From the back of the book:
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.
The characters in this book really made the setting and era come to life. Through them I was able to see and feel the sacrifices made during the war and how it affected everyday life off the battlefield. There was tragedy and also a beautiful glimpse at love and loss. Even with the theme and the fact that there was a murder to solve it did not have a dower feel. The people made it feel comfy and homey.
While this is part five in a series, it is a stand alone mystery and I was able to read along without feeling like I had missed anything. The mystery was interesting, I didn't solve it, but I enjoyed the ride. There was also a bit of a supernatural feel to one of the characters that I really loved. It was done delicately leaving me wondering if I imagined it, which I think is perfect. I really look forward to finding the first four parts and seeing what I've missed.
Take some time to browse the other great mysteries and genres available from Macmillan. You can also connect with Mignon F. Ballard on Facebook and Her Personal Site as well.