Biggie and the Devil Diet: A Mystery

3.67 avg rating
( 136 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780312301842: Biggie and the Devil Diet: A Mystery

Biggie is back! Nancy Bell returns with another delicious installment in her series of rural Texas mysteries featuring local doyen Biggie Weatherford as amateur detective. Once again, young J.R. faithfully narrates the humorous exploits of Biggie, his grandmother. Filled with plenty of quirky characters and down-home Texas flair, Bell's stories continue to delight.

An old friend of Biggie comes back to Job's Crossing. Rex Barnwell and his young wife have returned to convert his father's ranch into a retreat for overweight teenage girls, and Biggie is forced to reveal a secret that she has always kept from J.R. Not long after this startling revelation, Rex is murdered. Knowing full well that he won't be able to keep Biggie away, the Texas Ranger in charge of the case enlists her help.

While Biggie pursues her investigation, J.R. has his hands full with troubles of his own. These troubles don't involve any murders-though it might be easier for J.R. if they did.

As an extra treat for the reader, Willie Mae shares her recipe for King Ranch Casserole.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Nancy Bell lives in Pittsburg, Texas. She writes full time and lives with her cats, Gomer and Goober, in a fine old house on a tree-lined street.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


1Our next-door neighbor, Mrs. Moody, came tapping at the back door just as Willie Mae was frying up a batch of beignets for our breakfast. If you’ve never tasted beignets, you’re in for a treat. They’re little square doughnuts covered all over in powdered sugar. When Willie Mae puts them, hot out of the frying pan, on my plate then dusts them with enough powdered sugar to make them white as snow, I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.
“I just got a call from Woodrow,” Mrs. Moody said, pouring herself a cup of coffee from the pot on the stove. She pulled out a chair and took a seat beside Biggie at the table. “Umm, something smells good. What is that, Willie Mae?”
“Beignets,” Willie Mae said, not looking around.
“Have some breakfast with us,” Biggie said. “What did Woodrow have on his mind this time?”
Woodrow is Mrs. Moody’s son who lives in Wascom, over near the Louisiana line. To hear Mrs. Moody tell it, he would be president of General Motors if his wife wasn’t holding him back. She says that’s what you get when you marry beneath your station in life, a no-account wife and a house full of bucktoothed kids to support. Woodrow had to take a job delivering Rainbo bread to support his family instead of becoming a business tycoon the way he’d planned.
“It’s Imogene, of course,” Mrs. Moody said. “It seems her mother, who lives over in Marshall, lost her job at the pants factory. She’s a widow, you know, since the old man drank himself to death.”
“Poor thing.” Biggie wiped powdered sugar off her chin. “What’s she going to do?”
“Oh, she got another job right away,” Mrs. Moody said. “She hired on with the gas company as a meter reader. That’s the problem.”
“How so?” Biggie asked.
“Well, it seems she was reading the gas meter outside the old folks home with a cigarette in her mouth. She didn’t know the meter had a leak. Well, naturally the thing blew up—knocked the whole back wall out of the home, and several of the old folks went into heart failure from the shock. They said it shook cans off the shelves down at the Piggly Wiggly five blocks away.”
“Was she killed?” I asked.
“Not her.” Mrs. Moody held up her plate and waited while Willie Mae slid two fresh beignets on it. “That old woman is tough as boot leather. It singed off all her hair though, and she had burns on her face and arms. Anyway, now she’s laid up in the hospital over in Marshall, and Imogene’s got to go take care of her. Woodrow asked me to come look after him and the kids while she’s away. Willie Mae, you’ve got to give me your recipe for these.” She waved a beignet in the air over her head.
“Well, Essie, that’s too bad. Is there anything I can do to help?” Biggie asked.
“Oh no, not a thing.” Mrs. Moody got up and poured herself a fresh cup of coffee. “I was going to ask J.R. for one teensy favor though.” She looked at me over her shoulder.
“What?” I asked.
“It’s Prissy. I can’t take her with me. Those children just run her ragged, all the time wanting to dress her up in doll clothes and push her around in that little toy stroller they’ve got. Prissy was a bundle of nerves the last time we visited them. I had to call up Doc Lasky over in Center Point to give her some pills to calm her down.”
“Dr. Lasky’s not a vet. He’s a chiropractor—or an osteopath—something like that. Lonie Thedford said he did wonders for her last winter when she slipped and hurt her back.”
“Oh, I know, Biggie. That man’s got magic hands; everybody says so. But those pills he gave me sure did help Prissy. She calmed down real quick and slept for a day and a half, poor thing. She was just a wreck!”
To my way of thinking, Prissy is a nervous wreck all the time. She is a little white poodle, and all she ever does is run back and forth along her fence yapping at everybody who walks down the sidewalk. Even when she’s asleep, she twitches and barks and makes running motions with her legs. My dog, Bingo, who is a mutt but ten times smarter than Prissy, is scared of her on account of she bit him once just because he was trying to get one little taste of the bone she was gnawing.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Booger and Bingo don’t get along with her too good.” The truth is, Booger can beat her up anytime he feels like it.
“Of course we’ll take care of her,” Biggie said. “J.R., you can keep her in that pen Rosebud built for Bingo when he was a puppy. When will you bring her over, Essie?”
“First thing tomorrow morning.” Mrs. Moody stood up and brushed the powdered sugar off her blouse. “And I’ll make it worth your while, J.R.”
I remembered the last time she’d said that. I spent the whole afternoon raking up leaves in her yard, and she paid me with an old catcher’s mitt that used to belong to Woodrow. It had a hole in the pocket with the stuffing coming out. I sighed, knowing there was no sense in arguing about it. Biggie’s word is law in our house. I’d just have to find a way to keep Prissy in that pen and out of my hair most of the time. I nodded and went to the stove and held out my plate for another hot biegnet.
After breakfast, I rode my bike down to the vacant lot on the alley behind Handy’s House of Hardware. It used to be a construction site on account of Mr. Handy was going to build a lumberyard there; but the bank wouldn’t approve his loan, so now it’s just this monster hole. Mr. Handy said us guys could build a dirt track out there as long as we didn’t get hurt. When I got there, DeWayne Boggs, Arthur Handy, and Bruce Oterwald were dragging a huge piece of plywood from the back of the hardware store.
“Hey, J.R.,” DeWayne said, dropping his end of the plywood, “looky here what we found.”
“Cool,” I said. “Does Mr. Handy know you’ve got that?”
“Yep,” Arthur said.
“He gave it to us,” Bruce put in. “See, it’s warped in the middle, and the layers are coming apart at the corners on account of it got left out in the rain last week. We’re gonna make a dirt bike ramp.”
I pitched in and helped build the ramp. We laid it up against the side of the excavation, being careful to dig a trench and put rocks around the bottom edge so it wouldn’t slide around. After it was set in place, we spent the rest of the morning racing our bikes up to the top. It felt great flying off the top of that old plywood, and it didn’t hurt too much when we toppled down into the soft mud in the bottom of the hole. My bike and I were both pretty much of a mess when I rode into our yard around eleven.
As soon as I came in the back door, I noticed something was wrong. There was no smell of lunch being prepared, and Willie Mae was not even in the kitchen getting ready to cook anything. I went to the back stairs and yelled, “Biggeeee!”
Biggie appeared at the top of the stairs in her slip, her hand at her throat. “My soul, J.R., what’s the matter?”
“Willie Mae’s not cooking lunch,” I said.
If looks could kill, I’d have been a dead duck. “J.R., you scared me half to death. Willie Mae had an emergency. Miss Rosa Dorsett, who goes to her church, has passed on, and Willie Mae had to go to the funeral home to fix her hair.” Then she took a good look at me. “What on earth have you been doing? Get up here and get in the bathtub this very minute—and take off those shoes and leave them on the back porch. Willie Mae will have your hide if you leave a mess in her kitchen.”
I left my clothes in a pile on the bathroom floor. I was just slipping into a clean tee shirt when Biggie tapped on the door, then without waiting for an answer, pushed it open and poked her head in. She had changed from her old sweat pants to a pantsuit with a scarf.
“How come you’re so dressed up?” I asked before she could speak.
“That’s just what I wanted to talk to you about.” She leaned against the door frame. “I’m meeting some of the girls down at Mattie’s Tea Room for lunch. You can come along if you want.” Then she spotted my clothes on the floor and pointed. “Were you planning to leave those there?”
“Well, I didn’t want to put them in the hamper with Willie Mae’s clean dirty clothes.”
“Probably a good idea,” she said. “Take them out back and hang them on the clothesline. When we get back, you can wash the mud off with the hose.”
“I might not go, Biggie.”
“Suit yourself,” she said, “but today’s Tuesday, and Mattie’s special is always fried catfish on Tuesday. Still, if you want to stay here, there’s some leftover cornbread and turnip greens in the fridge. Just be sure to clean up after yourself.”
“I guess I’ll go.” I picked up my muddy clothes and started down the backstairs. “I sure hope nobody sees me though.”
Lately, I’ve been getting a little embarrassed about being seen all over town with my grandmother. I don’t know why; I didn’t used to feel that way. And that’s not all. A lot of other things have been bothering me recently, like girls. All of a sudden, the girls in my class at school have taken to wearing lipstick and eye shadow and stuff. And the way they dress is real stupid, too. Half the time you can see their bare skin sticking out from between their pants and tops. And they’re always whispering and looking at you out of the corners of ...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Bell, Nancy
Published by Minotaur Books (2002)
ISBN 10: 0312301847 ISBN 13: 9780312301842
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Minotaur Books, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110312301847

