Book Review by Michelle Goetzl
Looking for a little small-town humor to go with your reading? Enjoy a little mystery with some seriously eccentric characters? Look no further than “Wedding Bell Blues,” the second in the popular Dixie Dew Mysteries written by North Carolina native Ruth Moose.
“Wedding Bell Blues” is part of the cozy mystery genre. In this subgenre of crime fiction, sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The murder happens early in the novel, but gets lost amid all of the other craziness that happens to Beth McKenzie and the town of Littleboro, based loosely on Pittsboro.
Not a lot goes on in Littleboro, North Carolina, so folks have been pretty interested in the wedding plans of Crazy Reba, the lovable, harmless local homeless lady. No one in town believes she will really be marrying anyone, but they indulge her nonetheless.
When Beth McKenzie, owner of the Dixie Dew Bed & Breakfast, gets a call one morning from a hysterical Reba saying that she has killed her fiancé, the wheels get put in motion for the silly romp that gets everyone caught up in its craziness. Beth’s fiancé may or may not have been Butch Rigsbee, whose wife is on the hunt for him after he continues to cheat on her and thinks that Beth is the hussy she is after.
Amidst this small-town angst, we are also privy to Littleboro’s First Annual Green Bean Festival, where a famous food critic becomes deathly ill, and to watching as Beth helps plan the real wedding of her friend Juanita to police chief Ossie DelGardo, all while trying to keep her little B&B afloat. A do-gooder at heart, Beth tries to help her friend, but she always manages to get herself into trouble and everyone else’s business.
With a fun cast of characters and a slew of Southern charm, “Wedding Bell Blues” might be the right light read to enjoy by the fire.