Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Dead in the Shop

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Dead in the Shop (2018) Dahlia Donovan (Grasmere Cottage Mystery)

Dead in the ShopValor and Bishan are struggling after the events of the last book. Someone is trying to kill them–has killed people around them–and they don’t understand why.

And that’s one of the interesting things about this story–that there isn’t really a good why. Don’t get me wrong, the killer is caught and explains why things happened, but inveterate mystery readers are used to complicated reasons as to why the killer acts as they do (with lots of monologing) but here we know the reason, but it’s … unsatisfactory. NOT in a bad story kind of way, but in a real life kind of way, which meant that was unsatisfactory as it was, it was also very good. (In the same way that some of the good police procedurals I read end with the bad guy getting off on a technicality, or because of who they know. That’s the way life works sometimes, and as hard of an ending that is, it’s also quite often how life goes.


More terrible things happen, but the killer is finally discovered and caught, and our two heroes finally get to live happy ever after, even if it takes them awahile and a lot of work and therpy.

And Valor also works on his relationship with his sister.

“I am sorry I insulted your cottage.”

Valor hopped off the counter and turned slightly to face her. “You didn’t. The cottage doesn’t have feelings. You insulted my choices. I know you’re trying, Penny, but luxury has gifted you a twisted view of the rest of the world.”

Also, I want friends with whom I can go on a pudding crawl with.

Pudding crawls had become one of their traditions after one of their many Olivers had given up drinking. They’d supported him through Alcoholics Anonymous, and decided to create a way to celebrate without alcohol. Instead of reunions spent in one pub after the other, they gorged on sweets instead.

So the story ends well, but not without work on the part of the characters. And each book was better than the previous, although really this could / should have been a single book of novel length rather than three novellas. But I get why they were published and marketed that way. So I’m not too angry.

Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Rating: 8/10

Categories: British, LGBT, Mystery     Comments (0)    

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