...

A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber

First book in the new cozy mystery series The Fairy Garden Mysteries

Book Cover

Book Cover for A Sprinkling of Murder-Kensington Publishing

Review:

In order to see a fairy, one must believe they exist, according to Courtney Kelly, twenty-nine-year-old owner of Open Your Imagination, a fairy garden and tea shop located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Courtney’s first fairy sighting was at the age of five in her mother’s flower garden. Courtney shared a love of fairies with her late mother; her relationship with her father Kipling “Kip” Kelly is somewhat strained since Courtney left his landscaping business to start the shop.

Courtney doesn’t run the shop alone; Joss Timberlake is Courtney’s assistant. And since Open Your Imagination is a fairy garden shop, there is also a resident fairy. Fiona is her name and she is a fairy-on-probation after irking the queen fairy with one too many pranks. Fiona remains unseen to most of the shop’s patrons, even though a few exhibit evidence they may sense her presence when they bat away what they assume to be an annoying insect buzzing around their heads.

The shop is a magical place to be, on several levels, until Courtney discovers the body of Mick Watkins, owner of Wizard of Paws, the grooming business in the same courtyard as Courtney’s shop, sprawled in Open Your Imagination’s courtyard in the early hours of the morning. Before the police arrive, Courtney, with Fiona’s help, discovers a secret entrance to the courtyard, adding another mystery to the one lying dead in the shop’s courtyard.

Detective Dylan Summers and his partner Officer Rodriguez are the first officers to arrive on the scene and before long Courtney realizes she’s a suspect in Mick’s death; Mick’s wife Emily accuses Courtney of killing him. Courtney knows she didn’t do it, but she doesn’t have a good alibi. So, who is the killer? Pauli Petra, the councilwoman rumored to be having an affair with Mick? His wife, Emily? Logan Langford, Courtney and Mick’s landlord? Logan wanted to break Mick’s lease and evict him from the property, but Mick fought back. Courtney, with help from Joss, Courtney’s best friend Meaghan, and Fiona take it upon themselves to solve the murder mystery, much to the dismay of the Carmel Police Department. Will Courtney solve the murder or will the killer silence Courtney first?

I had some trouble getting into the book at first. The police officers came across as a little too harsh and I found it off-putting. But I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. At some point, I was pulled into the story and quickly finished it. What I like about Gerber’s book is the way she brings up a “what if” question: what if…minds were opened to the magical in adulthood the same way they were in childhood?

About the author:

A Sprinkling of Murder is the first book in the new Fairy Garden Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber. Gerber is a prolific writer. She has written the Cookbook Nook series and several standalone novels under her real name and has written the Cheese Shop Mystery Series under the pen name of Avery Adams.

To learn more about Gerber’s work, visit her website here.
To read an excerpt, click here.

Kensington, paperback, June 2020, ISBN: 978-1-4967-2634-6
Ebook, June 2020, ISBN: 978-1-4967-2635-3