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October, 1944. It has been a challenging season for Elderberry's favorite first grade teacher, Miss Dimple Kilpatrick. A beloved former student was recently killed in the war, her brother has become distant, and her friend Odessa, the cook at Pheobe's rooming house, has taken a leave of absence to care for a relative. Still, when Dimple's librarian friend, Virginia, finds a young woman, Dora, on the library porch looking for a place to spend the night, soft-hearted Dimple brings her back to Phoebe's and offers her food and a warm coat. But when Dimple is trying to find her a place to sleep, the young girl disappears.
The next morning, Miss Dimple answers a knock on the door expecting it to be the girl. Instead, she is greeted by greeted by a somewhat disheveled young woman with lustrous hair and a sunrise of a smile who claims she has been assigned to fill in at the house. Augusta Goodnight, a guardian angel who has been summoned from a well-deserved rest after a series of troublesome earthly duties, has taken up at Phoebe's.
When Dora is discovered dead - murdered - the real reason for Augusta's "assignment" becomes clear, at least to Augusta. Reluctantly, Miss Dimple teams up with Augusta to find out who the killer is.
“A heartwarming cozy… pleasantly enriched by the meeting of Ballard's two sleuthing heroines.”
“The arrival of Augusta Goodnight from another of Ballard’s series will surely delight fans of Carolyn Hart’s Bailey Ruth. The WWII home-front setting seems like a fast-forward of Susan Wittig Albert’s 1930s-set Darling Dahlias series.”
“Ballard expertly weaves the lives of her endearing small-town characters with details of the wartime home front.”
"[A] charming world that is sprinkled with an abundance of descriptions of life in the 1940s…This moving and very comforting novel will resonate with cozy mystery readers and leave them deeply satisfied and longing for more."
More Praise for Mignon Ballard
"Ballard infuses emotion and empathy into a very intelligent, believable mystery."
"A cozy should make you feel good, and this one does. Characters who are good friends, a strong sense of community and a satisfying outcome make this a winner."
-RT Book Reviews
"Mignon Ballard has woven a story complicated with both charming and menacing characters."
-New York Review of Books
"Augusta [Goodnight] has got to be one of the cleverest and wittiest angels ever to grace a cozy mystery."
-Baldwin [Kansas] Ledger