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Miss Dimple Disappears: A Mystery (Miss Dimple Mysteries) Hardcover – November 23, 2010

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Hardcover, November 23, 2010
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Product Details

  • Series: Miss Dimple Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312614748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312614744
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,444,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in 1942 nearly a year after Pearl Harbor, Ballard's intriguing first in a new cozy series opens with Miss Dimple Kilpatrick, who's been a first grade teacher at the Elderberry (Ga.) Grammar School for almost 40 years, taking an early morning stroll through the town park. But why is a car with its headlights off following her? Soon after, the body of the school janitor turns up in a storage closet. Did the janitor, who had high blood pressure, die of a heart attack--or is something more sinister going on? When someone abducts Miss Dimple, grade-schooler Willie Elrod, who has "an inventive mind," tells his mother he saw "poor Miss Dimple being kidnapped by spies." Ballard (Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed and six other Augusta Goodnight mysteries) does a good job depicting a small American town as the factories gear up for war, young men enter the service, and everyone adjusts to rationing. (Dec.) (c)
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From Booklist

It’s fall 1942 in Elderberry, Georgia, and the small town has experienced the effects of WWII, with rationing and so many of its young men going off to fight. Then, just before Thanksgiving, first-grade teacher Miss Dimple Kilpatrick disappears; readers know she’s been kidnapped. Young teachers Charlie Carr and Annie Gardner only know that Miss Dimple, as they call her, would never walk out on her students in the middle of the school year. When the school’s janitor, “Christmas” Wilson, is found dead in the school’s upstairs storage room, no one realizes a possible connection between the two events. Meanwhile, Miss Dimple finds herself in a basement room, where her masked captor keeps her fed; she decides to do what she can to help herself, even though she doesn’t know why she’s being held captive. The book’s pace is as slow as molasses, but most readers won’t care because all the details of small-town life are completely engaging. Genre veteran Ballard fills her story with wonderful characters and warm humor. --Kat Kan

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Customer Reviews

The mystery aspect of it was really entertaining as well.
Julie King
A well crafted, story set in WWII era you feel the rhythm of a small town and gain insight into normal life during war time.
Also, the plot was thin and I'd pretty much guessed who the bad guys were long before the end of the book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By W. Skidmore on June 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the first in Mignon Ballard's new series, set during World War II in the fictional town of Elderberry, GA. This is a fun, and cozy mystery, so if you like your mysteries 'hard boiled', hardcore, or violent/dark, this is not going to be your thing, so you may as well move on now and not complain later, like a couple of previous reviewers did. I found this book to be a welcome addition to the genre (of cozy mysteries); actually all of Ballard's books are much, much better than your average cozy mystery. Perhaps I'm a bit biased, because I've read and loved all of her books from the first one, twenty-five years ago. But that aside, I'll comment on the book itself now. I personally love books that are set in a past decade; I love that feeling of going back in time to a different era, instead of being stuck in the present, which I can look outside my window and see at any time. To me, the story really seemed to capture the feel of a small American town during WW II... I could feel the fear of the characters seeing their family and friends going off to fight in the war, knowing that they may or may not return, yet feeling pride and patriotism at the same time. (before our country became the corrupt super-machine that it is now) Anyhow, I just really enjoyed getting to know the characters and the town itself, and the mystery was a lot of fun. Ballard's characters are always fun and amusing, without being silly and unbelievable, like those in many cozy series today. One thing that was interesting to me was the description of how so many people during that time lived in boarding houses, and these people all shared meals together, listened to the radio together in the evenings and seemed to (at least somewhat) function almost as a family.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In 1942 on a cold November in Georgia, elderly Elderberry Grammar School teacher Miss Dimple Kilpatrick takes her usual morning walk in the town park. She is oblivious to a car quietly following her with the beams off though it is still dark outside.

Not longer after the first grade teacher of four decades was strolling in the park, the school janitor is found dead in the storage closet and Miss Dimple missing. One of her students Willie Elrod insists to his mother that he saw spies kidnap "poor Miss Dimple." Third grade teacher Charlie Carr is worried about the disappearance of her former teacher who would never vanish during the school year. She persuades her best friend fourth grade teacher Annie Gardner to help her investigate what happened to the long time first grade teacher. She also wants to find out if there are ties to the janitor's death though the latter is most likely due to natural causes. At the same time Charlie feels guilty that her boyfriend is serving as a corpsman while she is attracted to the boyfriend of her BFF.

The author of the charming Augusta Goodnight mysteries, Mignon F. Ballard begins a new series located in the home front of a small-town Georgia during WWII. The background is wonderful with a deep look at Elderberry preparing for war with moms, sisters and daughters knowing some of the men joining the military will not come home. The mystery of Miss Dimple Disappears is a fun cozy as the investigation is well written, but it is the townsfolk doing their part to support the war effort that makes this a winner.

Harriet Klausner
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anna B from Covington on May 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Elderberry is a cozy Southern enclave, but even this tight knit community can't escape the tendrils of evil, fear and grief gripping the country during World War Two. But the town is up to the challenge. First there is the naughty school boy whose shrewd observations help unravel the plot. Of course there is Miss Dimple herself, a school marm yes, but a gutsy one who could probably stand her ground on the front lines. Then there are the saucy young ladies,school teachers all, whose beaus one by one ship off to war. Yes the war is here in Elderberry. First the school custodian dies of an inexplicable injury, and then Miss Dimple herself disappears. You'll need sustenance to help discover who has captured her and why. Fortunately it is the holiday season, and what better war to keep the war at bay than baking? Despite war rations, this town is not only up to the challenge of defeating the enemy, they are going to eat well while doing it. Reading this book will whet your appetite for adventure! Can't wait for the next installment of Miss Dimple.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C.H. on February 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just loved it and you just have to read it -- if you like charming characters who invite you into their homes and won't let you go without some good food and great conversation! This book is set in a small southern town during WWII. And this was the era in which my mother and aunt grew up. I grew up listening to their remembrances of a time when everyone in town knew each other and when everyone was doing his/her part in defense of the country. While reading "Miss Dimple Disappears" I felt like I was in Elderberry, Georgia. I could envision my loved ones walking those streets, shopping in those stores and going to that gramar school. It was a great trip back in time and I hated for it to end. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel. I just hope Miss Dimple gets a good rest in her own bed and great homecooking compliments of Odessa before she has any more adventures!
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