Little Death in Dixie

Little Death in Dixie

by Lisa Turner


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The blues were born out of pride, anger and need. Murder comes from those same dark places.

One of Memphis' most seductive and notorious socialites has disappeared. She's either off on another of her drunken escapades or the disappearance is something much more frightening. What begins as an ordinary day's work for Detective Billy Able of the Memphis P.D. quickly grows into a high-level spider's web of tragedy, mystery, suspicion, passion, and sordid secrets-including a few of Billy's own.

Along with Mercy Snow, the estranged sister of the missing socialite, Billy follows a twisted path of human frailty and corruption to disturbing truths that undermine everything he thought he knew about himself and the people he loves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611947809
Publisher: BelleBooks
Publication date: 06/04/2010
Pages: 298
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

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A Little Death In Dixie 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
AndreasAttic More than 1 year ago
This book is very well done. It's an excellent mystery, well written and well plotted, but it's also a book flavored with the South and all its uniqueness. Yet, there's nothing silly or fluffy about this story. It's grounded in a gritty mystery and multi-dimensional characters. I highly recommend it!
angeleyesAS More than 1 year ago
In this compelling, suspense novel, A LITTLE DEATH IN DIXIE, set in Memphis. Tennessee, Detective Danny Able searches for the missing socialite, with whom he shares a past. There is wonderful insight into corruption and the world of law enforcement. The characters mysteriously seem to have something to hide. AN ENJOYABLE AND ENTERTAINING READ!
Jenn-at-GirlsJustReading More than 1 year ago
This was a very slow start, but eventually took off. I didn't have any expectations for this book, and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the plot and breadth of the story telling. However, that's not to say it was flawless. Lisa Turner writes this story from different viewpoints, Billy the detective, Mercy the sister, and Buck the Judge, and Dexter the coroner. Because of that, I think it took me a little longer to warm up to the characters. Turner eventually settles on Billy as the central character, but I almost wish it was Mercy. While it would have made it harder to tell some of the meat and bones of the case, it would have given it more of an emotional pull. I found Mercy to be interesting, but perhaps a little underdeveloped. The plot has lots of twists and turns and even surprised me a little, which is not easy to do. I won't divulge the end but I was impressed with the complexity of the plot. The devil is in the details, though, and there were many that need to be attend. Although, for the most part these details weren't central to the plot, they were distracting, for example the dog from the car accident with 30 stitches that is up moving around the next day or the slightly muddled section where the coroner goes investigating... The ending was solid and well resolved. All in all, this was a solid debut novel from Lisa Turner, and I will be interested to see how her writing develops.
jesla More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this novel and look forward to more by Ms Turner. Perhaps a sequel? Or a series? I'd buy it.
darkl0ver More than 1 year ago
Great read, very well paced. Finished it very quickly and would recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A diverse group of characters...old south flavor in todays world. This book proves the fact you may never know exactly who or what your nearest and dearest really are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wooow, I am suprised how the book ended. I loved the twist and turns. I am still confused to who the story really centered around. Sophie, billy overton mercy lou, the momma. Overall, very good
Anonymous 10 months ago
Good book overall.. a little slow at first. As the pieces & character stories s blossomed the book became a page turner... thank you Lisa!
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: I love Southern fiction and am always game for mixing my favourite genres, this time with a crime mystery.The publisher's blurb tells us that a notorious socialite disappears and it's either because she's off on another drunken spree or perhaps something more sinister has happened. Then it hints at the story being more complex. So, with only that information to go on I really was not ready for the incredibly twisting, turning, complex plot that I found myself plunged into. As the publisher's blurb states "a complex spider's web of tragedy, mystery, suspicion, and sordid secrets". I thought that was typical overstatement to get one to buy the book, but no, it really describes the book in better words than I could come up with. Leaving it there, I'm not going to tell any more of the plot either, because it is best to let it all unravel not knowing what is going to come next.I positively loved this Southern mystery which takes place in Memphis. The two main characters Detective Billy Able and Mercy Snow, sister of the missing person, are both fully fleshed, flawed and realistic characters. This is a stand alone book but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing them turning up again in a series. Every single person in this story has a skeleton in the closet or a dark secret, no one is totally innocent, even if it be only from withholding the truth. This cast of characters are dark, devious and eccentric bringing the Gothic flavour to the suspense. As the story progresses it becomes about so much more than a missing person, various other crimes are involved and the shocking reveals come out of nowhere.Now, I did find the plot a little over the top, somewhat unrealistic in places (but again those are common Gothic elements) and possibly unsolvable by the reader because of the plot twists. There was so much going on though that I didn't even try to figure out who did what; I found myself just quickly turning the pages eager to find out what could possibly happen next and how it would all turn out in the end. A well-written and complex suspense novel. As Ms. Turner's first novel, I eagerly await what she will present for an encore.
