Welcome! The Codebook Murders by Leslie Nagel releases on May 21. The Amish Cookie Club by Sarah Price will be available on May 28 along with Crepe Expectations by Sarah Fox and Murder, She Uncovered by Peg Cochran. There are so many new books coming out in the next few months.
Diggin’ Up The Dirt by Tonya Kappes has readers returning to Cottonwood, Kentucky. Kenni Lowry is nervous about meeting Finn Vincent’s parents for the first time. They will be arriving in town in their RV that afternoon. In the meantime, Kenni is attending the funeral of Woody Moss who passed away at Cottonwood Acres Rehabilitation Center. His grandson, Rich Moss was released from prison early on good behavior to attend the event, but Kenni catches him threatening a woman. Kenni gets a call from her mama who is at the home of Lenora Moss for the visitation. While at the funeral home, someone burgled the Moss home and stole Woody’s cufflinks. That evening at the Lowry residence, the two families meet, and things are going well until Preacher Bing arrives to say a blessing. Vivian Lowry is a Southern Baptist while the Vincent’s are Catholics. Heated words are exchanged, and doors are slammed (oh dear). The next morning, Kenni is awakened early when Vivian is out walking and comes across the body of Avon Myers. When Poppa shows up in her vehicle on the way to the crime scene, Kenni knows she has a new murder case to solve. As if Kenni does not have enough on her plate, she talks to Finn and learns that he has career goals that could take him away from Cottonwood. Kenni is in for a busy week with her mother on the warpath, a string of burglaries, a murder, a missing ex-convict, Finn’s visiting parents, relationship trouble plus dealing with the city council on hiring a new deputy. Thank goodness Kenni has her Poppa and her hound dog, Duke for comfort.
Diggin’ Up The Dirt is the seventh A Kenni Lowry Mystery and it can be read as a standalone. I would recommend reading the series in order. It will help you understand Kenni, her relationship with her mother, and why Poppa appears when a murder takes place. Tonya Kappes has a light, breezy writing style that quickly draws readers into her stories. Cottonwood is a small Southern town with quirky characters. There are no secrets in this town where gossip runs faster than maple syrup on hot pancakes. I was happy to see Poppa return because I enjoy his commentary and the humor he adds to the tale. He also helps Kenni in solving the case and provides her insight into her relationship with Finn (plus how to deal with her interfering mother). Duke is a lively addition. Duke reminds me of my Doozy with his love of food. Duke can see Poppa and the two of them pull some shenanigans that puzzle people (since they only see Duke). I wonder if Kenni will ever tell Finn about seeing Poppa (should be an interesting conversation). We get to see Finn and Kenni deal with deeper issues in Diggin’ Up Dirt. They have a nice relationship, but they have yet to discuss serious matters. The mystery was intriguing since it was more complex than previous whodunits. There are good clues to aid readers in solving the crimes. Avid mystery readers will find it a piece of cake to solve. There is mild foul language in the book. I am giving Diggin’ Up The Dirt 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).
Diggin' Up Dirt will be out tomorrow. I will be back tomorrow with my review of A Welcome at Our Door by Amy Clipston. I am off to work in my front yard. We have decided to put flower beds in the front yard and eliminate the pesky grass (which I have to pay to get mowed). It is a long term project since I can only work out there for short amounts of time (I really should have thought of this idea when it was cooler). Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader