Title: Digging Up Trouble (Sweet Fiction Bookshop Mystery #1)
Author: Kitt Crowe
Published on: 12 October 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Digging Up Trouble is the first book in Kitt Crowe’s Sweet Fiction Bookshop Mystery series.
Lexi has moved back to Confection, Oregon, to look after her parents’ Sweet Fiction Bookshop. Her neighbor Gil is a curmudgeon and always picks up a fight with Lexi. Lexi’s dog Cookie has a ‘digging’ problem and not only Gil, but the new detective-in-town- Chad Berg and other townspeople are not happy with it.
One morning, Cookie ends up in Gil’s backyard and bathrobe-clad Lexi goes to rescue him before Gil sees them. They both see Gil, all right… but he’s lying in a shallow grave… in his own backyard. Lexi becomes the main suspect, after all, many saw her and Gil argue the previous day.
I am always in search of new cozy mysteries to read and I must say, I am impressed with the storyline of A Sweet Fiction Bookshop Mystery series.
Our protagonist, Lexi, was working as an editor at a major publication house before quitting her job and moving back to Confection, Oregon – where everything is sweet and nice. Well, sweet and nice until one of their own is murdered…
The townspeople are pro when it comes to gossiping. News of Lexi ‘killing her neighbor’ spreads like wildfire. Some people ask how she did it while some are happy she did it! Lexi is innocent and it is up to her and her friends Cat and Teri to solve the mystery before the killer strikes again. Or worse, the killer targets Lexi next.
Not to forget, the Central Oregon Gardener’s Purse, an annual gardening competition is a few weeks away and Gil was a strong contender. Did a fellow contender kill Gil so that they could win the prize?
As a first in the series, the emphasis is on character introduction. Lexi is writing a novel and she takes inspiration from her real life. By inspiration from real life, I do mean it ‘literally’. She has a ‘Gil’ in her story – the bad-tempered, cantankerous old man who is murdered; a handsome hunk of a detective, ahem Chad Berg, and another handsome hunk – Dash (who is Lexi’s best friend Teri’s brother.)
The story is well-plotted and the ending is quite good. There are multiple mysteries and many suspects. We have the case of garden vandalism – which is initially blamed on Cookie; then there is the case of Gil’s sons and the treasure hunt. Someone is also targeting Lexi – her journal (the one in which she writes ideas for her story) goes missing and the next day, Lexi makes a trip to the police station – um, accused of killing Gil.
We also have a love-triangle – I love it when the protagonist has to choose between two suitors. *grins* Chad Berg, the local detective, and Lexi are not on good terms from the beginning – why would they be, when Chad accuses Cookie of ruining the local gardens! The poor doggie does what it knows best – digging. *shrugs* Then there is Dash – who makes goo-goo eyes at Lexi twice; ra-ra-rom-ma-mance 😀
The identity of the perp was unexpected. The ending is pretty good – Chad and Dash come to Lexi’s rescue. Who wins her heart, though? Only time will tell…
Digging Up Trouble by Kitt Crowe is a fantastic series debut. A unique and entertaining cozy mystery. If you are in search of new cozy mysteries, you might want to give this book a try.
I received an ARC from Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.