Too Many Crooks Spoil the Plot (A Ditie Brown Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Lyrical Underground (May 29, 2018)
Paperback: 244 pages
Kindle ASIN: B078LQTSCN
Pediatrician Mabel Aphrodite Brown adores kids. So when a childhood friend asks Ditie to babysit her kids for a few days, she jumps at the chance. She never imagined she’d be solving a murder too . . .
Despite growing up together, Ditie hasn’t seen Ellie Winston in two years, and she didn’t even know Ellie was living in Atlanta. But when Ellie asks her to take care of Lucie and Jason for the weekend, she thinks nothing of it. They’ll bake cookies together, play with her dog—it’ll be fun! Until the police call with terrible news . . .
Ellie may not have been the best friend, but who would want her dead? Could it have something to do with the vague get-rich-quick scheme she mentioned to Ditie? Or the men in a black truck following her and breaking into her home? Not sure who to trust other than her best friend, Lurleen, Ditie’s buried maternal instincts kick in to protect the kids and find their mother’s killer—before they’re orphaned again . . .
Includes Family-Friendly Recipes!
Pediatrician Mabel Aphrodite Brown – Ditie – who spends her life saving kids. She works at a refugee clinic and sees kids with everything from malnutrition to abusing “uncles”. She comes to care a lot about these children in just the few minutes she spends with them. She has no kids of her own and would make a wonderful mom. She is stunned when her friend, Ellie Winston shows up at her door asking her to watch her kids, Lucie and Jason for a few days while she straightens out some things. Ditie quickly agrees but is worried about what kind of scheme her friend is caught up in.
When the police call informing Ditie her friend is dead she feels like she has to do something. Her friend Lurleen has been helping with the kids and they may now be in danger. She will do anything to protect Lucie and Jason. Which may mean moving out of her home and taking time off from work. This mom thing is much harder than she thought. Who knew she would be wrapped up in whatever got Ellie killed?
I really enjoyed this story! Mabel Aphrodite Brown is a strong woman but she doesn’t take off trying to solve everything herself. Detective Mason Garrett is assigned the case. He is the one who notifies Ditie of Ellie’s death. He is the one that comes to talk to the kids and Ditie to get their statements. He becomes invested in their lives right away, and there may just be a little spark between Mason and Ditie. He brings in a hunky P.I. to watch over Ditie, Lurleen, and the kids when he can’t be there. Later we meet Mason’s mom, a retired police officer. Together they all work to solve the case. It was refreshing to watch it all play out, even with the bumps the powers that be put in the road.
Sarah Osbourne gave us such wonderful characters. We learn some of their backstories, some of which may not be entirely truthful in Lureen’s case, while enjoying getting to know them in the present. They have tons of room to grow. I was immediately engaged and wanted to know all of them better. The children, Lucie and Jason have had a hard life, Lucie more mature than her actual 9 years. She was responsible for 5-year-old Jason even when their mother was still alive. My heart broke for them. I can’t wait to see them hopefully develop more natural relationships as they grow.
In addition to these characters, Ms. Osboune gives us one heck of a mystery. So many people seem to be involved, one that was very surprising. Some great red herring diversions kept me guessing. It had some really suspenseful moments and some of the subject matter was a little grittier than in traditional cozy mysteries. The author tempered this with the right about of romance and humor.
I did find myself very emotional about the children in this story. Not just Lucie and Jason but the ones seen at the refugee clinic. With the way, children are now being taken away from their parents at the Mexican border and put in cages, and people seeking asylum being arrested instead of helped, Ditie has a very relevant job. While the story takes place in Georgia there are still families there that need help and I love that Mabel Aphrodite Brown is dedicated to just that.
This series is off to a super start!
About the Author
Sarah Osborne is the pen name of a native Californian who lived in Atlanta for many years and now practices psychiatry on Cape Cod. She writes cozy mysteries for the same reason she reads them—to find comfort in a sometimes difficult world. Too Many Crooks Spoil The Plot is the first novel in her Ditie Brown Mystery series. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached at doctorosborne.com.
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