Friday, September 2, 2016

Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel

My house is still standing!  After a night of strong winds and a lot of rain, we have a day of sunshine! There is quite a bit of water standing around and a lot of limbs/debri in my yard, but that will get cleaned up (and the water will recede).  I hope everyone else made it through Hurricane Hermine!  These types of storms are never easy on families and property.  

Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel by Mignon F. Ballard is a Miss Dimple Mystery.  It is October 1944 in Elderberry, Georgia.  Miss Dimple Kilpatrick and her fellow teachers live at the rooming house owned by Phoebe Chadwick.  Their cook, Odessa Kirby, has to take some time off to help her aunt and the girls are having to fend for themselves (and not doing a good job).  Phoebe puts up a notice and the response is Augusta Goodnight.  She shows up on their doorstep in a cape of deep emerald and quickly integrates into their lives.  The food improves at once much to the relief of the residents of the rooming house.  Dimple heads over the library one day to visit her friend, Virginia Balliew, the librarian, and she notices a woman sitting out front.  She offers to help her, but the lady refuses.  According to Virginia, the woman has been sitting out front all afternoon.  They get her to come inside and then take her to the boarding house to assist her.  Her name is Dora and she is jittery/afraid.  They get Dora a place to stay for the night, but then she disappears.  She is found dead in the steeple of the church by the bell ringer.  Who would want to kill her and why?  They believed that Dora was a stranger to this town. Dimple and the gang want to find out what happened to Dora and set out to investigate.  Then other incidents start happening.  Someone breaks into the library and tosses the books everywhere.  Someone was definitely looking for something.  Then the rooming house is broken into.  Does this have anything to do with Dora?  She was in both places.  Dimple and her friends are determined to get answers and clear up this mystery.  Join them on the investigation in Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel.

Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel was okay, but not great.  The book is lacking something (some oomph, pizzazz).  Some books have that special quality (the writing) that grabs you and some do not.  The book also needs a little faster pace.  The pace is too slow to be enjoyable.  I liked the basic idea and characters, but I found the writing lacking.  I appreciated the setting of a small town during World War II along with the women still at home.  Rationing, victory gardens, saving grease for the butcher, and other war time functions were mentioned that added to the character of the book.  I give Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay).  Augusta is the angel in the book, but no one comes right out and says anything (it is alluded to).  They observe things that they explain away (like how fast things get done by Augusta, the wonderful meals she can cook with so few ingredients, how she showed up just when they needed her).  Augusta is slightly bewildered because it has been a while since she has been on earth.  I very much liked the idea and with a little magical writing, this could be a delightful novel (and series).  There was a reference in the novel to one of my favorite books (an oldie but a goodie) Mama’s Bank Account. 

It turns out that there are other Miss Dimple books as well as Augusta Goodnight novels (I just found them on Amazon).  You can find them on Amazon. I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.  The comments and opinions expressed are my own.

For those of you (like me) that are Downton Abbey fans, PBS (normally channel 3) is having a Downton Abbey weekend marathon.  It starts tonight and goes all weekend!  I am off to eat dinner, finish my book, and relax!  It has been a very busy day. May all of you have a pleasant night. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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