#FlashbackFriday – Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress #CravingCozies

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Lyrical Underground (June 25, 2019)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516108841
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516108848
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07HVYQ9XZ

When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead, she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .  
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.

The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake has moved to Greenwich, Connecticut hoping to grow her business. She has rented a delightful little carriage house on the Carrington estate and has now moved in with her latest client’s pet in tow. A nice-sized python who she just happens to have out for a walk when her landlord’s hunky son, Stone comes to the door. After an interesting meeting and the snake back in its cage, Belinda decides to check out her backyard. While pulling a few weeds and admiring the flowers she makes a horrible discovery. A very pricy shoe still attached to a very dead lady.

Belinda learns that the woman was a friend of Stone’s and that should give her pause but then the man asks for her help to catch the killer and she just can’t say no. She is incredibly drawn to this man and until her family points out the obvious she never even seems to consider he may be the man responsible for his “friend’s” death. Now she suspects him and everyone else she meets and that could just end with her own demise.

I really enjoyed this story.

Belinda is a very interesting protagonist. Not only is she an exotic pet-sitter but she also reviews video games. She is an introvert, happy to spend time alone sometimes reading her fave Agatha Christie. A woman after my own heart. She is totally captivated by the handsome son of the landlord. He is quite charming but for me, she was just too trusting. These two main characters are surrounded by Stone’s family and their employees and their friends. It is quite an eclectic group. We also meet Belinda’s family. They are close-knit and each interesting in their own ways. All the characters have plenty of room for growth.

People that know me will be shocked to know that my favorite character followed closely by Belinda was the snake. His name is Rasputin and he almost stole the entire show. I am fine because he was in the book, had he been in my real life I probably wouldn’t even go in the room his cage was in.

The mystery was well-plotted and written with a nice amount of suspects and a vast number of twists and turns. The author did an excellent job of making so many people look guilty that my mini little investigation was going in circles. Then some sneaky little things start to fall into place but that final twist really surprised me. The ending was exciting and I was thrilled with how everything played out and who played a vital role.

I love that this story and the other two in the series are based on stories Ms. Gilbert’s father told her as a child. What a wonderful tribute to her father. Seems she has inherited a fantastic storyteller gene.

Readers are treated to a nice preview of the next book, Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and had I not had other reading commitments I would have dove right into that one right away. That one and Belinda Blake and the Birds of a Feather are both cued up on my Kindle so I can squeeze them into my reading schedule soon. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Award-winning novelist Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing mysteries and Viking historicals. She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love. Avid readers say Heather’s realistic characters—no matter what century—feel like best friends. When she’s not plotting stories, this native West Virginia gal can often be found hanging out with her husband and four children, playing video games, or reading Agatha Christie novels.

Author Links – Website – Facebook Author Page  – Bookbub  – Goodreads

Twitter@heatherdgilbert    Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”