Jan 21 2013 10:30am

Fresh Meat: Miss Dimple Suspects by Mignon F. Ballard

Miss Dimple Suspects by Mignon F. Ballard is the third book in the traditional mystery series set in Georgia during World War II (available January 22, 2013).

Author Mignon F. Ballard has written nearly twenty books, including a number of stand-alones, seven books in the highly entertaining Augusta Goodnight series and, to my great joy, a third book in the Miss Dimple Kilpatrick series set in the small town of Elderberry, Georgia, during World War II.

Just last year I talked about how much I loved the second book, Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause. Well here’s the good news: book number three, Miss Dimple Suspects, is another delightful and engaging story.

Miss Dimple is part of a search party looking for a little girl named Peggy Ashcroft. The situation reminds Miss Dimple of another little girl who went missing many years before, one she hasn’t thought of in a long time. Dimple is separated from the other searchers and it is dark when she finds the sick and feverish child and is not sure how the two of them can get down the hillside and safely back to town.

Dimple clenched her teeth to keep them from chattering as the dog raced back and forth between her and a spot a few feet away. Was he trying to lead her somewhere? Miss Dimple shifted her small burden; the little girl’s cheek felt scorching next to her own and she could hear a distinctive rattle in her chest. She thought again of the long-ago neighbor who had helped to save her little brother. Minerva, where are you when I need you?

Again, the German shepherd demanded her attention, urging her farther up the hill. Miss Dimple sighed. “Maybe you know something I don’t know,” she said, stumbling along behind him. Using her flashlight, she walked cautiously, the pale beam probing the way a few feet at a time. She didn’t know anything about this dog except that it was protective of Peggy, but from her own early experiences with Bear, Dimple was aware that sometimes animals had keener instincts than humans, and several minutes later she realized she had made the right decision. At the top of the next hill, a welcoming yellow light beckoned to them from the window of a cottage only a few yards away.

And it is here the real mystery begins. The cottage belongs to a renowned artist, Mae Martha Hawthorne, who resides with her nurse/companion, a lovely young Asian woman named Suzy. They shelter Miss Dimple and little Peggy Ashcroft for the night and Suzy’s medical skill brings the sick child’s raging fever under control. The next morning Suzy walks through the woods to a neighboring house and, at Miss Dimple’s direction, calls the telephone operator, Florence, to let everyone know that Miss Dimple has found the child and they are both well.

After this rescue Dimple and her friends Charlie and Annie make a thank-you visit to the artist and her companion, and try to befriend them. Suzy is extremely reticent and doesn’t want to join the ladies for any activities in town. Dimple assumes that over time Suzy will overcome her shyness and telephone to set up a get-together.

But when Suzy called a few days later, it wasn’t at all what she expected. “Miss Dimple, can you come? Something terrible has happened, and I don’t know what to do! Hurry, please! I need your help, and don’t—”

And then the line went dead.

What I love about this novel is that mysteries are woven together and finally unraveled and all the while the people of Elderberry get on with their daily lives, consistently adjusting to the challenges of wartime America. The books in this series keep me absorbed in the customs and civility of Miss Dimple and her friends as they determine to resolve the troubles in their small town, even as the war continues to loom large, the gravest danger well beyond their control.

Find more coverage of new releases in our Fresh Meat series.

This sweepstakes has ended. Check our Sweepstakes feature for current opportunities!

To enter for a chance to win one of five copies of Miss Dimple Suspects by Mignon F. Ballard, make sure you’re a registered member of the site, sign in, and then simply leave a comment below.

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at beginning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) January 21, 2013. Sweepstakes ends at 9:29 a.m. ET on January 28, 2013 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010


Terrie Farley Moran’s recent collection of short stories, THE AWARENESS and other deadly tales, is currently available in e-format for the Nook and for the Kindle. Terrie blogs at Women of Mystery. She is currently writing a cozy mystery set in a beach community in southwest Florida.

Read all posts by Terrie Farley Moran for Criminal Element.


Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Kristi Amick
1. beckmank
This book sounds great! Can't wait to read it.
3. Susan J. Rice
I just put all three books in the series on hold at my local library!
4. aliceactor
I love small town mysteries (it's always someone you know!). Would love to win a copy. Thanks!!!
Clydia DeFreese
5. clydia
Thanks for letting us know about this series. I look forward to reading these!
Suzanne Gonneville
6. Thumbs
Sorry I haven't read this series. This may be the beginning of a new chain for me.
Terrie Farley Moran
7. Terrie
I'm so glad readers are as interested in Miss Dimple as I am.

@Susan, come back and register, so that your name is in black above your comment and you'll be eligible for a chance to win one of five copies of Miss Dimple Suspects.
Maya Amis
8. mayat7
I've read the first one (and bought it twice by accident!) and am looking forward to reading the sequels.
Jessica Jones
10. nolaboard
Sounds right up my alley to me! Going to look for the first two~
Joyce Mosby
11. Joycemosby
I would love to win. I will have to find the previous books in the series. I always enjoy finding a new author I want to read.
K Jewell
12. Shelfishness
This book sounds great - it makes me think of a cross between Miss Marple and Nancy Drew. Can't wait to read it!
13. stems25
I love "Miss Dimple" and Georgia and would love to recieve a copy of her new book.
Rosa Abraham
15. ravensfan
Can't wait to read this! Looks very interesting.
Jane Squires
16. squiresj
Would love to read this book and review it and get to know you as an author.
Kayla Beck
17. kaylabeck
These books sound fantastic! My library patrons will probably love Miss Dimple, so I'm going to look into ordering some for my branch.

