Thursday, October 5, 2017

Book Review: Fixing to Die by Miranda James (Southern Ladies #4)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong and delightful characters
Cons: The plot, while good, could have been stronger
The Bottom Line:
A friends haunted house
Embroil us in mystery
Charming characters

Is the House Haunted?

Even though I don’t go for the supernatural as a general rule, my mind does turn to spooky stories in October.  That’s why Fixing to Die is a perfect release for this month.  It’s the fourth entry in Miranda James’s Southern Ladies series, and it finds the main characters traveling to a supposedly haunted house.

The house in question belongs to Mary Turner Catlin, the granddaughter of the Misses An’gel and Dickce Ducote’s friend.  When they receive a letter from Mary Turner asking them to come and help figure out what is really happening with the strange things that are happening, they quickly agree and set out with their ward Benji and their two pets.

They’ve hardly arrived in the house before they start to see strange things happening.  Something is definitely going on in the home.  Then some uninvited guests begin to arrive, and the tension level increases.  What are the Ducote sisters in the middle of now?

The way the book is set up, with the old house and what the ghost is doing, I felt shades of the Nancy Drew book The Hidden Staircase.  It might have helped that I know the author is a huge fan of the old teen sleuths as well.  So naturally, I had to laugh when the characters make that connection early on as well.  Does that book play into more than the set up?  I’m not going to spoil that for you.

I will say the plot could have been a little stronger.  Don’t misunderstand, there are some good twists and surprises along the way, but the pacing was off overall.  Miranda James is one of my favorite authors, and I certainly enjoyed this book, so this is a very minor issue overall.

Of course, part of that is because I absolutely love these characters.  While elderly, An’gel and Dickce don’t let that stop them at all.  They are feisty, and I love them for it.  I’m also a fan of Benji and Peanut and Endora, their pets, who are as enjoyable as always.  While most of the book is told from An’gel’s third person point of view, the passages from Dickce and Benji’s point of view not only help flesh out the story but also develop their characters.

The rest of the cast is made up of people we meet in this book, and they are strong, which is no real surprise.  They keep us guessing until the end and reveal some different sides of themselves as the story moves along.

I’m not alone in loving the books by Miranda James, and if you are already a fan, you’ll want to read Fixing to Die.  If that isn’t you, you’ll want to fix that today by trying this book.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Southern Ladies Mysteries.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Thursday, October 12th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 10/12.  You will have until midnight on 10/17 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 10/19.


  1. This sounds like a book I would love, "haunted" house and pets! My love of mysteries started with Nancy Drew! I'm always on the look for a new series. Thanks!

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  3. I love these elderly ladies---and a haunted house should prove quite a task for them. Thanks for the contest.

  4. Love this series!

  5. Cute cover! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

  6. I've only read the first one in this series, but your review makes me want to pick up all the others. Thanks for adding to my TBR pile. frybbe @

  7. I love An'gel, Dicke and Benjy plus the pets.Thanks for the Giveaway. RUTH NIXON

  8. Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase was my absolute favorite of the series! I need to read my copies of the first books in this series so I'm set for Fixin' To Die.

  9. I love the cat in the stacks series. I will have to try this one asap, it sounds great. Thank you for the chance!

  10. Thanks for your review. This looks like an interesting read!

  11. I'd love to read this--sounds really great!

  12. I like the sound of this! Thanks for the chance to win!

  13. Great review! Love your format.

  14. Great review, sounds like a cozy I'd really enjoy. Thanks for the chance.

  15. I loved growing up with my Nancy drew mysteries. As an adult I am drawn to that same feeling in books, especially cozy mystery. Add in a few ghostly happenings and some pets and you've hooked me!
    WisMomWorks@ gmail. com Thanks for this chance

  16. I have read the Cat in the Stacks series and love it. I haven't read any books in this series, yet. They are on my TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win a Copy of Fixing to Die.

  17. I love this series.

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  19. I love the review! I would love to win this book, thanks for the giveaway

  20. Being southern, this looks interesting.