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Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed: An Augusta Goodnight Mystery (with Heavenly Recipes) (Augusta Goodnight Mysteries) Hardcover – November 11, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Augusta Goodnight Mysteries (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (November 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312376677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312376673
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Ballard's sweet seventh mystery to feature Lucy Nan Pilgrim and her guardian angel, Augusta Goodnight (after 2006's The Angel and the Jabberwocky Murders), the folks of Stone's Throw, S.C., are preparing for Christmas when Dexter Clark, a not very nice man with a criminal record, falls to his death from a balcony at Willowbrook, Lucy Nan's grandmother's plantation home. Then someone drugs Idonia Mae Culpepper, who'd begun dating town newcomer Melrose DuBois, and steals a locket DuBois had given her. Later, Opal Henshaw, DuBois's landlady, breaks her neck in a fall from a church balcony. Might Opal have known too much about the locket's provenance? Could Melrose be a thief and a killer? Augusta as always makes a delightful earthbound angel in a Southern cozy fragrant with holiday spices and, yes, a selection of enticing recipes. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Ballard writes with great warmth and sassy humor.” --Publishers Weekly

“Ballard’s warmth and compassion for her characters makes this series a must for readers who like their mysteries on the cozy side.” --Publishers Weekly

“Light, bouncy prose, small-town Southern perspective and characters, and a most fetching angel...” --Library Journal

“[Ballard] keeps you reading with an offbeat succession of small-town characters and Augusta’s quirky warmth.” --The Charlotte Observer

“Mignon Ballard creates an entrancing world suffused with cozy Southern charm, female friendships, and intrigue…but the best is the strawberry-scented guardian angel Augusta, who adds a touch of wisdom and wit---not to mention killer desserts.” --Sarah Strohmeyer, author of Sweet Love

“Augusta has got to be one of the cleverest and wittiest angels ever to grace a cozy mystery!” --The Baldwin [Kansas] Ledger

“Ballard’s inspiring series, featuring guardian angel Augusta Goodnight, deserves a golden halo.” --Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand Mysteries


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
While everyone would probably like to have a Guardian Angel Lucy Nan Pilgrim of Stone's Throw, South Carolina actually has one. Mind you this is not just your garden variety Guardian Angel but it is Augusta Goodnight, a heavenly figure who often finds herself on terra firma in order to help straighten things out. She's a bit of a sleuth with an uncanny or unearthly knack for solving mysteries.

As Lucy Nan describes Augusta: "I must admit I had my doubts when she first showed up on my doorstep in her voluminous emerald cape, but there was something so right about her, something so good, I soon invited her into my life. I haven't regretted it."

Lucy Nan's friend, Ellis, is the only other person who can see and speak to Augusta. That's because as Augusta explained it Ellis could use a little looking after, too.

One day shortly before Christmas this trio is at Willowbrook, Lucy Nan's grandmother's deserted plantation house. They're looking for a tree and greenery to decorate the church. Augusta suffers from the cold ever since her winter at Valley Forge with George Washington, so she retires to the car in an effort to keep warm. Therefore, she's not on the spot when a body is found "in the center of the porch between two Doric columns." It appeared that the late unlamented Dexter Clark had fallen from the balcony as a railing was broken.

As if this were not enough of a puzzlement it is not long before Idonia Mae Culpepper is drugged and a locket that her gentleman friend, Melrose DuBois, has given her is stolen. Next, Opal Henshaw proprietress of a local B & B, The Spring Lamb, falls from a church balcony breaking her neck.

What a tangled web has been woven!
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
While everyone would probably like to have a Guardian Angel Lucy Nan Pilgrim of Stone's Throw, South Carolina actually has one. Mind you this is not just your garden variety Guardian Angel but it is Augusta Goodnight, a heavenly figure who often finds herself on terra firma in order to help straighten things out. She's a bit of a sleuth with an uncanny or unearthly knack for solving mysteries.

As Lucy Nan describes Augusta: "I must admit I had my doubts when she first showed up on my doorstep in her voluminous emerald cape, but there was something so right about her, something so good, I soon invited her into my life. I haven't regretted it."

Lucy Nan's friend, Ellis, is the only other person who can see and speak to Augusta. That's because as Augusta explained it Ellis could use a little looking after, too.

One day shortly before Christmas this trio is at Willowbrook, Lucy Nan's grandmother's deserted plantation house. They're looking for a tree and greenery to decorate the church. Augusta suffers from the cold ever since her winter at Valley Forge with George Washington, so she retires to the car in an effort to keep warm. Therefore, she's not on the spot when a body is found "in the center of the porch between two Doric columns." It appeared that the late unlamented Dexter Clark had fallen from the balcony as a railing was broken.

As if this were not enough of a puzzlement it is not long before Idonia Mae Culpepper is drugged and a locket that her gentleman friend, Melrose DuBois, has given her is stolen. Next, Opal Henshaw proprietress of a local B & B, The Spring Lamb, falls from a church balcony breaking her neck.

What a tangled web has been woven!
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Everyone's favorite Guardian Angel Augusta Goodnight is still staying with Lucy Nan Pilgrim in the small town of Stone's Throw, South Carolina. It is the Christmas season; Augusta's favorite time of the year. She, Lucy and their friend Ellis seek the right tree for their church fellowship. They are looking on the grounds of Willowbrook, owned by Lucy's cousin, when they find a dead man on the porch below the mansion's balcony; the guard rail is broken.

While everyone tries to identify the John Doe, they are also happy for their friend Idonia who avoided love for years, but is involved with newcomer Melrose DuBois, who gave her a locket as a sign of his affection. When Lucy Nan and Ellis visit the caretakers of Willowbrook, the Tanseys, they see a picture of the couple's dead daughter wearing the same locket that Melrose gave to Idonia. The dead man is identified as Dexter Clark, the son in law of the Tansy's' dead daughter. Dexter's Aunt Opal Henshawe is also killed; Lucy Nan and Ellis know the events are obviously related even Melrose's disappearance. However, what that connection is remains mysteriously unknown as they seek to identify a killer without becoming the next victims.

Living up to her surname Augusta is the personification of goodness as she is able to make those in her circle feel better about themselves. While she cannot directly help find the culprit, Augusta assists Lucy, Nan, and Ellis on the quest. They each have an inner strength so when they team up, they can move mountains. Mignon F. Ballard is a wonderful storyteller who enchants her audience with this charming amateur sleuth urban fantasy.

Harriet Klausner
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