable review of the first book in a new series by one of my favorite authors. It's a great bonus to read Miranda James' little old ladies piece as well. I am new to your Blog, but I find your writing readable and inviting. Thanks Again!

  12. Thanks for the chance to win, this sounds wonderful.

  13. Thank you for the chance to win this fabulous cozy !

  14. Hi Dean,
    I do love your writing and I look forward to reading how the sisters and Diesel handle this crime together..

  15. Happy moving day! New series sounds fun.

  16. Miss Marple hooked me, too. :) The first Agatha Christie book I read was "The Murder at the Vicarage," and I fell in love with cozies then and there.

    I love this idea for a new series and think the possibilities are endless. Including Diesel for a cameo is just a bonus. :)

    Thanks for the chance to win it!

  17. I am looking forward to this new series....

  18. My mom was a little old southern lady, so I adore books like this. Sounds like a fun new series!! Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

  19. Diesel and little old ladies should make for a good cozy combo.

  20. Yvonne, thank you for hosting a giveaway for this cozy! I'd love to win it.

  21. congrats & continued success to Miranda!!!
    I cannot wait to read this one!!!

  22. This sounds like a fabulous new series! I fell in love with Nancy Drew mysteries as a child myself and mysteries have been my favorite genre ever since.

  23. The title makes me laugh and the characters sound quirky. This could be fun.

  24. This looks like a great beginning to a delightful series. Thank you for the chance to win!

  25. I've been seeing this one around and it looks so good. Thanks for the giveaway.


  26. I love the cover! This sounds like the beginning of another good series. Congrats on the release.

  27. This looks like a great beginning to a new cozy series. Love the cover and the title!

  28. I love the idea of a southern ladies mystery series. This book sounds really good, and I'd enjoy reading it. Thanks for having the giveaway.


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