Miss Dimple Suspects-Mignon F. Ballard

Miss Dimple Suspects
Mignon F. Ballard
Minotaur, Jan 22 2013, $24.99
ISBN 9781250009678

During WWII in Georgia, first grade student Peggy Ashcroft vanishes in the nearby woods. The townsfolk conduct a search for the missing child. Peggy’s teacher at Elderberry Grammar School Miss Dimple Kilpatrick joins the hunt, but takes a solo path. She finds Peggy but the child is too exhausted to travel far. Max the dog arrives and escorts the teacher and her student to the nearby farmhouse of reclusive Mae Martha Hawthorne and the artist’s companion Suzu “Suzy” Amaya, who provide shelter to both females.

Several days later, someone murders Mae and steals her increasingly valuable paintings; Suzy is missing though she frighteningly contacts Miss Dimple as she fears mob anti-Japanese fever before vanishing in the middle of her call. She proves right when the locals fervently believe Suzy killed Mae Martha due to her Japanese roots. Not one to embrace ignorant racism, Miss Dimple, assisted by teachers Virginia and Charlie, search for Suzy and the art while a killer stalks the trio.

The latest Miss Dimple Mystery (see Miss Dimple Disappears and see Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause) is a fun twisting WWII cozy that focuses on the home-front Japanophobia as much as the trio’s inept investigation. Although the support cast seems too stereotyped, readers will appreciate Miss Dimple Suspects the paintings are the motive.

Harriet Klausner

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