For Amy Simms, hatching a birding shop in her hometown of Ruby Lake, North Carolina, hasn’t exactly been a breeze. But could a deadly discovery clip her wings for good?
It’s just days before Amy plans to open Birds & Bees on the first floor of her creaky Victorian house, but delayed seed shipments have prevented the fledging owner from stocking her shelves. And it doesn’t help that Amy’s best friend and business partner is out of town indefinitely. With locals skeptical about the niche shop taking flight, the last thing Amy needs now is a dead man in her storeroom—or for a crotchety tenant to catch her holding a bloody birdfeeder hook over his body . . .
Pigeonholed as a leading murder suspect by police and lacking a solid alibi, Amy’s delving into the victim’s ugly past and buzzing around Ruby Lake for clues on his killer . . . before she ends up like so many of her beloved feathery friends—trapped behind bars!
For the start of a new cozy mystery series, I have to say this was a great book to begin with. Unlike other cozy mysteries, this one immediately plunges into the mystery. As Amy returns home late one night, she discovers the lights aren’t working and as she tries to make her way around, she unwillingly stumbles over the body of a dead man. Of course, she happens to pick up the murder weapon just before the old crone who rents from her, catches her in the act.
I actually enjoyed the world building within this book. It’s clear this small town is full of drama and scandal, as even Amy’s best friend has a dirty secret to hide. There are quirky and crazy characters to enjoy, but the one I enjoyed the most was the Pester, aka Amy’s tenant Esther. The old woman is constantly pointing the finger at Amy as the killer and is the bane in Amy’s behind every step of the way. Even though I would have wanted to kick her out, were she my tenant, she does eventually worm her way into your heart… well sort of.
The only complaint I have is that the pacing tends to stall a little here and there. But as it’s a new book for a new series, this can be expected. I’m actually looking forward to the next book. The ending leaves a lot drama hanging over Amy’s head and has you wondering how she’s going to save her fledgling business. Though I did wonder how a bird and bee shop would fair in a small town, the new threat to it is a smart move on the author’s part.
I would highly suggest this book for any cozy mystery lover. Hopefully you’ll be adding it to your reading list and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.