Murder at Morningside
by Sandra Bretting
Heads turn when milliner Missy Dubois waltzes into town to set up shop on the Great River Road in Louisiana. Heaven only knows the brides who get married in the grand old mansions there could use a bit of help.
But then Missy discovers a murder among the magnolias, and even the worst “bridezilla” seems suddenly tame.
Do you research your books and if so what's the weirdest/wildest thing you’ve done for the sake of your writing?
I DO research all my books, because I want to get the details right. My biggest fear is that someone will catch a mistake I’ve made, and then they won’t trust the rest of my writing.
The strangest thing I’ve researched is the people who practice voodoo along the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana. The second book in the Missy DuBois Mystery Series has several characters who use voodoo to get healthy, get rich, or find a mate. The book is called Something Foul at Sweetwater, and one of the main suspects is a Cajun woman who cooks up a special type of voodoo pouch called a gris-gris on her kitchen stove.
Anyway… I made my husband take me deep inside the Atchafalaya River a few years ago. It’s just like you’d expect: Spanish moss dangling from gnarled cypress trees; nothing but the sound of squirrel tree frogs sawing and herons calling; and the smell of decomposing leaves, like a wilted houseplant left near a hot kitchen window.
It was intoxicating, but very creepy. Especially since we spotted several alligators along the way. That trip is as close as I’ve come to people who cook love spells over blackened fire pits and sew voodoo dolls by candlelight.
Before Beatrice could say more, the front door flew open and in stomped an elderly gentleman. He was on the verge of a good old-fashioned hissy fit.
“Y’all don’t deserve a say in this wedding!” he said to a young woman who’d slunk in behind him.
The girl looked to be the right age for his daughter. She wore flip-flops and a wrinkled peasant blouse, and she buried her head in her hands. Well, that lifted the blouse an inch or two and exposed her bare stomach.
Lorda mercy. It seemed the girl and her fiancé must have eaten supper before they said grace, as we said here in the South, because an unmistakable bump appeared under her top. She looked to be about four months along, give or take a few weeks, and I could see why her daddy wasn’t too happy with her right about now.
After a piece, she lifted her chin and glared at him. “I hate you!” Her voice rippled as cold as the river water that ran nearby. “I wish you were dead.” She stalked away.
I fully expected the man to cringe, or at least follow her. Instead, he merely glanced our way and shrugged. After a minute, he pivoted on the spectacle he’d caused and casually strolled away, leaving a bit of frost in the air.
“Oh my. Why don’t we continue,” Beatrice said.
Poor Beatrice. She obviously wanted to divert our attention elsewhere. It couldn’t have been every day one of her hotel guests wished another guest was dead. She hustled us farther into the ballroom, as if nothing had happened, all the while explaining the history of Morningside Plantation.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sandra Bretting works as a freelance feature writer under contract to the Houston Chronicle. She received a journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and wrote for other publications (including the Los Angeles Times and Orange Coast Magazine) before moving to Texas.
Her Missy DuBois Mysteries series debuts from Kensington/Lyrical Underground in May 2016. Bretting’s previous mysteries include Unholy Lies (2012) and Bless the Dying (2014). Readers can reach her online at www.sandrabretting.com and through Facebook at www.facebook.com/sandra.bretting.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Sandra Bretting will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.