Deveraux's Dime Store Mystery, No 1
March 2012/ 978-0-451-23618-0
Mystery / Amateur Sleuth / Cozy
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.