Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Bless Her Dead Little Heart

Bless Her Dead Little Heart (Southern Ladies Mystery - Book 1) by Miranda James

Publication Date: 10/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304 
ISBN-10: 0425273040
ISBN-13: 978-0425273043

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Miranda James on the WEB: website, blogfacebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Bless Her Dead Little Heart, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


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…


Author Miranda James brings readers a new series, set in Athena, Mississippi. The Southern Ladies mystery series is a spin-off of James' Cat in the Stacks series and readers will be thrilled to see the Ducote sisters get their own stories. James is a master at character development, as well as, weaving a complex and well layered mystery. Filled with tons of Southern charm and humor, Bless Her Dear Little Heart is sure to be a great success!

What I liked:

The Cat in the Stacks series featuring Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, has been one of my favorite cozy mystery series' for a long time. In the fourth book in that series, Out of Circulation, readers were introduced to the Ducote sisters, An'gel and Dickce. Readers who loved their southern charm and hospitality in that book, will be thrilled that James has written a spin-off series, with the sisters as the main characters. They remind me of the lovely Baldwin sisters from the old Walton's television series. Set in their ways, Southern to the bone, and ready to get knee deep in a good mystery. James really pulls out all the stops with this new series and readers are going to love it.

To say that James is good at character development is a big understatement. This author does a fantastic job of creating memorable characters that readers will want to read about again and again. The Ducote sisters have a charm and wit about them that is unique, but also comfortable. There is just something about them that will make the reader feel reminiscent and perhaps even a bit nostalgic. But when it comes to sleuthing they have their own way of doing things. I liked the way James introduces the ladies and lets the reader jump right into the action with them.

A former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan arrives unexpectedly and needs An'gel and Dickce's help. She thinks her children might be trying to kill her for her money. The sisters don't think much of this because Rosabelle was always known for exaggeration. But when her adult children show up on the door step and murders start to follow, it's up to these two southern belles to get to the bottom of it. James give readers a very dysfunctional family with plenty of suspects. The motive is an easy one, but no less intriguing. The clues were believable and the scenario, though hilarious at times, was completely plausible. I think readers will find this whodunit full of surprises.

Bottom Line:

As with any new series, it is sometimes hard to introduce readers to everything they need to know for the series background and still provide a thoughtful and interesting mystery. But James pulls it off with style. This is a series that I will definitely be keeping my eye on. The Ducote sisters have already garnered a place in my heart. A great start!

Bless Her Dead Little Heart is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Miranda James is a pseudonym for Dean James, the Agatha Award-winning author of several works of mystery nonfiction as well as four mystery series including the New York Times bestselling Cat in the Stacks series including such titles as Out of CirculationFile M for Murder, and Classified as Murder.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 11th.

1. Please leave a comment. About other Miranda James books you have read and how you think this series will be.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Laura S Reading said...

I have read the first and the third book in this series. I guess I had better get busy and fill in what I have been missing!

traveler said...

I haven't read this great series. Have to now.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Natasha said...

I haven't read any yet.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Unknown said...

I'm not familiar with Mirada James' books. The series does sound like it will be a fun read. :D

Linda Kish said...

I haven't read any yet. This will be my first.

holdenj said...

I'm familiar with the Cats in the Stack series, but haven't read any of his books, under either name, yet! Thanks!

Karen B said...

I think this series will be terrific! I'm smiling just thinking of those two old-lady sisters. Out of Circulation is sitting on top of my TBR stack.

lag123 said...

I don't think I have read any of her books yet. This series sounds like one I will be interested in.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

Correction: HIS books.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I love the Cat in the Stacks mysteries. They are some of my favorite. I actually pre-ordered Bless Her Dead Little Heart and read it in a day. It was great. I can't wait for the next Cat in the Stacks book or the next Southern Ladies mystery. (I'm not entering the giveaway since I already own the book but wanted to let everyone know that it was a great book!)

Sue Farrell said...

I fell in love with Diesel in Murder Past Due. I'm sure this book will be just as good as the others.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie. I have not read a book by this author but would love to win this as my first. I am a subscriber of yours. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

bn100 said...

None, haven't read any

Dotty Kelley said...

I've read all of the Cat in the Stacks books and loved them.
dotkel50 at comcast dot net

Meg C. said...

I've read all the Cat in the Stacks book that are out and loved each one of them. When it comes to this new series of James's, since I fell in love with the Ducote sisters in Out of Circulation, I'm sure getting an inside look into their lives (from their points of view) will be great.


Nancy said...

I've gotten one of her books but haven't had a chance to read it yet. This looks like a great book too. Thanks for the opportunity.

Carol N Wong said...

I haven't had a chance to read any of the books yet. I did love the Waltons and the Baldwin sisters were entertaining so this is great!


Unknown said...

i have read just a couple of the Cat in the Stacks series. quite enjoyable, will continue to read more in the series

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't read any other Miranda James books before, but this series sounds great and will do well. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Kris Anderson, The Avid Reader said...

I love Miranda James books and look forward to reading this one. A delightful series. Thank you for a chance to win!