Book Review: Fixing to Die by Miranda James

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What’s not to love about two elderly spinster sisters who are more spry than many fifty-year-olds I know? Between the amazing southern charm, the ghost-hunting, the family drama over an inheritance, and a potentially new line of relatives, the fourth saga in the Southern Ladies Mystery series by Miranda James, Fixing to Die, has it all. Kudos to this fantastic series and author… 4.5 stars for this latest edition published in 2017. I’m sad to say I’m all caught up on this series, and the author has put it on hold per the publisher for a few years (2020?) to focus on another series about a Cat in the Stacks… I’ve finished 2 of 8 in that series but will pick up the rest this fall and winter. I’m very excited for both.


So… ‘Fixing to’ anything is quite an expression. My family in Louisiana uses it all the time. I try to, but I fail given I can’t really claim southern roots just because I was born in Florida. Miranda James does not have to worry or extrapolate – it’s right on! These characters are fixing to do a lot of things that likely lead to murder. In this mystery, the Ducote sisters travel to Natchez to help the granddaughter of a friend who’s having some trouble in her bed and breakfast with objects moving around and mysterious temperature changes. Is there a ghost or a human causing all this drama? When her relatives show up trying to claim ownership over the house due to a long-lost will, it gets quite complicated. But then… a psychic randomly appears claiming the house is haunted. What do they all have to do with one another?

Miranda James excels at ambiance and captivating settings. The characters are also quite good, but in this one, it’s the ghost aspects that really pop. I really knew it was a human, as the series isn’t about ghosts, but there were quite a few characters who looked guilty. A major clue / red herring was thrown out about 50% thru and I thought for a moment, hmm… what’s going on here, why was this so easy. Well, I won’t give away any spoilers but there’s more going on across a few levels. It gets quite interesting and the pay-off in the end makes it worth it.

The addition of Benjy has been a fantastic story line. And the pets have such personality. It’s carefully woven into the story without any over-the-top aspects. A fine balance where it’s the story and the characters who keep drawing you back for more fun in this easy-to-picture world. I’m impressed by the variety in James’ world and look forward to reading more soon.


About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


18 thoughts on “Book Review: Fixing to Die by Miranda James

    robertawrites235681907 said:
    October 2, 2018 at 11:59 AM

    This sounds very exciting, Jay. I am not sure about the author moving away from the series though.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      October 2, 2018 at 1:34 PM

      I know… but the author has been candid about the publisher wanting to focus on their other series, so I get it. I spoke with the author recently and learned these two sisters will appear in the other series a few times to keep momentum going.

      Liked by 1 person

    Shalini said:
    October 2, 2018 at 12:19 PM

    Lovely review… I loved the extrapolation. What a great word Jay… I have been remiss in not using this word, something sure felt amiss. This piqued my interest just right to take a peek into the series, hopefully my interest would peak soon….
    Whew I wanted to use all these words somewhere… Done!!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      October 2, 2018 at 1:37 PM

      It’s funny Shalini today, I can see that! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by with word play. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

    E. Michael Helms, writer said:
    October 2, 2018 at 12:27 PM

    Good review, Jay. This sounds like a fun read. Yep, it’s true: Us (we?) Southerners use “fixing” a lot and in many different ways. There’s Mama’s fixing dinner; or Bob’s fixing his mowing machine (aka lawn mower); or I’m fixing to go see what Charlie’s been up to, etc. I reckon we’d be lost without the word. That’s all for now. I’m fixing to get back to work on my next mystery. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      October 2, 2018 at 1:38 PM

      Ooh, I can’t wait to hear about your next mystery. As for the southern roots, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get it right, so my books can be set in the south. I might have a character pop in and say ‘fixin to’ but even then, I won’t be the master at it. I’m fixin’ to try tho… 🙂


    Jacquie Biggar said:
    October 2, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    I love a good who-done-it that keeps you guessing until the very end. This one sounds like my cup of tea 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      October 2, 2018 at 1:39 PM

      The sisters are great. I think I like this series better than Miranda’s Cat in the Stacks, but I only read 2 there, I have to get back.

      Liked by 1 person

    CJR The Brit said:
    October 2, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    This sounds fab, I love reading about US southern charm! Great review 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    October 3, 2018 at 9:57 PM

    I was not aware there was another series by Miranda James. Just when I find out about it, the author is moving on. Nice review Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      October 4, 2018 at 7:24 AM

      Thanks. Four (4) in this series from 2014-2017, but I believe a new one comes out in 20/21.

      Liked by 1 person

        carhicks said:
        October 4, 2018 at 7:30 AM

        I will have to make time for them. I will see if I can find them.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        October 4, 2018 at 7:41 AM

        I borrowed the last two from my library.

        Liked by 1 person

        carhicks said:
        October 4, 2018 at 8:21 PM

        I looked and the library has them all, so after Jenn McKinlay’s library series, these will be the next library reads.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        October 4, 2018 at 8:37 PM

        That’s fantastic! I really like the 2 sisters, and the overall mystery is always solid.

        Liked by 1 person

    tylerus said:
    October 4, 2018 at 11:53 AM

    They sound like wonderful reads – on the list they go!

    Liked by 1 person

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