Drizzled with Death (A Sugar Grove Mystery)

by Jessie Crockett | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0425260003 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/12/2018
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, January 12, 2018
I got this maple-sugar-themed mystery from Barnes and Noble. There's a well-known sugar shack and restaurant not far from me, Parker's Maple Barn in Brookline NH, and this book made me think of it.

Turns out this is a somewhat-typical cozy-mystery with goofy protagonist, awkward relationships, and a surprising amount of mayhem for a small town. Dani Greene is from an extended family that seems to live in each other's pockets, yet also keeps (totally unnecessary) secrets, resulting in a series of hurt feelings and confrontations that made me want to send the characters to the "Captain Awkward" advice blog. (The Greene family has a long tradition of naming the kids after different shades of green, hence Dani has siblings named Loden and Celadon - rather nice names, though more suited for D&D characters. Where Dani's name came from is a puzzle that, it turns out, isn't resolved until the end of the third book; seems the family had run out of color-names and chose another "Greene" theme, which I found amusing.)

The romantic subplot here opens with Dani spotting a mountain lion (considered unlikely in Vermont, though occasional sightings of some large cat do surface; here, it's clear she really did see one, at least to the reader) and having the new Fish and Game guy show up after the cat had gone, only to thoroughly disrespect our heroine. Not only does he assume she wouldn't know the difference between a cougar and a bobcat but he suggests she's one of the many women who make fake calls just to get a ranger to stop by... Yeah. And *this* is the new love-interest? Sure, he apologizes later on, but for him to act like that at all put me off, and I never quite regained a fondness for him.

Then again, Dani's flawed herself, so perhaps they can improve each other!

The actual murder in this story took second place to the wacky subplot about escaped wildlife; an entire truck full of exotic creatures, from parrots and monkeys to cassowaries, was liberated by the annoyed driver and are now ranging through the Vermont woods. The annoying Fish and Game guy is trying to get people to help find them without harming them, but also to avoid being harmed - the cassowary in particular is a huge bird (think heavy-set, bad-tempered ostrich) with a short temper, and some of the snakes can be problematic. I was more worried about the critters coming to harm than I was about any other part of the story {wry grin}.

Not a bad food-themed cozy, but bits did irk me. I think the series improves in later volumes, though.

[For another series about a wacky extended family and lots of bizarre animal-themed plots, try Donna Andrews' "Meg Langslow" books.]

Released 2 yrs ago (2/20/2018 UTC) at Daniel Webster Hwy (see text for details) in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I left this book on a window ledge outside the IHOP pancake house on DW Highway on this surprisingly warm afternoon (64 in February!); hope the finder enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2018 Wine+Food Release Challenge. ***

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