bjmitch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this book from LibraryThing and I'm so glad I did. This is a fast-paced read, yet with the atmosphere of summer in Memphis. The characters involved are shallow at first but as the story goes on, you find underlying currents to their lives that fascinate. Detective Billy Able is the main character and he suffers his own heartaches in the book, learning that someone he loved wasn't who he thought she was, learning his partner had a secret life, and falling in love but not knowing if it would work out. Every detail is foreshadowed so it rings true and seemingly stereotypical characters are shown not to be such cutouts after all. The story lines merge and separate and merge again, and all are wrapped up by the end. Nothing is left hanging. I greatly enjoyed this book and will certainly put Lisa Turner at the top of my to-look-for list.
mschweer432 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was not what I expected. It was much better! I found myself wondering what was going to happen while I was forced to go to work. Chapter two was hard for me and without spoiling anything, I was worried it was an indication of how the rest of the book would be. This book was quite a bit heaver than I thought it would be based on the book's description. It was sort of CSI-ish without jamming police procedure down my throat. I actually found myself enjoying it which says alot because I usually have a hard time with police suspense. I loved the fact that the characters were flawed. And not just the bad guys. Even the good guys aren't perfect. I find it hard to enjoy reading books where the characters are too perfect. If I had to pick out a negative for this book, it would be that the bad guys are truely dispicable and disgusting and this is revealed pretty early on in the book. So you're reading about these horrible things throughout the whole book. However, it's not too big of a negative because it only makes you root for the good guys even more! I thought the ending was very plausible and it unraveled in a fashion that didn't leave me disapointed. I was a fan of this book and I plan to pass it on to friends who enjoy this genre. I also plan on adding Lisa Turner to my list of author's whose books I pick up when they are released!
tymfos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Welcome to the dark side of Memphis, home of the blues. Some of our players: a young cop, flawed but mostly honest; an Atlanta bakery owner who's come home to Memphis for a visit to her very dysfunctional family; a veteran cop gone over the edge; an alcoholic socialite who is just plain gone. Then there's a powerful man who craves more power -- and to dominate everyone and everything in his path. Throw in alternating doses of power plays, corruption, greed, and decadence, and you have the ingredients for a fine new Southern Gothic novel.I find Turner's prose pretty straightforward (with an occasional gem of a phrase that makes me smile) and her plot anything but. (I mean that in a good way.) She dishes out pieces of the puzzle in such a way that just when I think I'm getting the picture (or that perhaps she's revealed too much too soon), she throws in something that doesn't seem to fit and I'm back to guessing what's really going on. Then, not too far from the end, she adds one more dreadfully ugly piece that doesn't exactly come out of nowhere, but requires a serious re-visioning of the "big picture."I enjoyed this novel. I won't say I found it impossible to put down, but I did find it very hard to stay away from it for long, even in a very busy week.
cal8769 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On a hot Memphis day, Detective Billy Able is assigned to find a missing socialite, Sophia Dupree. The problem is that he is familiar with the missing woman and her drunken habits and his super cop partner, Lou Nevers, is having 'issues' making him unstable. Throw in a domineering judge and mistreated woman and you have the makings of a really good suspense thriller!I enjoyed reading this book. Turner has a way of involving you in the story. You can feel the heat of a Memphis summer and see the pain on the characters faces. I thought that the plot, while intriguing, didn't seem to flow. I felt as though I was following a story and then another story was focused on. In the end the plot made sense but at the time I didn't like it. I think Turner will be an exciting author as she evolves and I am eager to read her future books.
