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Drop Dead Divas : Bless their Hearts. They're Stilletto deep again
"What happens with the Divas, stays with the Divas."
Welcome to a genteel world of pimento cheese finger sandwiches, tall libations in frosted glasses, stiletto heels, aging southern-belle sisterhood, and murder...
In Dixie Divas, Trinket Truevine, her pal Bitty and their raucous divas friends in the historic small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi, solved the murder of Bitty's ex-senator husband, Phillip. Now, in Drop Dead Divas, the Divas are sleuthing again. Town bad girl Naomi Spencer has been accused of murdering her fianc?, drag race champion Race Champion. Soon, Naomi turns up dead, too. Talk about a fly in the martini...
Join the bawdy fun as Trinket, Bitty and the gang unravel another small-town mystery.
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Bell Bridge Books
November 18, 2010
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Excerpt from Drop Dead Divas by Virginia Brown
"Somebody should strangle that slut."
My friend Bitty Hollandale never has been one to mince words about Naomi Spencer. Even in a crowded southern caf?, where any casual eavesdropper might be tempted to take her words at face value, she managed to be alliterative as well as insulting.
As admirable as that talent may be, in the not so distant past she'd been assigned a caretaker of sorts to slow the flow of incriminating comments that seems to stream ceaselessly from her mouth. But that was when she had been accused of murder and really needed to watch what she said. Now that she'd been absolved, people who know her often nod and agree politely:
"Yes, Bitty, I'm sure someone will."
After I said it, though, I was struck immediately with the realization that we were much too close to other diners who didn't know us, and who might think she--or we--were dangerous. So I quickly added, "Bless her heart."
Bitty lifted a freshly waxed eyebrow at me. "Trinket Truevine, you're just saying that so I won't be tempted to do it myself."
Since the target of her homicidal lust stood only a couple yards away, tossing her hair and batting her eyelashes at a caf? patron, I thought it best that Bitty be distracted.
"Here." I grabbed the nearest thing at hand and thrust a red plastic basket of corn muffins toward her. "Have one."
"Honestly, Trinket, just look at her. Standing there acting so innocent when she's probably been in the backseat of every car in Marshall County. I have a good mind to--"
Not wanting to hear what she'd do, I snatched up a muffin and stuck it right under her nose. She immediately reared back with a protective hand curved over the small dog she wore in a sequined sling across her chest.
"For heaven's sake, put that down. Chen Ling is on a restricted diet."
The dog--a squashed face, bug-eyed pug--eyed the corn muffin greedily. If Bitty hadn't been holding the animal back, she probably would have swallowed the muffin in one bite.
"Bitty," I said through gritted teeth, "stuff it."
Something in my tone must have alerted her that I preferred discretion in a public place crowded with Memphis tourists who'd come down to Holly Springs, Mississippi for the annual Kudzu Festival.
Bitty leaned forward and lowered her voice. "Well, what I said is true and you know it."
Since her action brought the pug even closer to the muffin I still held in my hand, I quickly dropped it back into the plastic basket. Chen Ling has an occasional lapse of memory regarding proper table manners, and I wasn't about to risk my fingers.
The dog immediately barked a shrill protest.
"There, there, precious," Bitty crooned. "Mama didn't mean to crowd you. Here. Have some chicken."
Bitty scooped up a sliver of chicken from her plate, heedless of dumpling bits clinging to it and broth oozing between her freshly manicured fingers. I pretended it was normal and did my best to ignore questioning looks from patrons at other tables. Although we sat at a small table right in the front by the window and away from others, they must be wondering what kind of service dog was carried in a hot pink baby sling studded with sequins. Most service dogs are much more discreet. Chen Ling sparkled with sequins and diamonds in her collar--yes, real diamonds--so she was anything but discreet. Or quiet. Or well-behaved. She also makes porcine sounds when she eats. Loud porcine sounds.
"Really, Bitty," I said when I couldn't stand the porky snorts another moment, "why Budgie allows you to bring that dog in here is beyond me."
She didn't even look up. After wiping the dog's mouth with the edge of the bib tied beneath the diamond-studded collar, she kissed Chen Ling atop her furry little head. "Because we happen to be excellent customers, aren't we, precious?"
"Precious is dribbling dumplings," I observed. "Is that on her restricted diet?"
"As I was saying a moment ago," Bitty continued, not at all distracted by dog dribbles or diets, "Naomi Spencer will end up in the morgue one day, mark my words."
"We'll all end up in the morgue, Bitty. No one lives forever."
"Don't be morbid, Trinket. Really, I think you may need an anti-depressant. Something strong."
"I have something strong. It's called zinfandel."