Perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Joanne Fluke, a bitter discovery is made in a sweet-as-candy town, in Kitt Crowe's Sweet Fiction Bookshop series debut.
Life is sweet when you live in Confection, Oregon. Or, at least, that's how it's supposed to be. But on a summer day, when tourists and locals alike gawk at the majestic mountains, quaint Craftsman houses, and lovely flowers--particularly the renowned Confection Rose--the last thing anyone has come to see is a dead body, unearthed from a shallow grave by a curious dog.
A bathrobe-clad Lexi rushes next door to her neighbor's backyard to find her pooch, Cookie, stalwartly sitting watch over a body in the vegetable garden. Cookie, encrusted in dirt, grips a copper pipe between her teeth. Was this the murder weapon? And was Lexi the murderer? It sure looks that way, seeing as she was spotted squabbling with the victim just the day before. The case becomes all the more perplexing when the real murder weapon turns out to be a garden stake. Then where does the copper pipe fit in? And might a more likely suspect let Lexi off the hook?
All the volumes in the Sweet Fiction Bookshop, and all the specials at Eats n' Treats, prove of little help in jogging Lexi's brain to find a solution. Fortunately, Cookie is not finished digging up clues. As the fur flies, can this trusty border collie mix save sweet Lexi from a bitter end?
Aspiring writer Lexi Jones, the 27-year-old narrator of Crowe's diverting debut and series launch, manages the Sweet Fiction Bookshop in Confection, Ore. Lexi doesn't get along with her ornery neighbor, Gil Cloutier, who complains that Lexi's "border collie pit mix," Cookie, digs up his garden. One night, Lexi works on a scene for her suspense novel in which she imagines a serial killer using a pipe to bludgeon to death a stand-in for Gil. The next morning, Cookie slips into Gil's yard, where Lexi finds the dog with a copper pipe in her mouth. Nearby is what looks like a shallow grave with Gil's body inside. Already at the scene is Det. Chad Berg, to whom Lexi admits she quarreled with Gil the day before. The detective suggests she might need a lawyer. Fortunately, there are plenty of other suspects (including Confection Garden Club members who might have wanted to eliminate Gil because he was the shoo-in winner for the $15,000 prize in the upcoming best garden contest), and the members of Lexi's book club join her in some amateur sleuthing. A second murder raises the stakes, and the relationship between Lexi and Chad generates some romantic heat. Cozy readers will look forward to Lexi and Cookie's next adventure. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency.