ladies An'gel and Dickce Ducote, a lively pair of spinster
sisters, leave home to attend the wedding of cousin Mireille
Champlain's granddaughter, Sondra Delevan. They take their
ward, nineteen year old Benjy, dog Peanut, and cat Endora
with them for the event. They've gone to Louisiana a few days
early in order to spend time with family members they have
not seen in several years.
are greeted by a household in turmoil, as bride-to-be Sondra
is a spoiled brat who wreaks havoc on the entire family. Even
the household staff is upset, and there is no peace to be
had by anyone. The groom-to-be seems to be mentally a few
colors short of a rainbow, but also one who should carry a
rainbow flag. Marriage material for Sondra? It seems unlikely,
given that he isn't even the father of her illegitimate three-year-old
temper fit, Sondra rips up the antique wedding gown she doesn't
want to wear and tosses pieces of it over the second floor
railing down to the first floor, causing enough discord that
Mireille faints away on the floor and has to be taken to the
hospital, where she later is pronounced dead. Before long,
a storm arises, and the next morning Benjy finds Sondra's
body on the ground, apparently a murder victim, tossed from
the balcony off of her bedroom. Who would want to kill the
young bride? The more likely question is, who wouldn't?
that I enjoyed this second book in the Southern Ladies Mystery
series just as much as the first. Author Miranda James cleverly
took the sisters out of their home and hometown elements and
changed up not only the place, but the people they interacted
with, taking the sisters to the mystery instead of bringing
the mystery home to them. It was smart to bring Benjy and
the pets along for the ride, too.
is told from the different perspectives of the sisters, and
the use of a whole new cast of characters kept me paying close
attention so I could understand who was who and what their
various motivations might be. James weaves a tight plot with
no inconsistencies or unnecessary distractions.
with the Wind is an entertaining read chock-full of Southern
mannerisms, eccentric characters, and true to life human foibles.
I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned
Notes: Miranda James also writes the Cat in the Stacks
reviews for this series:
Her Dead Little Heart