Date published: March 6, 2012
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com
On the heels of her boss being arrested for mismanagement of client funds and her grandmother in need of someone to help her handle things, Deveraux (Dev) Sinclair returns to her home down of Shadow Bend. There she has opened her Deveraux’s Dime Store, a cozy old fashioned store selling candy, coffees, and other Americana type items. On the side she makes personalized gift baskets for all manner of events from baby showers to weddings to a special birthday. She even made a basket up for her former boyfriend’s fiancé, Joelle Ayers. Busy working on some upcoming gift baskets Dev finds herself confronted by a rather forceful Kansas City police officer. Concerned about Woods’s manner she surrpeitiously dials one of her two best friends, Boone, to listen in and if necessary come to her rescue. Dev isn’t too concerned when Woods confronts her with Joelle’s death until, on his way out of the store, he comments on about how someone is going to pay for her former employer fraudulently wiped out his retirement account.
Jake Del Vecchio is in town helping out his uncle Tony with his ranch. Aside from caring about his uncle and happy childhood memories on the ranch, Jake is a U.S. Marshal recovering from being shot. At the request for Uncle Tony he ventures into Deveraux Dime Store and lends a hand toward helping her discovery who killed Joelle.
Together they embark on an investigation to see just who could have killed Joelle. Being the victim wasn’t the most liked person in town, there are any number of viable suspects. But is an injured Deputy U.S. Marshal enough to keep the murder from making Dev his next victim?
As a fan of Denise Swanson’s Scumble River cozy mystery series I was delighted when I saw she had begun a new one—the Deveraux Dime Store Mysteries. LITTLE SHOP OF HOMICIDE, book 1 is a fun start to the series with its introduction of the lead characters and a solid mystery to investigate. Ms. Swanson does two things with LITTLE SHOP OF HOMICIDE you do not usually find in a cozy: she blends first and third person points of view and gets right to the chase in the romance between Jake and Dev.
Most cozies are told from the primary sleuth’s point of view in the first person. I enjoyed getting Jake’s take on things interspersed with Dev’s first. At times there was a bit too much telling of Jake’s side causing a bit of a lag, but the story quickly regrouped and got back on track. It was a nice blend.
Most cozies have a hint of romance to them and the relationships build over time. In LITTLE SHOP OF HOMICIDE the relationship between Jake and Dev takes off almost from the start making the story a nice blend of mystery and romance. I’m not sure where they have to go from here, but there is Jake’s ex, Meg, waiting in the wings for him.
The mystery of who killed Joelle was a good one and I was pretty surprised at who did it. I pegged a couple of characters and certainly didn’t expect the final reveal.
I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.