Sprinkling Of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
by Daryl Wood Gerber
About A Sprinkling of Murder
Sprinkling Of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07W8Y4D6R
Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder … Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when she was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father’s landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes and trickling fountains. Now she’s starting a book club tea.
But the light of the magical world she’s created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside a fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected new friend . . .
This is a very cute, entertaining, magical intro to a new cozy mystery series starring a fairy!
The mystery is well-plotted and quite intriguing. Mick doesn’t exactly start the novel as the most sympathetic of victims. He’s ornery, a touch aggressive and tries to make out that Courtney has it out for him. However, as the plot unfolds, we realize he wasn’t so bad after all and his demise could be the result of quite a few factors. The element that keeps the readers guessing in this one is the constant shifting of alibis. The key suspects all seem to have one but their veracity and robustness are constantly called into question. Lots of clues and red herrings are dropped at regular intervals but a couple are repeated unnecessarily. The big reveal isn’t overly dramatic or suspenseful but I think it worked perfectly with the characters and scene that had been set.
The main heroine is Courtney, a former landscape artist who has embarked on the solopreneur business of making and selling fairy gardens. She’s surprisingly logical and organized for someone so in tune with the fairies! As a suspect in Mick’s murder she has great incentive for getting involved in the investigation. She’s a touch pushy but in an understandable way; and while the lead detective doesn’t want her involved, he’s quite competent and remarkably patient with Courtney’s antics.
The fairy garden component is charming. I’d never really heard about them before and I love the creativity behind it. Several gardens are created throughout the course of the story, of different sizes and with different themes. While I did enjoy reading the process behind the first one and even the second, by the fourth I started skimming those descriptions. But, if you need a how to, this book would make a good start.
Then there’s Fiona, the fairy who accompanies Courtney. That element is written in a very interesting way. Only those who truly believe can see Fiona. In this case, the extraordinary element still has to operate within the confines of the ordinary. Fiona’s magic also can’t really help solve the mystery but she is able to provide some useful assistance. She has some particularly hilarious scare tactics. Like descriptions of the fairy gardens, there are some descriptive asides to help explain the world in which the fairies operate.
Overall, this was a good intro to the A Fairy Garden Mystery series. I am definitely interested in seeing how these characters and storylines further develop.
About Daryl Wood Gerber
Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries. In June 2020, her new series, the Fairy Garden Mysteries debuts. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes the Aspen Adams novels of suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, garden, and read, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!
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