The Making of the Dixie Dew
Ruth Moose wrote the first draft Doing it at the Dixie Dew 25 years ago on a Kaypro computer sitting in a house she and her husband designed and built in the Uwharrie Mountains of North Carolina. Stony Mountain was 900 acres of woods, rocks, deer and rattlesnakes.
During three months each summer, she tinkered with the manuscript while writing short stories and poetry. Her short stories and poetry were then published with a total of three collections of short stories and six collections of poetry. Ruth worked as a reference librarian at a small college, before teaching 15 years at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Ruth submitted an earlier version of Doing it at the Dixie Dew to the first Malice Domestic Competition and was a finalist. Ruth Cavin asked her to revise the manuscript but she was preoccupied with a full-time job, graduate school, and family obligations. Years later when she was teaching she took the novel up again and worked on it during her summers. The manuscript went through 3 different computer systems–Kaypro to Dell to Mac. All this hard work pulled off when Ruth Moose entered the novel for the second time in 2012 and won!
Ruth Moose shows that a manuscript can be published after 25 years and she would encourage everyone who has ever begun a novel to not give up on it, pull it out from wherever it is and tackle it anew.
Title: Doing It At The Dixie Dew by Ruth Moose
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 256 pages
Who says you can’t go home again?
When Beth McKenzie returns to her hometown and attempts to turn an old Southern mansion into a bed and breakfast called The Dixie Dew, her first guest is murdered. Three days later a young priest who looks better in tennis whites than cleric black is found strangled in his chapel. The whole town of Littleboro is turned upside down, inside out, and Ossie Delbardo, the town cop whose job heretofore mainly involved controlling football traffic on Friday nights, is not cut out to solve the murders. Beth fears her newly opened B&B is in danger of failing. She’s even more worried that she is Ossie’s number one suspect. Aided by her friend from high school and trusty handyman, she sets out to discover the truth of the murders.
Littleboro has its share of characters, some of which are helpful and others misleading. There’s Crazy Reba who lives in a tree, bathes in any bathtub she finds empty, and Dumpster dives; Verna, the town know-it-all and affectionate owner of Robert Redford, a huge white rabbit; and Miss Tempie Merritt, music teacher and organist who always wears hat, gloves, and lace-trimmed white socks. When Beth herself is attacked, there’s no more time for baking muffins and stenciling pineapples on the porch. She’s in a race to uncover her neighbors’ secrets before her hometown becomes her burial ground.
Doing It at the Dixie Dew is a charming and delightful debut.