GTTexas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly good! The best new mystery I've read so far this year.
bitsy08 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was good enough that I'll be looking for more Lisa Turner. The premise was original and the surprises just kept coming. Even though you realize early on who the "bad guy" is, you just don't realize how bad. Of course you knew that the cop and the "flawed" lady would fall in love, but the surrounding story was thoroughly enjoyable. You think some of the characters are just going through a rough patch and are basically good, but you find out differently which is another surprise. Another novel I really enjoyed and was sorry to see end.
creighley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although early on, one knows the true identity of the "bad" guy, it keeps one in suspense as to the how/why of the murder/missing person AND will the truth ever come out. It would seem that every mystery has to have the lead detective fall for a major-player female/male victim or relative of a victim. Have authors ever considered NOT having that happen???? haven't read too many that don't.... Too many Barbies and Kens in this genre, but I still read it! LOL!
DrApple on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I kept seeing A Little Death in Dixie. It was recommended to me by Amazon, based on my previous reading habits; it was featured in my book club brochure; it was reviewed in several magazines. Somehow, the book just didn't appeal to me, but then, I read it! This is a wonderful mystery with appealing and despicable characters, interwoven mysteries, and a bit of humor at just the right places.Mercy Snow has returned to Memphis at her sister's request. Mercy left years ago and has made it on her own, beginning a bakery in Atlanta. Her mother and her sister have always treated her as the ugly duckling. Mercy has built up her self esteem, but is till battling bitterness. Billy Able, a young homicide detective, has recently ended a long-term relationship and is worried sick about his partner whose recent divorce seems to have driven him over the edge. Lou's behavior goes from erratic to dangerous, leaving Billy angry, puzzled, and hurt. Billy and Mercy come together after the disappearance of Sophia, the beautiful sister. Bodies begin to pile up and mysteries interweave. This mystery keeps you guessing until the final chapter.
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: The elderly black man lay crumpled and dead in the marigolds bordering his clapboard house.Well-known Memphis socialite Sophia Dupree is missing. At first thought to be on just another one of her drunken binges, the longer she's gone the more people wonder if she's learned a new trick-- or if something serious has happened to her. Detective Billy Able is on the case, and with the help of Lou Nevers, the partner he's always hero worshipped, Billy believes they'll get the answers they need. But Lou goes off the rails, and Billy finds himself with the most unlikely of partners: Mercy Snow, the estranged sister of the missing Sophia.As Billy steps up his investigation, he finds himself underneath a huge overturned can of worms. Each worm seems to be a long-buried secret, a deadly plan set in action, corrupt motivations, thoughts and deeds. Billy soon wonders if he's ever really known the truth-- and will he learn all the truth before it's too late?Starting with the dead man in the marigolds, A Little Death in Dixie grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. The life story of the dead man's wife, Mrs. Lady Tuggle, broke my heart and planted the seed in my mind that I was reading a very special debut novel.The book has strong elements of Southern Gothic that are very well done. (The epitome of Southern Gothic, for me, has always been William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily.") For the most part, the bad guys aren't hidden, and the reader's job is not to guess their identities, but to piece everything together to get a complete picture of the bad guys' agendas. Let me tell you, those agendas are enough to curl your hair... or straighten it as the case may be.I was completely hooked by Billy and Mercy, and I wouldn't mind reading about them again. Lisa Turner is an author to watch.
quincidence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A crime scene, some pecan pie, a horse show, a southern wedding, a damsel in distress, and a few love affairs.This book has some great ideology, some romance, a little diviance, and some social control.Southern life and its norms are laid out before you, while a crime scene unfurls.
SharronA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Southern Gothic murder mystery, full of suspense and surprises. A great read! The good guys aren't entirely good, and the bad guys... well, they aren't very good at all. But for much of the book, it may be hard to tell which is which. The final denouement plays fair with all the clues given, and is true to the personalities, weaknesses, and strengths of the characters. And the characters -- wow! Interesting, distinctive, richly-layered with complex pasts and warped or sheltered views of the present. The setting is so vividly portrayed it made me wish for a Memphis breeze to cool things down.Lisa Turner is a fantastic addition to today's writing scene! I can't wait for sequels!
