Digging Up Daisy (A Mainely Murder Mystery)
by Sherry Lynn
About Digging Up Daisy
Digging Up Daisy (A Mainely Murder Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Berkley (April 4, 2023)
Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593546652
ISBN-13 : 978-0593546659
Digital ASIN : B0B8GQNCBY
In a fresh new Maine-set cozy from author Sherry Lynn, Kinsley Clark must root out a killer before the killer roots out her.
At twenty-nine, Kinsley Clark is living the dream life she always envisioned for herself. She’s the proud owner of SeaScapes, a thriving landscaping company in wealthy Harborside, set on the rugged coast of southern Maine. Kinsley’s veins are filled with salty air, a myriad of colors, and the fragrance of fresh blooms. But one afternoon, while working at her aunt Tilly’s bed-and-breakfast, the Salty Breeze Inn, Kinsley digs up more than she bargained for—a high-heeled shoe. The once sparkly shoe, now caked in mud, is linked to a case the police had appropriately dubbed the “Cinderella Murder.”
Kinsley panics. Does this mean that her aunt and the inn are somehow connected to this murder? Will it scare away potential guests? Will it subject the inn to a rush of bad press? With Aunt Tilly’s reputation, and possibly her safety, on the line, Kinsley digs deeper into the crime to find out what the shoe was doing on her aunt’s property and who murdered Cinderella, whose real name is Daisy. As she investigates, more suspects rise to the surface, and eventually, Kinsley has to weed out a killer.
In this new cozy series, we meet Kinsley Clark, owner of SeaScapes, a landscaping company in the coastal town of Harborside, Maine. Kinsley’s Aunt Tillie owns the popular Salty Breeze Inn, a B&B with gorgeous coastal views and gardens. Kinsley lives and runs her business out of the caretaker’s cottage behind the inn. Her many wealthy clients keep her busy but she always has time to make the grounds at the inn something special.
The community is getting ready for a big event, The Walk Inns, an annual parade of several local bed and breakfast establishments that host open houses to showcase their places to drum up new and returning business. It is also a major event for Kinsley because she does the landscaping for most of the inns on the tour.
While finishing up some planting for her aunt just a few days before the tour Kinsley makes an awful discovery. A fancy, pink, mud-caked, high-heeled shoe buried right next to the hydrangea she was trying to replace. A shoe she had just heard the police were looking for to solve what they are calling the “Cinderella Murder”. This could not only ruin The Walk Inns but put her and her aunt on the suspect list. There could also be a murderer staying at the inn putting everyone in danger. She does have an in at the police station but maybe she can solve the case herself. Although, her snooping could also make her the next thing buried in the garden.
I love the theme for this series and the coastal Maine setting. The author describes everything so well, the views, the cliff where she has her own little hiding place, the cliff walk between the properties, the wild variety of flowers and their smells along with the smells of the salty sea air, the inn, the caretaker cottage, the town including all the flower baskets and containers. I was able to visualize it all so clearly and almost smell all the scents allowing me to easily escape to Harborside, Maine.
I enjoyed meeting Kinsley and her Aunt Tillie. The first chapter gives us the lowdown on their lives and their close relationship. They both love what they are doing with their lives and their relationship is heartwarming. Kinsley’s best friend Becca, a real estate agent is also a well-developed character. The friendship rings true. Rachel Hayes was Kinsley’s brother Kyle’s girlfriend who decided to settle down in Harborside and join the police force while he re-enlisted in the service and took a post in Germany. We also meet several other residents of Harborside including a rival landscaper who is a huge thorn in Kinsley’s side. Some of the characters we get to know very well, others we just scratch the surface, and then there are a few where I felt we were definitely missing key information. I also felt that the dialogues were a little clunky and it messed with the flow of the story.
The mystery was very straightforward but I thought Kinsley jumped to conclusions way too quickly. She overheard or witnessed something and immediately that person was guilty and she built a whole theory around it and it was completely wrong. That being said while the mystery played out and led up to a very thrilling ending I wasn’t completely clear on everything. I had plucked the guilty party out pretty early but I was troubled by some things after all was revealed. I felt like I had missed something and went back and reread several parts but the description and details I was looking for just weren’t there. A subplot regarding another crime confused me a bit too.
Ms. Lynn has built a good foundation for the series to continue. The setting is divine and the landscaping theme has taken hold. I liked the core characters and the way Kinsley worked with Rachel. I am worried about Tillie and that the inn will get to be too much for her soon and hope the author has help planned for her in the future. Kinsley also has to slow her roll and refine her amateur sleuthing techniques. Other problems I noted with the plot may be due to first book-itis, where the author has to introduce all the characters and the setting while trying to give readers a strong mystery within a set number of pages, and sometimes things get cut or missed or don’t have the time to fully develop.
Digging Up Daisy has planted some good seeds and I have the utmost confidence that Ms. Lynn can nurture these characters into a blooming garden of mysteries that will delight cozy readers for a long time. Murder Under the Mistletoe hits shelves on November 7 and I am looking forward to visiting Salty Breeze Inn again to see what Kinsley and Tillie are up to.
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About Sherry Lynn
Sherry Lynn spent countless summers on the coast of Maine, knowing she’d one day return to write about the magical location from her youth. Curious by nature, sleuthing became the perfect fit for her, and she has written multiple cozy mystery series under several pseudonyms. Currently, Sherry lives in the Midwest with her husband, but she dreams about one day retiring oceanside with a good book in her hand.
Great Escapes Praise for Digging Up Daisy
(A Mainely Murder Mystery)
by Sherry Lynn
Digging Up Daisy is a floral fiesta with an unearthed shoe, sea breezes, plant problems, an amazing aunt, a planted threat, and a lurking killer.
~The Avid Reader
Digging Up Daisy is a delightful start to this cozy mystery series brimming with small-town charm, a plethora of clues, and misdirects, leaving me wanting more.
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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.”