It's 1942, almost a year since the Japanese bombed Pearl harbor, and the residents of the small town of elderberry, Georgia, have been rattled down to their worn, rationed shoes. For young teacher Charlie Carr, life and love aren't going exactly as planned-her head dictates loyalty to the handsome corpsman, Hugh, but whenever she thinks of her best friend's beau, Will, her heart does the Jersey Bounce. Charlie is doubly troubled by the disappearance of beloved schoolmistress Miss Dimple Kilpatrick one frosty November morning just before Thanksgiving. miss Dimple, who has taught the town's first graders-including Charlie- for almost forty years, would never just skip town in the middle of the school year, and Charlie and her best friend, Annie, are determined to prove it. (Taken from the back of the book)
After enjoying Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed, I was really excited to get my hands on Ballard's newest book. This book isn't due out until December 7th in paperback and November 23rd in hardcover, so you cozy lovers and mystery lovers, put this one on your wish list for Christmas!
In Ballard's laid back manner, we're transported to small town life during World War II. The characters are vibrant and believable. The time period has been researched well. This is a light read with a true mystery in it. I wasn't able to figure out who the 'bad guy' was and was pleasantly surprised at the end. I was a little miffed because I actually liked the bad guys, but at least I was surprised. Though the mystery involves murder, kidnapping, and secret government plans, it's kept at a fun and even tone through the actions of Miss Dimple as well as the rest of the cast of characters. Miss Dimple's spunk is what entertained me most.
Ballard's talent for creating nosy, inviting characters as well as intricate, mysterious plot makes this a must read for mystery lovers. Most of the time you become sucked into the lives of the townspeople, but it just makes the ride that much more fun.
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