In Miranda James’s Dead with the Wind, the second in the Southern Ladies Mystery series, octogenarians An’gel and Dickce Ducote go to visit their cousin Mireille for Sondra, Mireille’s granddaughter’s wedding. They bring along with them their ward, Benjy; their labradoodle, Peanut; and their Abyssinian cat, Endora. Soon the ladies are aghast to discover the very disrespectful way the granddaughter, Sondra, treats Mireille and Jacqueline, her mother and Miss An’gel’s goddaughter.The two ladies have no control over the young lady, who suddenly announces three days before the wedding that in no way will she wear the wedding gown worn by several generations of women in her family because now-dead people once wore it.
Miss An’gel takes note that Sondra is heir to a tremendous fortune that the almost-21-year-old will not come into until the age of 25 or the day of her wedding, whichever comes first. Thus, the spoiled brat wants to marry mainly in order to get at all the money. This reason for marrying becomes especially noticeable when Lance, the groom, makes a pass at Benjy, and seems to have the brain of a 7-year-old. However, he does get along really well with Tippy, Sondra’s illegitimate 3-year-old daughter. Then Benjy finds Sondra lying dead. The sisters and Benjy take it upon themselves both to seek out the killer and to protect Tippy from harm and someone’s inappropriately talking about the joint tragedies. The animals especially do their part to look after and entertain the little girl.
This book was highly enjoyable, better in my opinion than the first book in this series. The ending came across as a bit ridiculous and strained, but to me, the journey of a book is worth much more than the destination. I really enjoyed the Ducote sisters and getting to spend more time with Benjy, who plans to start studying pre-veterinary studies at Athena College in a couple months. Obviously, James loves animals, for the animals in these books are real characters and not just props. As an animal lover, I love this. Sondra and Mireille’s detestable maid are both women you love to hate. On another point, I also really enjoyed the character of Tippy, who insists on a plate of food to feed her teddy bear. However, she strikes me as having much more mature speech than a child of a mere three years.
Jorjeana Marie returns to narrate the book and makes it very fun to listen to. I thought she made it come alive, especially since the many details could have gotten convoluted and lost the reader.
Dead with the Wind does not deserve a full five stars, but it kept me well entertained. Thus I give the book four stars.
Dead with the Wind is available now. To order from Amazon, click here. Note: FangirlNation is an Amazon Associate. We get a small portion from each purchase, which we use to keep this site running!