Review: Dead in the Garden by Dahlia Donovan (Grasmere Cottage Mystery #1)

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the publisher via Give Me Books Promotions.

There's just something so thoroughly appealing about Dahlia Donovan's writing that I can never seem to resist signing up to read one of her books and reviewing them EVEN when my schedule is already swamped and EVEN as I try to remind myself that I'm limiting the number of books that I review. I'd probably end up hating it if I learned she had something new coming out and I decide to wait till much later to read it. Her stories have proven to be the kind that I can easily curl up with for a couple of hours or so and just turn everything else off around me and simply be drawn in by Donovan's words--and these aren't just pretty words either. She can write one heck of a great tale.

Take her newest release, for example; Dead in the Garden is the first in a collection of three books called Grasmere Cottage Mystery. We're introduced to committed couple Valor Scott and Bishan Tamboli and how they unwittingly became part of a murder mystery involving a dead body they find in the garden of their cottage. They don't recognize who the victim is, but based on the reaction of the lead inspector, they should. When Bish becomes the prime suspect and is summarily arrested, Val, along with Bish's family, their closest friends, and a sympathetic detective inspector, will need to decipher cryptic clues and eliminate their suspects before the killer strikes again.

This was more cozy mystery than romantic suspense, and you won't hear me complaining. We learn about Val and Bish's histories as a couple and as individuals throughout, but that's more secondary to the mystery of the dead man in their garden. There isn't any drama concerning their love story because these two have already proven to one another and those around them just how committed they are to each other, so there's no need to make it the centerpiece of the author's series starter. As far as the mystery goes, well, I pride myself on having at least one or two suspects at this point in the story but...I don't. I was at a loss, which is rare, and I'm not saying that because I think I'm a master sleuth--I just happen to like figuring whodunits. But that's just part and parcel of why I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Fair warning though: it does end in a cliffhanger. I'm not complaining...because I already have the next two ARCs waiting for me in my tablet. Yep, totally grinning. 4.5 stars for Dead in the Garden! ♥

Release Date: 06 October 2018

Date Read: 06 October 2018

Learn more about Dahlia Donovan.

Purchase Dead in the Garden on Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo.


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