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Poisoned Primrose by Dahlia Donovan

Title: Poisoned Primrose (Motts Cold Case Mystery #1)

Author: Dahlia Donovan

Published on: 25th July 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pineapple “Motts” Mottley, a 39-year-old asexual and autistic woman moves with her cat Cactus and turtle Moss to her late aunt’s quaint cottage in Cornwall. She craves for a peaceful and quiet life in a small town but finding a dead body buried in her garden was not in the agenda.

Motts knows she has to get to the bottom of things. The local police have asked her to stay away from sleuthing but Motts being her curious ol’ self finds herself in the killer’s spotlight. Will the threats to her life pay dearly?

What an engrossing and interesting mystery! Motts was likeable and relatable. Being the reserved, weirdo and nerdy type, I have always found it difficult to adjust to new faces; spending time alone seems better than being around with chatty people. Seeing Motts going through the same gave me some relief – at least I am not alone when it comes to being a weirdo. 😛

Motts’ ex-girlfriend and best friend Lavina and her twin Nish help their parents run the village bakery. Motts’ uncle Tom, aunt Lily and cousin River stay close by. Motts, though almost 40, is still helicoptered by her parents and she dislikes it. Her mum thinks Motts would come crying to mama in a few days. But Motts is determined to prove to her parents she can manage just fine on her own.

Apart from the likeable and relatable main character, I loved the alliterations. Exhausted exertion exhausts everyone. Don’t get me started on aunt Lily’s mouth-watering casserole and Leena’s (Lavina’s mum) pumpkin sambar and chicken chettinad. The review is incomplete without a mention or two of Motts’ pets – Cactus and Moss. Here I was thinking I am the only one who talks to her pet the whole day. Looks like Motts and I have a lot in common. 😀

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There’s a tinge of romance. Just a teeny-weeny bit, given our protagonist is asexual. Well, Detective Inspector Teo and Motts form a bond; as the story proceeds, Motts realizes she and Teo have a lot in common.

Let me talk about the mystery now. Two years ago, Rhona went missing. Motts learns Rhona and the local gardener’s son were dating. Rhona and her brother had petty fights over their father’s fish-and-chip shop, and her relationship with the gardener’s son. Was her brother somehow responsible for her disappearance? Why was her body buried in Motts’ aunt’s garden?

Soon after finding the body, Motts is almost run over by a car. Then, someone locks her in the shed. Is the killer trying to warn Motts? Or, do they have a sinister motive in mind? The mystery behind Rhona’s murder is well-maintained until the end. The identity of the killer was expected – we were given the clues all along. When Motts comes face-to-face with the perp, their identity was no surprise. Having said that, I really liked the way Motts handled herself in the end. Her Never-Give-Up attitude saved her life.

I absolutely enjoyed reading Poisoned Primrose. Dahlia Donovan’s writing is absolutely brilliant. Likeable characters with a dash or two of quirky and a well-maintained suspense make Poisoned Primrose a delightful read.


Many thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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