Review: A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber

Posted July 1, 2020 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 4 Comments

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A Sprinkling of MurderA Sprinkling of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery #1)
by Daryl Wood Gerber

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Age Category:
Type of romance:

Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .

Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father’s landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she’s starting a book club tea.

But the light of the magical world she’s created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected source . . .

My Review

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

I really liked the concept for this cozy mystery. The main character builds fairy gardens and also sees fairies. The unique concept is what convinced me to give this one a try. This was such a fun read and I really liked the whole fairy concept, the fairies had a fun role in the story without overtaking the plot and the fairy garden store was great to read about.

The mystery is the one thing that didn’t fully work for me actually. When the owner of the dog grooming business is found dead in Courtney’s store she gets involved in the mystery. For some reason that I still don’t understand she becomes a suspect. And she is determined to clear her name. I liked the fact that not only did she try to find the real murderer, but she also tried to prove her innocence, although it did bother me that the police didn’t look into that as it was an easy way for them to cross off a suspect, but instead with the help of her friends she had to try and find the proof that she was at home during the murder.

The mystery seemed to go in multiple directions. There were plenty of suspects, but no motive or suspect seemed quite right somehow. The dead guy wasn’t always liked, but none of the suspects really seemed to have enough of a motive for murder. It continued that way for most of the book and I thought the reveal was a bit anti climactic. It was a bit sad and not as intriguing. It does explain the course of the mystery when you know what actually happened. I do like that there were plenty of red herrings and that Courtney actually manages to cross some suspects off her list. I also liked how her investigating was pretty subtle for the most part and it made sense how she handled things.

I liked main character Courtney, with how she believes in fairies and has her own store. She is curious, but not too nosy. She seemed like a kind person who cared about others and I liked how she gave some people the benefit of the doubt. I liked reading about her and learning more about fairy gardens and her her store.

The book has quite a lot of side characters, it could be a tad difficult to keep them all straight at times. But it got easier once the book progressed, even so I think it could’ve benefited from a few less characters as now the ones with a small role could be hard to remember as there are already plenty of side characters with bigger roles, like Courtney’s friends, customers and suspects. I liked Courtney’s fairy and her friends Joss and Megan. Although the focus is mostly on Courtney and the mystery and I hope we get to know the side characters more in future books.

There is a little hint of possible future romance, but it really is nothing more than a hint at this point. The love interest seemed nice enough and I liked how they had a bit of history and already knew each other from school. I was happy that the police officer wasn’t the love interest in this case as that’s so common in cozies. The police officer could be a bit gruff and they did seem a bit incompetent at times, but mostly they seemed to want to do their job well, so I was happy with that as far as police characters go in cozies.

To summarize: This was a fun cozy mystery with a sprinkle of magic. I liked the fairy and fairy garden theme of this book. I liked how the fairy theme was sprinkled throughout the book and was a solid part of it, but didn’t overtake the plot. It was fun and interesting to read about Courtney’s store and how she made fairy gardens. The mystery didn’t fully work for me, I didn’t really like the reveal of who was the murderer and the mystery seemed a bit directionless at times with how no suspect or motive seemed quite right or believable. I do like how some suspects were crossed of the suspect list throughout the book and the way Courtney got involved was well done and I liked how most of her investigating was done. I thought Courtney was a likable character and there were some fun side characters as well. I did think the amount of side characters was a bit much as I had trouble keeping them all straight at times. All in all I enjoyed this book and look forward to more books in this series.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads, Bookbub and Amazon.

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4 responses to “Review: A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber

  1. This one sounds different with the fairy/garden center theme, but I agree, sometimes too many suspects can get confusing. Sorry the mystery didn’t work out for you but I’m glad you liked other aspects. Great review!

    • The fairy garden theme was a fun touch. Even though the mystery didn’t quite work for me, the rest of the book was great.

  2. I love that she makes fairy gardens and there are fairies in this series. She sounds like a good amateur sleuth with the way she handles things and even gives people the benefit of the doubt. Yes, it is unusual in cozies for the police officer not to be the love interest and it is a bit odd that they didn’t check their proof more before turning her into a suspect. Sounds like the series is going to be good.

    • It was such a fun theme for the series with the fairy garden and actual fairies. I liked how she handled the sleuthing and gave people the benefit of the doubt. It’s just so common that the police officer is the love interest, that it was nice how here another shop owner was the possible love interest. I think it’s going to be a good series, i look forward to book 2.

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