Most authors thank their loved ones and supporters in the acknowledgments of their books, but not Pittsboro author Ruth Moose.
Moose, 75, starts her acknowledgments by pointedly not thanking the Charlotte writers’ group who didn’t like her mystery manuscript and mentions her late husband and sons who discouraged the endeavor.
She showed them; her first novel, a mystery, “Doing It at the Dixie Dew,” won the $10,000 Malice Domestic Prize from St. Martin’s Press for best traditional first mystery. The book was published in May by Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s. She has a reading at 3 p.m. Sunday at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh.
Of course, Moose does go on to thank her editor and several fellow mystery writers who encouraged her along the way. And it’s not as if she didn’t have it in her to produce a novel; Moose had previously written three collections of short stories and six collections of poetry, and taught creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill for 15 years.
Moose’s mystery tells the story of Beth McKenzie, who turns a Southern mansion into a bed-and-breakfast in fictional Littleboro, N.C., only to have her first guest turn up dead. Of course, in this cozy mystery (think of the mystery subgenre epitomized by “Murder She Wrote”) McKenzie sets out to solve the murders.
“After the discovery of a second murder victim, Beth herself becomes a target,” a reviewer wrote in Publishers Weekly. “Little old ladies in gloves and hats, financial shenanigans, a large rabbit, and the fishbowl life of a small town add to the fun.”
If you like this book, you can look forward to the sequel. Moose is working on “Doing It Again at the Dixie Dew.”