by Ruth Moose
Published August 23rd 2016 by Minotaur Books (first published July 28th 2015)
Synopsis: B&B owner Beth McKenzie must deal with a mad bride, a bean festival and a missing white rabbit in this charming Southern cozy from an award-winning author
Beth McKenzie, owner of the Dixie Dew Bed and Breakfast, is enjoying an exciting affair with her new love, Scott. Meanwhile, the town of Littleboro, North Carolina is abuzz with gossip about Crazy Reba’s upcoming nuptials. Most brides go crazy at some point, but Littleboro’s resident homeless lady has had a head start: she’s beloved, indulged, and most of all, eccentric. But at almost 60—or thereabouts—her marriage seems a little peculiar. Sure, she’s sporting a diamond big enough to choke a horse, but no one can tell if it’s real, or just a Cracker Jack prize she pilfered from a yard sale.
Crazy Reba’s wedding plans go confirmedly awry when the bride-to-be is arrested for her fiancé’s murder. Beth, determined to clear Reba’s name, gets in over her head when a lady wrestler who threatened to kill her books a room at the Dixie Dew, and Robert Redford, her neighbor’s white rabbit, disappears.
Then Litteboro’s First Annual Green Bean Festival gets up and running, a famous food writer becomes deathly ill, and Beth must battle through madcap mayhem to apprehend the culprit and save the day.
Wedding Bell Blues is Ruth Moose’s sequel to her winning debut, featuring her colorful array of characters and more laughs and hilarity.
My Review: This is the second book in the Dixie Dew Mystery Series but the first one I have read. I recommend that you read this series in order as I was hampered somewhat by not knowing what had happened in the past.
In a little town known as Littleboro, North Carolina is a quirky homeless lady by the name of Crazy Reba. Everyone in town knows her well and puts up with her antics. They seem to love her and they all look out for her. In this book she wants to be a June bride and apparently she is marrying God, that is until Beth McKenzie, the owner of the Dixie Dew Bed and Breakfast gets a frantic call from her. When Beth meets up with Reba at a roadside picnic area, she finds a mysterious man who appears to be dead or dying. She calls 911 and when Ossie, the sheriff who does not want to work shows up, he takes Reba back to town and puts her in a jail cell. Beth decides she needs to help Reba by clearing her name. The only way to do that is to find out what really happened.
While all this is going on, the mayor has planned the First Annual Green Bean Festival. Beth is busy catering a lunch and Trashion Show for the mayor to gear up for the festival, as well as business at the B&B is picking up with the guest judges staying there as well as a handsome stranger from LA. AS she tries to juggle all that, she is also planning a wedding in the backyard, making the cake, dealing with her boyfriend and trying to investigate the crime. It gets pretty crazy when the wife of a missing man shows up in town and thinks Beth was having an affair with her husband. Throw in a Presbyterian Pastor who keeps showing up everywhere and her neighbour who turns out to be a hoarder and you will be laughing as you read this book.
The characters of Crazy Reba and Beth were very well developed and you couldn’t help but root for them and worry at the same time. The other characters in the book were strong supporting members of the story. I am looking forward to reading more about the inhabitants of Littleboro North Carolina. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.