by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Go to the dime store in Shadow Bend, Missouri, near Kansas City, and you’ll meet Devereaux Sinclair, the owner. She hosts knitting groups, quilters, teens after school, and makes gift baskets as well as whipping up stellar milk shakes. It’s all part of making a living in a small town.
When her Grandmother began to forget things on a regular basis, Dev quit her high-powered, high-stress job and moved in to take care of her. That, plus a new relationship with an old beau, has improved Grandmother’s health and memory.
Dev has two potential suitors herself. Noah is a doctor, a prize catch. Years ago, they’d been an item until his mother intervened. The new man is Jake. He was a US Marshall, but an on the job injury left him with the choice of a desk job or retirement. He left the service and became a private investigator. In order to spend more time with Dev (and frankly, to beat Noah’s time), he’s rented an office above the dime store and welcomes Dev’s input. He’s even encouraged her to get her own PI license.
Even as he’s putting the office together, he gets a client, Elliot Winston. He’s a wealthy, trust fund kind of guy, a little out of touch with reality. He should at least learn how to act more like a human and less like a robot. His wife, Gabriella, is missing. He doesn’t know when she disappeared but believes she was kidnapped. He’s not satisfied the police are doing anything about it, so he wants to hire Jake.
Although he has misgivings, Jake is intrigued enough to say yes. It seems Elliot and Gabriella had a fight about the amount of his trust fund he was spending on his dream—a wildlife sanctuary on five acres of land. A few days after her disappearance, a ransom note arrives.
The more Jake and Dev find out about Gabriella and Elliot, the murkier the case becomes. In the meantime, Jake has issued a challenge—will Dev go away with him for the weekend? Since she’s been dating both men, saying yes would mean ending it with Noah. Is she ready to do that?
Her BFF Poppy is acting weirder than usual. She’s a self-proclaimed bad girl who owns a bar and loves it. Her dad is the Police Chief, and he doesn’t like her lifestyle one bit. Boone, their lawyer friend, is involved in the Gabriella/Elliot case, too, although he can neither confirm nor deny that fact. It’s known that Gabriella consulted a lawyer about the trust money being used for the sanctuary. Given Boone’s silence, it’s a safe bet to say he was that lawyer.
The twists and turns of both the case and Dev’s love life will keep readers turning pages long after bedtime. The characters are rich and fully formed, each with quirks and ideas that not only make them interesting but distinct from each other. The potential for romance, whether Grandmother’s reignited love, Poppy’s mysterious man, or Dev’s quandary, keep readers invested in the outcome. The mystery comes to a satisfying conclusion as well.
This is book six in the Devereaux’s Dime Store series. For great summer reads start at the beginning. Although enough backstory is told that jumping in means you won’t be lost, why miss an escapade?
Swanson also writes the Scumble River mysteries which feature school psychologist Skye Denison. There are nineteen books in the series.
To enter to win a copy of Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “lions,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 26, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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