Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
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. (Oct.)
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A bookstore manager and her reading group use their years of experience with fictional mysteries to help solve a real one in Crowe's debut. Lexi Jones is already in trouble with Detective Chad Berg over her dog Cookie's digging habits. The Oregon town of Confection is not only a sweet place to visit, but one that's famous for its inhabitants' gardening skills. When Cookie, who's smarter than the average dog, digs up Gil Cloutier's body, Lexi is high on the list of candidates for the title of who killed the most hated man in town. Gil, a very grouchy neighbor to Lexi, had been the leading contender to win a large cash prize in a gardening contest, a status that earned him plenty of enemies. But he also had three sons he often argued with and was rumored to know where a treasure is buried. In fact, that treasure may just be the reason someone's digging holes and blaming Cookie. Lexi's bestie, Teri, and her handsome brother, Dash, pitch in to help clear Lexi. So do the members of her book club, the Macaroons. Lexi, who's secretly writing a murder mystery, is nervous about having experimented with many different ways of killing off Gil in her book, especially after her laptop vanishes. Even though Berg can't help suspecting Lexi, there are romantic undertones to their relationship: He wants her to stop sleuthing even as she and Cookie continue to hunt for the killer. All the elements of a typical cozy, from a likable heroine to a dog who's the real star of the story. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.