By Mignon Ballard
Minotaur, $24.99, 262 pages
As World War II kicks into high gear in the U.S., the small town of Elderberry, Georgia, decides to do its part by holding a War Bond rally. Unfortunately the rally doesn’t go as planned, as one of the participants, Buddy Oglesby, runs off with the bond money and another resident, Jesse Dean, is shot in the shoulder. Disturbed by this as well as by the dead body found on a local farm during a school field trip, Miss Dimple, the no-nonsense elementary school teacher, decides that she must investigate the goings-on and help her town return to normal.
Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause is a charming mystery set in a town full of fun characters, which are the main draw to the book. Each character feels real, as if they could have existed in small town Georgia at the time. The mystery story line is not as interesting as the characters unfortunately; there is minimal surprise in the revelation of the murderer. Frankly, the subplot involving a blackmailer is more interesting than the murder story line. Despite that, the characters created manage to overcome the weak mystery story line and fans of tea cozy mysteries will enjoy the tale.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern