Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Dead in Devon
Devon Mysteries – Book I
BY Stephanie Austin

Allison and Busby
24 October 2019/ ISBN 9780749024178

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


The original Juno might have been a real goddess, but Juno Browne is a domestic goddess. Her job takes her all around Ashburton in Devon looking after the elderly, cleaning, walking dogs and helping Ricky and Morris in their theatrical costumiers. Her latest commission is helping Russian ex con Old Nick, a rather shady antiques dealer. Through him she gets to meet the attractive Paul, and also learn a lot about antiques. This comes to an abrupt end when she discovers his dead body, and the police start viewing her with suspicion…

Despite the death of a rather loveable character this cozy is a relaxing and enjoyable read, a bit like Heartbeat meets the Midsomer Murders. I’m hard to please about books set in Devon as I live there and know the town of Ashburton, but her portrayal of the town is not too far off, if a little generic. She manages to get in some lyrical descriptions of Dartmoor which are more accurate and clearly knows about the antiques trade. As a series debut I enjoyed the way it hit the ground running and Juno makes for a good narrator, being a likeable character it is easy to root for. I guessed whodunit early on and although it is an exciting, well paced story future entries in the series might opt for a less linear plot with a few more suspects and a sub plot or two. On the plus side the story manages to stay a whodunit all the way through and does not veer off into romance territory, nor are we given a potted history of Ashburton or endless facts about the antiques trade. Everything that happens is germane to the plot and there are several amiable characters that are obviously going to be part of the series and are fun to read about. As a cozy mystery it is a success, and I look forward to reading more about Juno and her friends.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019