Sunday, May 18, 2014
Doing It at the Dixie Dew by Ruth Moose
Check out these names: Julia Spencer-Fleming, Elizabeth J. Duncan, Linda Rodriguez, Donna Andrews, Susan Shaber, Gerrie Ferris Finger. These are just some of the winners of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. As a fan of traditional mysteries, I've read books by all of these authors. Now, add Ruth Moose to the list with her debut mystery, Doing It at the Dixie Dew.
Beth McKenzie Henry felt like the prodigal daughter when she returned home to Littleboro, North Carolina after her grandmother, Mama Alice, fell down the stairs and ended up in the hospital. She'd been gone too long from the little town. Once her grandmother died, Beth decides to stay and open a bed-and-breakfast, the Dixie Dew. The family home needs a lot of work, but Beth has help from Ida Plum Duckett and all-around handyman Scott Smith. She's determined to succeed in Littleboro, "A quiet town where everybody knew everybody's troubles and failings and forgave them."
But, someone might not be so forgiving. When Beth finds Miss Lavinia Lovingood dead in one of the bedrooms on the first morning, she thinks the wealthy woman died of old age. But, when she finds another body in town, she's on the top of the police chief's suspect list. She's only been in town a short time, and two people have been murdered. In a town filled with eccentric suspects, "a dying, decayed little town", Beth doesn't know who to trust, especially after receiving notes that could be seen as threats.
Ruth Moose's debut mystery introduces a town where everything isn't quite what it seems. There's the little old lady who lives with Robert Redford, a rabbit. One elderly resident scared children to death with a ruler while the resident crazy lady sleeps outside draped in jewels. Doing It at the Dixie Dew is a traditional mystery in which everyone in town is a suspect. Fortunately, Beth learns she can trust a few people.
Welcome to Littleboro, North Carolina, a town for those who enjoy their mysteries Southern with a trace of eccentricity. And, Beth Henry's original thoughts about her little town? Before she's through dealing with murder, she'll see it differently. "This town reeked of evil as if it sat under a poison cloud and the creeks and streams ran with it."
Ruth Moose's website is www.ruthmoose.com
Doing It at the Dixie Dew by Ruth Moose. Minotaur Books. 2014. ISBN 9781250046383 (hardcover), 246p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.