Thanks for the giveaway!
Kathleen E. Rourke
18. Kathleen8
The author does an excellent job of creating interesting charaters and capturing the sense of a small southern town during WWII. I have enjoyed the previous books in this series and look forward to reading this latest.
Regina Silverstein
19. ReillyS
I love mysteries set in the South. Looking forward to reading it.
Joanne Mielczarski
24. jtmswim
I love mysteries set in the past - this sounds like a good one for WWII.
Kitty Macey
25. macey53
sounds good. would love to read this. thanks
Lisa Garrett
26. lag123
A new author for me. I love to discover new authors
Larisa LaBrant
27. MsGodiva1
Oh, dear...looks like I'll be adding another WWII mystery series to my reading addiction. Nothing like a strong heroine, good setting and mystery set during the great war. And, as usual, if I"m not so lucky as to win a copy, I'll be pestering my local library.
Gregory Sparks
28. sparkplug54
OOh, WWII and a rural setting in the U.S. Sounds good
Bob Alexander
29. rx_alex
This would be my first Miss Dimple mystery but it won't be the last. I've become addicted to this genre.
Laura McDonald
30. bonnieclyde
It will be interesting to see how this author reaches back in time and how authentic the setting and voice are!
Sue Farrell
31. Suekey12
I like mysteries and I enjoy WWII novels so I'm in for trying this series.
Jackie Wisherd
32. JackieW
I remember my small town during WWII in Colorado so will be interesting to read and see if it had any similarities to GA.
Karen Cherubino
33. kcherubtx
"And then the line went dead." Who wouldn't want to read more of this story? Sounds like a good read!
34. Neroon
I would love to get this for my mother who loves mysteries.
Debbie Miller
35. mimimiller
I'm always up for a good mystery. Never heard of this author before, would love to add to my collection
Linda Rodriguez
37. LindaRodriguez
I hadn't heard of the Miss Dimple mysteries before, but they sound wonderful.
Andrew Kuligowski
38. KuligowskiAndrew
3rd book, and this is the first I'm hearing of the series??? Don't know whether to wag a finger at the promotions people, or thank them for this post! (The latter is probably much more accurate.)
Kathy Wilson
40. Kattwill
So glad you've recommended this series! Can't wait to start reading!
Brenda Tucker
42. rango3
Sounds like a wonderful read, World War II and rural Georgia.
Louis Burklow
44. Nash62
Enjoy reading Southern fiction and anything about the homefront during WWII, so this sounds great.
lynette barfield
45. lynette
Sounds like a good read. Would love a copy.
vicki wurgler
46. bison61
I do not think I have read a book by this author-I do love mysteries
Katherine Marion
48. stitchkat
I don't know this author, but the premise certainly sounds interesting.
Darlene Slocum
49. darandsam
It will be fun to see what Miss Dimple gets herself into.
Clare 2e
51. clare2e
@KuligowskiAndrew--we did cover the 2nd book, Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause, and before that, CriminalElement didn't exist--pls forgive and do read on!
Chris Noe
52. ezmerelda
I am always glad to find new (to me) authors. Thanks for the introduction.
Jason Nickolay
53. parkerozgood
I would love to read this while out in the fish house. Thanks for the chance
Starr Greenwell
54. greenhome
I would love to read this, love mysteries.
Laura McLendon
56. LMcLendon
Another chance for another good mystery and addition to my home library. :)
Joe Hauser
61. jhauser42
It is amazong how many people's names are in red. They obviously did not read the entry guidelines and yet they want to enter for a book??
lynette thompson
This looks like a great book. Wonderful for this time of year to read in Minnesota. Thank you
Beth Talmage
65. wordygirl
how did I miss the first two? I would be thrilled to win a copy of this book.
Sally Wilsey
66. sallywilsey
This sounds interesting, would love to win this book.
Ellie Wright
68. eswright18
I love mysteries set during this time period.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Lorena Keech
69. llkee
Sounds like an interesting series. Thanks for the chance.
Debra Kidle
70. lubelle
Mysteries are the best kinds of read! Hope to win!
kathy pease
71. klp1965
Thank you for the great giveaway please count me in :)
Shannon Parker
72. 07violet
this sounds interesting, I'd like to read it
Jo Ann Hakola
73. bkfaerie
I love reading these kind of mysteries!
Buddy Garrett
It sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.
Tammy Greer
76. LuckyTJG
I love books set in the 40's. My dad was a teenager during this time and his three brothers served during the war.
Susan Smoaks
78. susansmoaks
I really love to read and I can't wait to read this!!!
Edward Vandenberg
80. Crunch57
This does sound like an interesting book.
Ed Nemmers
81. saturdaynightfever
I would love to read the work of Mignon F. Ballard!
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