Grab yourself a nice hot drink, a blanket, and make yourself cozy because you’re going to want to read this mystery in one sitting.
Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James is the story of two prominent, elderly sisters in the small town of Athena, Mississippi. The sisters are cat-sitting a Maine Coon, affectionately named Diesel, for their librarian friend, Charlie Harris, when they receive an unexpected visitor. Their afternoon turns to chaos when old acquaintance, Rosabelle Sultan, barges in, hysterical that someone is trying to kill her, and not just anyone, but a member of her own family.
Ding-dong. Just as the sisters are trying to comprehend Rosabelle’s claims, her son shows up with his family. Ding-dong. Now Rosabelle’s daughter and her family are at the door. The list of suspects is growing: adult children, along with their own children and step-children. An’gel insists that the whole family stay at the Ducote home (so she can keep an eye on them). Within 24 hours, one of these people will be murdered.
Imagine if the Golden Girls had to solve a murder mystery, this is how it would read. Instead of the wry dialogue between Blanche and Dorothy, it is between An’gel and Dickce Ducote. Or is it Dorothy and her mother? Actually, I think Rosabelle is the Blanche in this situation, the two characters share similar…interests. Either way, I loved it and couldn’t stop laughing.
There are numerous murders throughout the book. Does that mean we’re narrowing down the suspects? I’m not sure. The sisters are as polite toward their guests as their Southern upbringing dictates, even having group meals with the possible murderer among them. In the middle of it all, Diesel makes sure he gets attention he deserves.
I have a weakness for sweet tea, fried chicken and other southern delicacies. The first thing that caught my eye when I walked into the store was the book with a cat posing next to a pitcher of tea and then “A Southern Ladies Mystery” across the top. Having spent half a year reading Gone with the Wind, I was still in the mood for something Southern and here it was — and a mystery!
Right away I noticed that the cat on the cover was an Abyssinian and not the Maine coon described in the book. I felt like a nerd when I pointed this out to my husband because I know the difference between various breeds of cats. Abyssinians are so sleek, I thought, how could the cover artist get this so wrong? However, the other cat is explained as the story progresses. I would hope that I know the difference between the two breeds, I live with a Maine Coon.
Bless Her Dead Little Heart was the first Miranda James novel I read. It is the first in a new series from the “Cat in the Stacks” author, “A Southern Ladies Mystery” series. I couldn’t put this book down. I bought the book to take with me on my winter vacation. I was traveling from the Grand Canyon to Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Zion Nation Park. All the while I was surrounded by natural beauty, and I couldn’t stop thinking about that novel with the cat and two old ladies solving a murder mystery.
I have since read four books of the “Cat in the Stacks” series. No Cats Allowed, the next in the Cat in the Stacks series is set to release in January 2016. The next book in the “Southern Ladies Mystery” series, Dead with the Wind, will be available in September and I have added this book to my Amazon wishlist.
Cost: $7.99 + tax at my local Barnes and Noble.
Drink of Choice: A pot of fresh brewed coffee.