Nothing exciting ever happens in the small town of Belhaven, Michigan. Nothing that is, until a body was found in the woods behind the local elementary school. With the entire town in an uproar, “Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford makes it her personal mission to find the killer or killers and solve the mystery with some help from her friends. With a little amateur detective work, Gloria is able to uncover enough clues that point right to the murderer.
She’s about to discover, however, things aren’t always as clear cut as they would appear.
Good, basic, cute cozy
Typical premise for a cozy: cute/adorable/irascible elderly lady/grandmother/curmudgeon finds a body/body part/clue that leads to a larger mystery and involves her best friend/sidekick/group. Callaghan does an alright job creating time and place for Gloria to workaround this mystery.
Her group of friends, for want of a better way to spend the hours in their days, creates a group that visits the homebound with flowers and baked goods. She gives each one a typical personality: nosy busybody, sexpot, nervous nellie, barrelling betty and so forth. They work in this plot, each giving a specific personality trait needed to further the plot along at the right times. Gloria is the main protagonist and Callaghan writes her well.
The plot comes along nicely, albeit too nicely, clues just fall into her lap at exactly the right times. A stretch of any imagination, but it does work in this cozy. The Garden Girls are one-dimensional and gives Gloria another to her one-track mind of finding the killer. The detective is also one-dimensional, not overly suspicious, not under-involved either. Just kind of ‘there’.
The book isn’t overly complicated, nor is it so simple you roll your eyes. Just a good, cute cozy, worthy of 3 stars.