There was something much more relatable to within the story of “Death and Daisies” than the other cozy mysteries I’ve read.
Now, I don’t need a book to have characters I can personally relate to in order to love the book. But when it does happen, it creates a different kind of mental bond while I’m reading.
Fiona is trying to make her way in a new country while her family is less than thrilled about it. And, just because they all technically speak the same language in her new home, the barriers are real.
The immigration makes up a relatively small part of the book. A large part was the flower shop opening. I appreciated that she was facing some real challenges. I believe that some other writers might have taken a hand-wavy approach to this kind of shop opening and made it seem like starting a business is super easy when you are a basically good person.
The magic garden was a tantalizing place and idea that I wish had played a larger role. While the book is very clear that the garden has magical properties, the perception of the garden seemed to play a larger role than the garden itself.
I was left wanting to see more of the story happening in the garden. But with Fiona opening a new shop it made sense that the story might focus more of the action in town.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel and would read future books in the series. Who actually “did the deed” left very little impression on me compared to the characters themselves and the setting which is fine by me.
I appreciate that NetGalley provided me with a copy of the book to review. I don’t believe this changed my opinion of the novel any more than if I had checked the book out of my local library.
Trouble in Mudbug may not hit every check box for a label of ‘Cozy Mystery’ but it is where I would shelve it on my bookcase.
While there was one cringe worthy sex scene the majority of the book was what I’d expect. There was the kooky best friend, the love interest who is both insanely hot and part of law enforcement, a back story of a love/marriage gone wrong, the substitute parental figure, just enough paranormal to affect the plot but nothing so powerful that it is of any real use and a heroine who is smart, self sustaining, needs to solve a murder and somehow grow into her community.
The only ‘cozy’ things that were missing was the description of an excessively cutesy town and a pet. Given that the town itself is named Mudbug I can forgive the first one and for reasons I don’t want to spoil, the lack of a pet made sense too.
What I couldn’t get over in Mudbug was Maryse’s job and the way it handled the science going on in the background. To be clear, this is not a science heavy book and I am always OK with a bit of hand waving in fun mystery/romance novels. What irked me was that none of the obviously ridiculous things needed to be there, the plot and story could have been carried out just fine if a little more care had been taken with that aspect.
Maryse is supposed to be a character who is throwing herself into her work at the beginning of the novel. Her apparent incompetence at her job throws a wrench into believing this fundamental part of her personality. It kept yanking me out of the story as I either mentally or literally found myself rolling my eyes.
This was so close to being a 5 star book for me. The pervasive mistakes in the big details had me seeing stars flying off the page even as I kept reading because I really wanted to know who did the deed in the end.