Special Guest – Miranda James – Author of Bless Her Dead Little Heart (Giveaway too!)

special guest blue
I am really excited to have Miranda (Dean) James here today
talking about these wonderful Southern Ladies and their new cozy series!

miranda deanBelles of Steel
By Miranda James

Every small Southern town has them – those indomitable women who run all kinds of organizations, from garden and bridge clubs to charitable agencies. Often they come from the town’s oldest families, generation after generation of club women who oil the wheels of the social engine. These were exactly the women I needed when I was working on Out of Circulation, the fourth book in my “Cat in the Stacks” series.

The story revolved around fund-raising efforts for the local public library – in this case, the fictional Athena (Mississippi) Public Library. I needed strong characters for the Friends of the Library Board of Directors, and I counted on disagreements among the members. Has there ever been a committee when members didn’t butt heads over even the most minute of details? Perfect starting point for conflict in a murder mystery, I thought.

BLESS HER DEADLITTLE HEART OCTOBERIn the spring of 2011 I attended the first-ever Daddy’s Girls Weekend, an event put together by my friend and fellow writer, Carolyn Haines, author of the Sarah Booth Delaney series. There I met two sisters, An’gel Ducote Molpus and Dickce Ducote Little, who inspired me to create their fictional counterparts, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote.

The fictional sisters are several decades older, unmarried, and childless, yet their characters owe much to their real-life inspirations. The Ducote sisters are the true grandes dames of Athena society, intelligent, hard-working, and intolerant of pretention and snobbery. The conflict between them and the character of Vera Cassity was an essential element of the story, and I had great fun with the scenes involving these characters.

Not long after I finished Out of Circulation I was working on ideas for a second series, one that would feature two older women characters. After discussion with my agent and my editor, we settled on making the Ducote sisters the main characters. I loved them, my editor loved them, and evidently so did my readers. Thus was the new series born.

The first book in the “Southern Ladies” mysteries, Bless Her Dead Little Heart, was released on October 7th.

The Ducote sisters are on their own as amateur detectives, because Charlie Harris and his family are in France on vacation. They do have the assistance of Diesel, the Maine Coon cat, who makes a cameo appearance in the book. An old sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, turns up on the sisters’ doorstep one August afternoon and claims that someone in her family is trying to murder her. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce know that Rosabelle loves being the center of attention, but this sounds a bit over-the-top even for this self-absorbed socialite. When Rosabelle’s family members follow her to Athena, however, the sisters quickly discover that one of them does have murder in mind.

I had great fun writing this book, letting the sisters have their way. I hope readers will have fun, too, getting to know Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce.


Find out more about Miranda (Dean) James and their books on their webpage here.

(A Southern Ladies Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (October 7, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig – IT IS GORGEOUS!
Cover Design by Lesley Worrel
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273043
E-Book File Size: 2067 KB


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…

Dollycas’s Thoughts


These Ducote sisters are as sweet as the tea they serve. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce were introduced to us in Out of Circulation the 4th Cat in the Stacks Mystery. I loved them then and am thrilled that they have been spun off into their own series. My favorite cat Diesel even makes a guest appearance in this first installment along with Chief Deputy Kanesha Berry.

Let’s just say these two sisters have the patience of saints as their former society sister and her whole crazy family show up at their door without so much as a phone call. These people have no manners let alone any of the Southern variety. There was only one that I liked, the rest were deplorable house guests and so very selfish. But Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce take it in stride and with the help of their housekeeper, Clementine and her granddaughter, Antoinette make the entire bunch as comfortable as possible.  Even when one of them ends up dead, these charming Southern ladies stay calm and in control and do whatever then can to catch the killer so that they can get the rest of this horrible family out of their house.

A  truly terrific story with the perfect amount of murder and mayhem and of course the perfect amount of southern charm.  I was amazed at what wonderful amateur sleuths these grande dames made. They had a plethora of suspects under their roof and with just a bit of innocent snooping they had some excellent leads. They cut things pretty close though and I was afraid this first book in the series was going to be their last. James plotted a fabulous mystery that kept me guessing until the very end.

I also was so happy to have Diesel visit, he is quite a cat,  but as you can see from the cover there are some new pets in town. I am ready for the next installment right now but see that Arsenic and Old Books (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) hits stores January 27, 2015 so I will be returning Athena, Mississippi very soon!

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Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 24, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

40 thoughts on “Special Guest – Miranda James – Author of Bless Her Dead Little Heart (Giveaway too!)

  1. I don’t think there’s much better than a book with a pair of Southern sisters. Thanks for the review and info, can’t wait to check out this new series!

  2. I’m a big fan of the Cat in the Stacks mysteries, and especially, of course, Diesel, so I love that that Diesel gets to help start off a new series. This book sounds like such wonderful fun, too. It is definitely going on my must read list!

  3. I love Diesel from cat in the stacks, so nice of him to help the Ducote sisters started. Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Cover is really cute – love the cat! I have already added this new book to my TBR pile. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  5. The Silence of the Library marked my first time reading a book from Miranda James. I loved that book and I’m looking forward to reading this book.

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us today. In my mind there are few things that are more fun or bring as many smiles as a good cozy and even this cover makes me grin 🙂

  7. I am currently read this at the moment. It’s a great story. So glad Miranda James wrote a book about the Ducote sisters. Loved them in out of circulation.

  8. Thanks Lori for having Dean here! I love love love his Trailer Park mystery series…I’m always hungry for more! Am dying to read this debut of his newest undertaking!


  10. Congratulations on your new release! Bless Her Dead Little Heart sounds like a fun cozy mystery. Love the cover. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Loved the Cat in the Stacks books and glad you let Diesel help in this one. Sound like a good book.

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