An'gel and Dickce Ducote are the epitome of the true Southern lady - they are gracious, cultured, and ready to lend a hand to those in need. When a former sorority sister appears unexpectedly on their doorstep they are rather taken aback as they have not seen Rosabelle Sultan for more than a decade. Despite their reservations about her motives they are too ladylike to turn away an old friend who is obviously distressed and they soon discover why Rosabelle is so distressed - she thinks a member of her own family is trying to murder her! Quick to help someone in need, the Ducote sisters welcome Rosabelle into their home little knowing that her family is about to descend on their quiet home.
In the matter of a few hours the Ducote house is fit to bursting at the seams with the arrival of the children and grandchildren of Rosabelle, all of them having tracked their errant matriarch to the house of her old friends. Never one to miss the opportunity to exercise their world class ability to snoop and uncover the sisters welcome the family into their home so they can help get to the bottom of the mystery. Before the first day is out one of their guests lies dead and the mystery turns from a mere curiosity to a serious case of life and death because it appears that someone genuinely wants to see Rosabelle dead - but what is their motive? As the mystery deepens the Ducote sisters will need to use all their wiles and cunning to untangle the mess Rosabelle has brought to their door - but looking on the bright side, with all of Rosabelle's family in the house it will certainly be an interesting time.
I was a little hesitant to pick up Bless her dead little heart because I just adore the Charlie and Diesel books (um, sorry, the Cat in the stacks mysteries) and I was a little worried that a spin off series would lack the charm of the original series - thankfully those concerns were quickly washed away by the force of nature that is the Ducote sisters. An'gel and Dickce are the perfect characters to build this series around because they have the astute observational skills of Charlie, they have the temporary support of the charming Diesel, but they also have the human touch of the sibling love and rivalry that anyone with a close sibling relationship will relate to instantly.
I have never visited the Southern State of Mississippi (or any of the States for that matter) but the Ducote sisters are the epitome of every charming, powerful, and composed Southern lady I have seen on television series, in movies, or experienced in other books. While at the heart of things Miranda James writes murder mysteries, he (yes I mean he, Miranda James is a pseudonym) has an infallible grasp of human nature (the good and the bad) that makes his characters fully formed and totally relateable. The world of Athena, Mississippi is well established for fans of Charlie and Diesel and so it was very easy to slip into the world of An'gel and Dickce - but new fans who are reading Bless her dead little heart without the background from the Cat in the stacks mysterious will also be able to leap into this world with no hiccups or stumbles.
Miranda James has created another fabulous series with plenty to love and nothing to loath. The Ducote sisters are the perfect verhicle for a spin off from the Cat in the stacks mysteries - they bring a sense of mystery, danger, and sleuthing along with a strong dose of the true Southern lady and the easy relationship between siblings who in turn love each other and experience touches of sibling rivalry. Hopefully there are many more mysteries for the Ducote sisters to come - as long as we get more Cat in the stacks mysteries too!
If you like this book then try:
- Murder past due by Miranda James
- Classified as murder by Miranda James
- File M for murder by Miranda James
- Out of circulation by Miranda James
- The silence of the library by Miranda James
- Dipped, stripped, and dead by Elise Hyatt
- French polished murder by Elise Hyatt
- Lending a paw by Laurie Cass
- Books can be deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
- Pies and prejudice by Ellery Adams
- One for the money by Janet Evanovich
- Death of a kitchen diva by Lee Hollis
- Death of a country fried redneck by Lee Hollis
Reviewed by Brilla