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Little Shop of Homicide
Deveraux's Dime Store Mystery, No 1
Denise Swanson

March 2012/ 978-0-451-23618-0
Mystery / Amateur Sleuth / Cozy

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Little Shop of Homicide is the first in the new series "Devereaux's Dime Store Mysteries". Devereaux Sinclair is introduced as the protagonist. Devereaux, has left a big money job in the city to come back to Shadow Bend, Missouri. Her plan is to take care of her grandmother, Birdie, and to run the small dime store in town. Her store "Devereaux's Dime Store and Gift Baskets" has something for everyone.

Things are running smoothly, until the hard-nosed Detective Woods stops by to inform Devereaux that her ex-boyfriend's fiancé has been murdered. She was killed with a stiletto heel to the heart and had a champagne bottle stuffed in her mouth. The champagne bottle came from a gift basket that Devereaux had created, and thus she is Woods' number one suspect. Detective Woods also has a grudge against her because the company she used to work for ran a Ponzi scheme that robbed him of his retirement funds. Dev had nothing to do with that, but he is still holding her responsible and vows to prosecute her for the murder.

Enter Dev's good friends, Poppy and Boone, a bar owner and a lawyer respectively. They in turn, vow to clear her name by investigating on their own, with Dev's help. Next on the scene is the very handsome Jake DelVecciho, a US Marshall on leave after an injury. Jake and Dev are immediately attracted to each other, but this blossoming romance has to travel a rocky road while Dev is under police scrutiny.

I loved the small town feel of this book, and the dime store with the soda fountain took me back in time. As with many cozy mysteries, the small town setting, quirky and unique characters, and overall cuteness are sprinkled throughout the story. Yet none of it is trite, and the book does have a freshness about it that kept me interested and reading until it was finished in just two sittings.

For fans of Denise Swanson's Scumble River Mysteries this is a nice change of pace and scenery that you will certainly enjoy. The book has humor, romance and just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. Cozy mystery lovers will most certainly want to add this book to their collection and put it at the top of their "to be read" list.

Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2012
© 2012