Book Excerpt: Dead in the Shop

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“If you put naked gnomes in your garden….” Reggie trailed off, seeming completely at a loss for how to finish his sentence. “Can you not antagonise the woman?”

“I could.” Valor had no intentions of stopping their gnome wars. He thought it a perfectly passive-aggressive punishment for their nosy and bigoted neighbour. She disliked them because of their relationship and Bishan’s ethnicity. “But I won’t. Not going to apologise either.”

“Fine.” Reggie shook his head and chuckled. “I’ve already spoken to her about it. I did point out the gnomes are in your garden.”

Valor reached down to grab a stray frog, tossing it over the fence. “Unlike her amphibians.”

“What are you doing?”

“Making it rain?” Valor snickered with the detective. “Sorry.”

“Don’t lie to the police.” Reggie laughed. “She’ll send another complaint, and I have better things to do than write reports about flying frogs.”

“Really?” Valor wondered if he could get a copy of one of those reports to frame and put on the wall. “Could I—”

“No, I’m not making copies for you.” Reggie glared at him, proving how well he’d gotten to know them. “Why don’t we have tea inside? Prevent Mrs Harris from pelting you with frogs.”

“Will rivers of blood be next?” Valor wandered into the cottage with Staccato and Reggie following close behind. “Bish?”

“Made tea.” Bishan waved at Reggie and plucked Staccato off the floor. “Did you chuck another frog over the fence?”

“Who, me?”

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Book Review: Dead in the Shop

Dead in the shop_frontcover_forjpegs-01_600This was a wonderfully written trilogy. I was captured almost immediately while reading the first book. The author has written a story holds on to you all through the three books. I guessed who the killer was but then that person would end up dead. I was surprised at the end and what a joy it was to be. I loved this mystery.” 5 Stars, Wende on GoodReads


Book Review: Dead in the Garden

Truly enjoyable! This book has a great pace, well developed characters and setting. Val and Bishan are two of the most endearing characters I’ve maybe ever experienced in literature. Val is a perfect protagonist and I found the relationship between he and Bishan to be very personal and eye opening. A personal thanks to the author for providing such insight into living with autism and the romantic complexities entailed. I have purchased all three books in the trilogy and cannot wait to read “Dead In The Pond” . I would love to see Val take a more active role in “sluething”, as opposed to his friends gathering clues for him, but I didn’t mind as they are enjoyable characters. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking strong, well developed characters, a protagonist with true wit and humorous dialogue and appreciation for an authentic “cozy mystery”. I cannot wait to continue on with the series and others by the author. I’m sure I’m already a big fan. Thank you, Dahlia Donovan for telling a truly enjoyable story. I hope that it was as much fun for you to write as it was for me to read! Thank you for sharing this amazing cast of characters with us!

5 Stars from Adam W. on Amazon.

Series Review: Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy


“If you are looking for a super cozy murder mystery that doesn’t skimp on the murder or high drama (car crashes, homophobic relatives, police stings, explosions, kidnappings, death-by-cinnamon) then I’m sure you’ll love this book.”

4.5 stars, from Joyfully Jay

Book Review: Dead in the Shop

Dead in the shop_frontcover_forjpegs-01_600“The mystery was written really well and you won’t figure out who the murderer is until the author wants you to. I highly recommend this series but make sure you have all three books ready to go so you don’t have to wait cause cliffhangers suck!” 5 Stars from Heather

“his installment was action-packed and intense, we finally learn the identity of the killer, but not until Ms. Donovan is well and ready to reveal him, and everything else is tied up nicely. My favorite part throughout the series was definitely Valor and Bishan’s relationship. Valor is so amazing with Bishan and it was lovely to see Bishan flourish under pressure and come out of his shell a little, especially considering he was under such stress.

All in all, a definite must-read!” 5 Stars from Mari

5 Stars from Bayou Book Junkie