Little Shop of Homicide by Denise Swanson is the first book in the new “Devereaux’s Dime Store” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian (Penguin), March 2012

Devereaux Sinclair was never happier than the day she quit her city job and bought the old-fashioned five-and-dime in her small Missouri hometown. But her happiness is short-lived when murder turns her charming store into a little shop of horrors.

After Jollie Ayers, the fiancé of Dev’s ex-boyfriend, is found handcuffed to a hotel bed, murdered with a champagne bottle and a stiletto-heeled shoe, a revenge-crazed cop is determined to put Dev behind bars. The cuffs and the champagne were part of a gift basket Dev put together for the victim, and they have her fingerprints all over them.

Desperate to clear her good name, Dev enlists her two longtime pals, Poppy and Boone, to help investigate. Luckily, the sexy new guy in town, Jake Del Vecchio, also feels compelled to assist, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a deputy U.S. marshal. But Dev had better fight her attraction to Jake and focus on discovering the killer—or this brand-new business owner may find herself trading her nostalgic five-and-dime store for a modern-day prison cell.

In order to clear her name when she becomes the prime suspect, Dev teams up with her two best friends and sexy newcomer Jake to find the person responsible as the detective working the case is determined to send Dev to where her father resides. What a ride! From the moment I picked up this book, I was thoroughly engrossed in this fast-moving story that had me quickly turning the pages to finish this character-driven tale. The mystery was good as it kept me guessing throughout most of the book. This well-written drama boasts an awesome cast with Dev leading the way to Gran who is a charm and friendly and engaging conversations. I love the idea of a dime store serving as the backdrop in the delightfully attractive series. This is a great debut and I hope to spend more time with Dev and company for years to come.

Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

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