The New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries and Digging Up the Dirt returns with the latest Southern Ladies Mystery...
It’s autumn down south, and An'gel and Dickce Ducote are in Natchez, Mississippi, at the request of Mary Turner Catlin, the granddaughter of an old friend. Mary and her husband, Henry Howard, live in Cliffwood, one of the beautiful antebellum homes for which Natchez is famous.
Odd things have been happening in the house for years, and the French Room in particular has become the focal point for spooky sensations. The Ducotes suspect the ghostly goings-on are caused by the living, but when a relative of the Catlins is found dead in the room, An'gel and Dickce must sift through a haunted family history to catch a killer.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Series:||Southern Ladies Series , #4|
|Product dimensions:||4.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Miranda James is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries and the Southern Ladies Mysteries.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fixing to Die by Miranda James is the fourth book in A Southern Ladies Mystery series. An’gel and Dickce Ducote have received a letter from Mary Turner Catlin about strange happening at her home, Cliffwood in Natchez, Mississippi. Mary Turner is at a loss and needs their help. The sisters along with their ward, Bengy (and the pets) pack up and head to Natchez (with Bengy driving so they make it without any speeding tickets and get to enjoy the scenery). Mary Turner was not kidding about the odd things occurring around the house—doors closing on their own, items moving around a room, cold spots, and strange shadows. Is there a ghost at Cliffwood or is someone trying to get the Catlin’s out of their home? The Ducote’s are just getting settled when a psychic shows up at the door saying she was drawn by a spirit who needs her help. But she is not the only unwanted guest. Two cousins and their lawyer descend on Cliffwood and insist upon staying for a few days (just what they need during their vacation time). The next day Nathan Gable (one of the cousins) is found dead in his bed with a frightened expression on his face. Did one of their unexpected guests kill Nathan or was it the spirit haunting Cliffwood? An’gel and Dickce want answers and set out to reveal the truth. Fixing to Die has some lively characters and a beautiful old home for the setting (I would love to live in it). Miranda James did a wonderful job at portraying the accent of people who live in the South along with their characteristics. The story contains some nice writing, but it lacked an ease. I thought Fixing to Die was a slow starter. The murder did not occur until the 48% mark. The murder mystery was straightforward and the majority of readers will identify the perpetrator long before the reveal (it can be deciphered before Henry Howard finds Nathan’s cold body). The “hauntings” and who is behind them is equally unpuzzling. There was little investigation by the sisters. They never looked at the body or checked out the crime scene. Most sleuths would rush to check out both before the police arrive (the body would give them vital clues). An’gel and Dickce asked questions, examined walls (for secret passageways), and endlessly speculated what could have happened. The story is lacking in action and ending was anticlimactic. The author also left some threads dangling at the end of Fixing to Die. My rating for Fixing to Die is 3.5 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend starting with Fixing to Die. I have read the other books in A Southern Ladies Mystery series, and I felt a little lost in the beginning. I liked what was called the Nancy Drew effect (made me laugh). Who doesn’t want to find a secret passageway?
Is the House Haunted? Even though I don’t go for the supernatural as a general rule, my mind does turn to spooky stories in October. That’s why Fixing to Die is a perfect release for this month. It’s the fourth entry in Miranda James’s Southern Ladies series, and it finds the main characters traveling to a supposedly haunted house. The house in question belongs to Mary Turner Catlin, the granddaughter of the Misses An’gel and Dickce Ducote’s friend. When they receive a letter from Mary Turner asking them to come and help figure out what is really happening with the strange things that are happening, they quickly agree and set out with their ward Benji and their two pets. They’ve hardly arrived in the house before they start to see strange things happening. Something is definitely going on in the home. Then some uninvited guests begin to arrive, and the tension level increases. What are the Ducote sisters in the middle of now? The way the book is set up, with the old house and what the ghost is doing, I felt shades of the Nancy Drew book The Hidden Staircase. It might have helped that I know the author is a huge fan of the old teen sleuths as well. So naturally, I had to laugh when the characters make that connection early on as well. Does that book play into more than the set up? I’m not going to spoil that for you. I will say the plot could have been a little stronger. Don’t misunderstand, there are some good twists and surprises along the way, but the pacing was off overall. Miranda James is one of my favorite authors, and I certainly enjoyed this book, so this is a very minor issue overall. Of course, part of that is because I absolutely love these characters. While elderly, An’gel and Dickce don’t let that stop them at all. They are feisty, and I love them for it. I’m also a fan of Benji and Peanut and Endora, their pets, who are as enjoyable as always. While most of the book is told from An’gel’s third person point of view, the passages from Dickce and Benji’s point of view not only help flesh out the story but also develop their characters. The rest of the cast is made up of people we meet in this book, and they are strong, which is no real surprise. They keep us guessing until the end and reveal some different sides of themselves as the story moves along. I’m not alone in loving the books by Miranda James, and if you are already a fan, you’ll want to read Fixing to Die. If that isn’t you, you’ll want to fix that today by trying this book. NOTE: I received a copy of this book.
