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Digging Up the Dirt
Southern Ladies Mystery #3
Miranda James

Berkley Prime Crime
September 6, 2016/ ISBN 978-0-425-27306-7
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


The elderly Ducote sisters, An’gel and Dickce, have long been members of the Athena Garden Club. While plans are being made for the annual garden tour of the old, Mr. Hadley Partridge has returned to town after a 40-year absence and wants to restore his late mother’s gardens to participate in the tour. Hadley was quite the charmer back in the day and the garden club women are excited that he’s back, still handsome and an eligible bachelor.

A bad storm turns up some human bones when a tree is uprooted at Hadley’s estate. Who could it be? Hadley’s sister-in-law, who disappeared around the same time he left? The rumor mill had always swirled that she’d run off with Hadley, but he claims he didn’t ever see her again. Or could it be someone else? As the police work to identify the remains, another garden club member, Sarinda, may have fallen to her death while drunk, or she could have been pushed! Is there someone jealous and vindictive enough to work their way through the garden club, killing or severely injuring as they go?

An’gel and Dickce have sleuthing in their blood and set out to uncover clues and figure out who the killer is before they can strike again. Even the sisters may be in danger!

Once again author Miranda James has produced an absorbing mystery full of the grace of the south. I enjoyed this third book in the series from beginning to end, although the motives were unraveled gradually, I really had no idea who the killer was.

If you are a fan of the cozy genre, you’ll be delighted with this latest installment in the Southern Ladies Mystery series. You don’t have to read any of the previous books as it is fine as a stand-alone, but it can’t hurt to binge read all three in order. The human characters and the delightful dog, Peanut, and cat, Endora, are sure to charm you. Readers are also treated to a visit from Charlie and Diesel from James’ other series, The Cat in the Stacks books.


Reviewed 2016