Dixie Divas by Virginia Brown

November 28, 2010

Plot summary (from the publisher): “You found my philandering ex-husband?” Bitty asked. “Where? Mexico? Paris? In Tupelo with a cocktail waitress?”
“In your closet,” I answered. “Dead.”

Break out the hoop skirts and the zinfandel. The Divas are on the case.

Wine. Chocolate. Transvestite strippers. Just another good-time get-together for the Dixie Divas of historic Holly Springs, Mississippi, where moonlight and magnolias mingle with delicious smalltown scandal. But Eureka “Trinket” Truevine, the newest Diva, gets more than she bargained for when she finds her best Diva girlfriend Bitty Hollandale’s ex-husband in Bitty’s hall closet. He’s dead. Very dead. Now Trinket and the Divas have to help Bitty finger the murderer and clear her name.

Liked:

  • A few of the scenes were funny, and I actually liked the Bitty character quite a bit — particularly after she got Chen Ling and started “wearing the dog like an ornament”. I could totally picture someone like Bitty being a real person, despite how eccentric she was. You know the kind of person: a rich, beautiful woman who has had a charmed life ever since birth. Prom queen, great body, perfect skin, never needed to buy a tube of acne cream in her life… and yet not stuck-up in the least. Brown did a good job developing this character.
  • Trinket was a decent narrator and provided a good contrast to Bitty. She was down to earth, and smart without being a genius. She also seemed like a real person, so credit to Brown for that.
  • I liked that Chen Ling actually ended up playing a big role in the climactic scene. It was a bit jarring to have the dog suddenly appear halfway through the book, but the author explained the situation rather well, and then it was Chen Ling to the rescue. Nice!

Disliked:

  • Ugh, this book was soooo boring in so many places!!! Hardly anything happened between finding Senator Hollandale’s body and the end, yet the book spanned several hundred pages. I was expecting there to be more of an active investigation instead of the women simply sitting back wondering what was going on. There were way too many diversions into Southern history, too. I realize there were bound to be some in a book called Dixie Divas, but good lord, get to the point, will ya?
  • I thought the subplot about Trinket’s 70-something parents and their teenage-like sex life was pretty ridiculous (and disgusting). Hey, I’m all for seniors getting some action if they still can, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear about it or be given enough hints about what was happening to conjure up gross images of wrinkled, sagging flesh intertwining…!
  • The killer kind of came out of nowhere didn’t she? And she had a b.s. motive to boot. That kind of ending just really pisses me off because it makes slogging through the boring scenes totally not worth it. If I’m gonna stick it out that long, I expect a decent ending — but that was not to be with this book.

Rating:

I got Dixie Divas by Virginia Brown as a free Kindle download from Amazon.com. The reviews made the book sound promising, and of course you can’t go wrong with that price. But despite a few good scenes and some decent humor, the book simply didn’t have enough action to sustain it for all 308 pages. I give it 2 stars out of 5 and recommend that you give it a pass.

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