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 57.30
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Bell, Nancy
Published by Minotaur Books
ISBN 10: 0312301847 ISBN 13: 9780312301842
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0312301847. Bookseller Inventory # Z0312301847ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 107.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Bell, Nancy
Published by Minotaur Books
ISBN 10: 0312301847 ISBN 13: 9780312301842
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0312301847. Bookseller Inventory # Z0312301847ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 107.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Bell, Nancy
Published by Minotaur Books
ISBN 10: 0312301847 ISBN 13: 9780312301842
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0312301847. Bookseller Inventory # Z0312301847ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 107.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Bell, Nancy
Published by Minotaur Books
ISBN 10: 0312301847 ISBN 13: 9780312301842
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Vital Products COM LLC
(Southampton, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0312301847. Bookseller Inventory # Z0312301847ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 107.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Bell, Nancy
Published by Minotaur Books 2002-11-01 (2002)
ISBN 10: 0312301847 ISBN 13: 9780312301842
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Ebooksweb COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Minotaur Books 2002-11-01, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. 0312301847. Bookseller Inventory # Z0312301847ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 108.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Bell, Nancy
Published by Minotaur Books
ISBN 10: 0312301847 ISBN 13: 9780312301842
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0312301847. Bookseller Inventory # Z0312301847ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 108.23
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Nancy Bell
Published by Minotaur Books (2002)
ISBN 10: 0312301847 ISBN 13: 9780312301842
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Minotaur Books, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0312301847

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 137.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds