The quiet little town of Elderberry, Georgia, is still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor as Thanksgiving 1942 approaches. For the town’s Gold Star mothers, there is little to be thankful for. For the rest of the town, the constant threat of enemy attack and fear for their loved ones serving in the military casts a gloom that has little to do with autumn’s long nights. The war isn’t just over there, either; Elderberry is about to learn that there is just as much danger on the home front as anywhere.
While the entire world may have changed in a brief span of time, one thing remains ever constant: Miss Dimple Kilpatrick, the stern but loving first-grade teacher who taught most of the young men who are now fighting somewhere in foreign lands. Her very presence lends a sense of security and stability to the town, as well as to younger teachers like Miss Charlie Carr.
And then Miss Dimple disappears. While readers know that she’s been abducted by a nefarious if somewhat slow-witted henchman, Charlie and the rest of Dimple’s friends are baffled by a mysterious note in Dimple’s handwriting that states she has gone to visit her sister—a sister the townsfolk know she doesn’t have.
Miss Dimple Disappears takes the ‘everybody knows everything about everybody’ of small-town life and puts it to good use. Everyone has a clue, from the pharmacist to Dimple’s co-residents at the boarding house to a young boy obsessed with German spies. Only by coming together and sharing what they’ve found can the town of Elderberry hope to save their beloved Miss Dimple.
The first in a new series from Mignon Ballard, Miss Dimple Disappears is told in lyrical prose that flows naturally from the author’s mind, drawing readers back in time to a world that is unsteady and yet, somehow, magical. A veteran novelist, Ballard’s comfort with the cozy genre as well a natural gift for storytelling allows her to unveil the story and to introduce characters and their quirks with perfect timing, never rushing the tale or falling back on clichés or gimmicks to entertain the reader. Miss Dimple Disappears is a lovely gift to cozy fans who’ve hungered for more of the traditional mysteries that revolve around believable characters and strong plot, and it is guaranteed to delight readers of all ages.