Monday, October 20, 2014

Guest Post by Miranda James

I am so thrilled to have  Miranda James a.k.a.Dean James with us today! Miranda is the author of The Cat in the Stack Mysteries and her newest Southern Ladies  mystery, Bless Her Dead Little Heart!

So glad you can be with us today Miranda.  I am a big fan of your books! Looking forward to what will be next!

Belles 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.
In 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, is officially out 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.
Some of Miranda's books:

The Silence of the Library (Cat in the Stacks Mystery Book 5) Murder Past Due (Cat in the Stacks Mystery Book 1) Out of Circulation (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)  Classified as Murder (Cat in the Stacks Mystery Book 2)

Read Humane File M for Murder (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)

Check out amazon for all of these great reads!

Dean James/Miranda James
Bless Her Dead Little Heart  (Berkley Prime Crime, Oct. 7, 2014)
Arsenic and Old Books (Berkley Prime Crime hardcover, Jan. 27, 2015)


  1. Sounds absolutely fabulous. The world needs An'gels and Dickces - women with the ability to run a Fortune 500 company who choose to raise funds for worthy causes, organize bridge and swim team and tennis leagues, and plan parties.

    Caan't wait to read this one!

  2. They sound wonderfully delightful, headstrong, and funny.


First in Series- Miss Julia Speaks her Mind by Ann B. Ross

Happy Monday! This week's First in Series is Miss Julia Speaks her Mind by Ann B. Ross Released on August 22, 2000. Seri...