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm surprised at how kind the reviews at Amazon were. I found this to be a quite average book - certainly not written with the strength or wit of something like, Lush Life which brought New York so vividly to life, or the charm of something like Cross Road's Cafe. Instead it passed the time adequately enough but none of these characters will linger in my head, and I won't reread this. I also found it really hard to place how old these characters were, I thought Sophia was in her 30's but then it said somewhere that she and T Wayne had been married for 25 years. That really surprised me. If I can't figure out the basics of how old all the characters are, then it is not a well written book. Mercy is coming home to see her sister Sophia and mother Gloria, but her sister isn't there. Instead she's gone missing. But Mercy is an alcoholic who has gone missing before, so Gloria's worries initially seem a bit misplaced. However it turns out that this time something has happened. Billy is looking for Sophia at the same time his long respected partner Lou (also couldn't place his age, none of the timelines really worked for me in this book) is having a meltdown. Shocking things happen. I didn't really engage with this book, it wasn't well written, it didn't have that great southern gothic atmosphere that some books can create and the characters, (with the notable exception of Lou) were fairly pastiche. And Lou, well, we needed to think about him, but I'm not sure how much I believed his story or found him to be a coherent character. I guess we spent so much time looking at him through Billy's eyes, and it turned out that Billy had a lot to learn about Lou...
Zumbanista on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Satisfying Detective Novel (E-Book)Although I was lucky enough to buy this page-turner for only $.99 I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it at its current Amazon posted price of $9.39. I couldn't put it down once I picked it up. It delivers much more than you'd think for a debut novel, and what the title leads you to believe. The plot is rich with twists and turns, the characters are flawed and villains truly evil. Ms. Turner does a great job defining the southern setting and society and drawing realistic dialogue and police procedure. You won't be disappointed if you like mystery, political corruption, believable characters and a touch of romance. Would make a good movie too. Well-recommended.
Bumpersmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Little Death in Dixie is supposed to be a murder mystery, but the real story for me, didn't begin until the last 50 pages or so. The lead up to to that took the first 250 pages. I had a very hard time reading this book because there was page after page of useless information that just didn't seem to engage my love of mystery. As a police procedural, the details seemed to drag on and on, and getting to the meat of the story took forever. The concept of the story, the characters, and the setting are perfect for a really good thriller that just wasn't delivered.
lchav52 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Detective Billy Able of the Memphis P. D. is having a bad day. First he is called to a homicide, where his partner and mentor, Lou Nevers, a legend in the department, must talk down a woman who, having just killed her husband with a skillet, now threatens herself and the police with a pistol. Before this scene can be cleared, Able and Nevers are called off to investigate a missing person case. Sophia Dupree, a socialite notorious for her drunken exploits, has disappeared, and Judge Lamar ¿Buck¿ Overton, a powerful circuit court judge and Sophia¿s future stepfather, insists that Lou Nevers take charge of the case. Given Sophia¿s history of substance abuse and wild escapades, the expectations are that this disappearance is the latest episode. When Nevers loses all control at the scene, however, and disappears himself, Able suspects this is no routine case. When Billy next sees his partner, Nevers is dead in his pickup, half-submerged in a rain-swollen river. Homicide, suicide, or the `natural causes¿ death written up by the medical examiner, himself a long-time friend of Nevers? Billy Able doesn¿t know, but is determined to find out, bringing the reader along he tries to navigate a maze of lies, scandals, and tragedy to reach a horrifying truth.In this debut novel Ms. Turner has written a well-plotted story, full of characters the reader will like or hate, but is not likely to regard with indifference. Her knowledge of the ways of Southern culture, and the hidden vices and scandals that color it so often, help make the characters live, without getting too close to caricature. The reader has a fair chance to solve the central mystery, and the conclusion is satisfying enough. The one small cavil I had with the book is the way the missing socialite¿s fate is handled. It did seem a bit of a let down. That aside, though, A LITTLE DEATH IN DIXIE indicates a new talent in the field, and I hope to see more from Ms. Turner.
glitrbug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been watching that new show "Memphis" so this book called out to me. It's a Southern Gothic novel and reminds me of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Lots of hot summer nights, drinking, memories of old lovers and of course The Blues. The plot twists around and around till you think you know what's going on, and then the end comes out of nowhere. Usually I prefer a mystery where you are given enough clues to figure it out along with the police, but part of the story is the shock of the whole thing. Great book.