Life is sweet when you live in Confection, Oregon. Or, at least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. But on a summer day, when tourists and locals alike gawk at the majestic mountains, quaint Craftsman houses, and lovely flowers–particularly the renowned Confection Rose–the last thing anyone has come to see is a dead body, unearthed from a shallow grave by a curious dog.
A bathrobe-clad Lexi rushes next door to her neighbor’s backyard to find her pooch, Cookie, stalwartly sitting watch over a body in the vegetable garden. Cookie, encrusted in dirt, grips a copper pipe between her teeth. Was this the murder weapon? And was Lexi the murderer? It sure looks that way, seeing as she was spotted squabbling with the victim just the day before. The case becomes all the more perplexing when the real murder weapon turns out to be a garden stake. Then where does the copper pipe fit in? And might a more likely suspect let Lexi off the hook?
All the volumes in the Sweet Fiction Bookshop, and all the specials at Eats n’ Treats, prove of little help in jogging Lexi’s brain to find a solution. Fortunately, Cookie is not finished digging up clues. As the fur flies, can this trusty border collie mix save sweet Lexi from a bitter end?
Sometimes cozy mysteries featuring pets are so charming and well-done and sometimes I think they’re cliched and overblown. Cookie felt like a caricature, not a believable animal. That’s too bad, as that made the whole thing feel like a cartoon. And Lexi…felt pretty self-absorbed and oblivious. This could all just be a “me” problem, as the writing was solid, but the story was on the verge of boring because of the character issues.
Kitt Crowe is fueled by caffeine. Digging up Trouble is her debut novel.
(Galley courtesy of Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review.)