Ruth Moose is guest host of #LitChat on October 8, 2014. Follow #LitChat on Twitter, or login to our dedicated channel at www.nurph.com/litchat.Ruth Moose

With an authentic Southern voice, Ruth Moose‘s characters resonate the humor and tragedy of everyday lives. This week in #LitChat we’ll talk with Ruth about writing in all shapes and sizes, including her first novel, Doing It At the Dixie Dew.

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. Doint It At the Dixie DewThe 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.

For forty years Ruth Moose has written poems, short stories, book reviews and columns and recently completed her first second novel. Originally from Albemarle, North Carolina, she now lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina, where she continues to write and teach since her retirement from the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Creative Writing Department in 2010.