Spooky southern mystery fun from author Miranda James. The best book in this series so far, FIXING TO DIE is the grown up, southern version of my favorite childhood Nancy Drew mysteries. With unexplained noises, objects being moved around, and doors that open on their own, not to mention the discovery of a body, this was the perfect tale of mystery. It was wonderful being back with my aunts, ummm . . . I mean the Ducote sisters (I wish I had them for aunts), in this fourth installment of the Southern Ladies mysteries. It’s impossible to not have a good time with sisters An’gel and Dickce. Even when they’re on the hunt for a killer. Perfectly paced, and masterfully written, author James has elevated this series to a new level with the addition of FIXING TO DIE. I was immediately lost in this story, and anticipated each new chapter. I wanted so badly to peek ahead, and so I’m glad I didn’t, or I would have ruined a great surprise ending. FIXING TO DIE is a must read for anyone who loves traditional mysteries.
In this next book of the series a family friend named Mary asks the Ducote sisters to Natchez, Mississippi to help her find out just who or what is haunting the B&B that she owns and operates. The sisters immediately agree and pack up their pets and ward to see just what they can discover. As soon as they arrive strange things start happening. When Mary's cousin comes to stay and ends up dead things take a turn for the worse. Did a ghost kill him or was it something more solid. The sisters believe that all that is happening is due to a live person and the haunting is just someones way of trying to cover up what is really going on. Will the sisters be able to find the culprit? Is there a ghost hanging around the B&B? Who would want to kill the cousin? Jump right in and tag along with the Ducote sisters as they try to answer these questions and more. I love that the sisters don't let their age limit them to what they can do, and look forward to whatever exploits come their way.
Fixing To Die is the fourth book in the A Southern Ladies Mystery series. I love this series and am so happy that the Ducote sisters were able to get their own series. The Ducote sisters have been on this earth for 80 some years and even though their steps might have slowed, their mental faculties remain as sharp as ever. They are a feisty two-some and they may have disagreements from time to time but they are quickly worked out and are always watching out for each other. And to keep an eye on them is their ward, Benjy. Benjy will soon be enrolling at Athena College, but he will be close to continue to help out around Riverhill and watch over Dickcee and An’gel. An’gel, Dickcee and Benjy are headed for Natchez after getting a call Mary Turner Catlin, granddaughter of an old-time friend. She has been experiencing strange happenings in her house and one room in particular. Shortly after the Ducote sisters arrive an unexpected guest arrives, Primrose Pace a psychic, claiming that a spirit had requested her presence at Cliffwood. Then bickering distant cousins, Serenity and Nathan arrive. Serenity is there to try to convince her brother Nathan to give some of her trust fund that he controls. Nathan is there to look for a will he claims to exists giving him the valuable furniture that is in the French Room. The next morning when Nathan doesn’t show up for breakfast Mary Turner husband, Henry Howard, goes to his room to find Nathan has been murdered in his bed. The Ducote sisters, of course, love a good mystery and with Benjy’s help they set off to see if they can sleuth out another murderer. They can’t find too much information on Pace and they are questioning whether she is for real. They need to look into Serenity to how far she would go to get her money. Serenity’s lawyer also seems to be awfully nervous. Also, they will be looking at Mary Turner cook to learn how far she would go to protect Mary Turner’s home. In addition, there is the question of whether the house is indeed haunted Another well-plotted and exciting story with a well-developed and believable cast of characters. I definitely will be watching for the next adventure of Miss Dickcee and Miss An’gel.