Cover image for Shadow of an angel
Shadow of an angel
Ballard, Mignon Franklin.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2002.
Physical Description:
288 pages ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



After the sudden death of her husband, Minda Hobbs returns to Angel Heights, S.C., the home of her forebears, to seek peace and purpose in her life. Instead, she finds her n'er-do-well cousin Otto as cold and stiff as yesterday's grits in the ladies' room at the historic Minerva Academy.

Shocked by her cousin's murder and still grieving over the loss of her husband, Minda has mixed emotions when she's greeted by her guardian angel, Augusta Goodnight. Shimmering with church window radiance, and smelling of strawberry jam, Augusta is a temp who's come on a double mission-to help Minda solve Otto's murder and to take care of unfinished business from an assignment in 1916.

Even though Otto could be unbearable at times, an annoying laugh is hardly cause for murder. Minda's only lead is a tiny gold pin, found wedged in a Minerva Academy bathroom stall, and its connection to a club called the Mystic Six. Together, Minda and Augusta trace the descendents of this secret society, piecing together clues that lead to a special quilt and the mystery behind Cousin Otto's unfortunate demise.

Author Notes

Mignon F. Ballard lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina, with her husband. She is the author of the award-winning children's novel Aunt Matilda's Ghost as well as several acclaimed mysteries including Minerva Cries Murder and Raven Rock . Shadow of an Angel is the third book in her Augusta Goodnight mystery series.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Minda Hobbs goes home; her husband, Jarvis, is dead, and she seeks the comfort of her family and the family homeplace, fondly called the Nut House in Angel Heights, South Carolina. The terrific first sentence clues us in to the tone: "Things got off to a rotten start when I found Cousin Otto dead in the ladies' room." Humor, gentility, and understatement are the order of the day, even regarding the angel, Augusta Goodnight, who assists Minda not only in solving the mystery but also in returning to life and its comforts after Jarvis' death. The tenuous memories of old women, among them Vesta, Minda's grandmother, tie together a sewing circle of young women before World War I, a secret society with the symbol of a star enclosed in a flower, and a mysterious quilt that seems to have disappeared. How this all relates to the current day--and Cousin Otto's death--involves family secrets and lots of herb tea and angel-made muffins. Lighter than Augusta's nondescripts. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Do you believe in magic, miracles and guardian angels? If so, you'll enjoy Ballard's third cozy (Angel at Troublesome Creek; An Angel to Die For) to feature ethereal Augusta Goodnight. Angel Augusta fills in as a temp guardian for young widow Arminda Hobbs, who finds her cousin Otto dead in a ladies' room stall at the local museum, once the home of the Minerva Academy girls' school. Childish mysticism, an overly complex plot and a cast of characters so large it requires a list at the front may put off some readers, but those willing to suspend disbelief will be engrossed by Minda's efforts to track down Otto's killer now that she's returned to her sleepy hometown of Angel Heights, S.C. Our heroine learns of the Mystic Six, a secret society formed decades ago by six young women at Minerva Academy"and of a duplicitous teacher who liked to do more to his pretty students than instruct them in their schoolwork. Minda lays her life on the line several times to find and interpret a quilt (incorporated into the primitively charming if somewhat frenetic jacket design) that the Mystic Six made and uneasily passed around to one another after graduation. Fortunately, her guardian angel is on hand to guide and protect her. By the end Augusta Goodnight fans are sure to have built up an appetite for the next book in the series, just as Minda develops a taste for her angel's homemade muffins. (June 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved