Dead with the WindAn’gel Ducote set down her coffee cup and looked at her sister across the breakfast table. “I think we ought go a few days early. I’m sure Mireille and Jacqueline will need help with last-minute preparations for the wedding.”

Dickce Ducote sighed. “I just knew you were going to suggest that.” She picked up a piece of buttered toast and stared at it for a moment, then put it back on the plate. “I’ve already had three. That’s enough.” She didn’t sound happy about it, though.

“As we’ve lived together nearly eighty years, Sister,” An’gel replied with a touch of acid in her tone, “I’d be surprised if you hadn’t known. The point is, you know how much there is to do at the last minute. We’ve certainly helped out with other family weddings.”

“Mireille is a distant cousin,” Dickce pointed out. Mireille Champlain, related to the sisters on the maternal side, lived in St. Ignatiusville, Louisiana, with her daughter Jacqueline and her husband, and Jacqueline’s daughter by her first marriage, Sondra, the bride-to-be. “I forget how many times removed.”

“Removed or not,” An’gel said, “she’s still family, and Jacqueline is, after all, my god-daughter. I feel we should be there early to help.”

“I know there’s no use in my resisting,” Dickce said. “You always get your way. I just want to remind you, though, about how annoying you’ve always found Sondra.”

“She is certainly one of the most spoiled child I’ve ever known,” An’gel admitted. “Surely by now, though, she’s grown out of some of that.”

Dickce snorted. “With Mireille and Jacqueline giving in to her all the time? Don’t you bet on it.” She leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms across her chest while she regarded her sister with a speculative expression. “Tell you what, I’ll agree to go a couple of days early, but we have to take Benjy, Peanut, and Endora with us.”

“Take the dog and the cat to the wedding? Seriously? I don’t think so.” An’gel echoed her sister’s snort. “Besides, I’m sure Benjy would rather stay here and look after them, rather than go to a family occasion with people he doesn’t know.”

“I think you’re wrong. Benjy would enjoy a trip like that,” Dickce said. “Anyway, Peanut and Endora will pine away for us if we leave them behind.”

An’gel knew her sister could be every bit as stubborn as she herself was. “Very well,” she said. “They can go. Benjy will probably be bored stiff, but it’s your doing.”

When the sisters travel to Louisiana with their ward, Benjy, Peanut the labradoodle, and Endora the Abyssinian, the family wedding turns out to be anything but boring. You can read all about it in Dead with the Wind, the second book in the “Southern Ladies” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Bless Her Dead Little Heart.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on Thursday, October 8 for the chance to win a print copy of Dead With The Wind. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone! Two lucky commenters will be randomly selected.

About the author
Miranda James is the New York Times-bestselling author the Southern Ladies and the Cat in the Stacks mystery series. A librarian at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Miranda lives in the Jackson, Mississippi area with two cats and thousands of books.  Visit Miranda at southernladies

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