Sunday, June 30, 2019

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert: Review and Giveaway!

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass

An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery

by Heather Day Gilbert

About the Book


Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 25, 2019)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108841
ISBN-13: 978-1516108848
Digital ASIN: B07HVYQ9XZ
When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .

Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.

The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

About the Author

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Like Belinda Blake, Heather plays video games, although so far she hasn't done any exotic pet-sitting or hunted any murderers. Find out more on
Find out How to Care for Ball Pythons as Pets

Author Links

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My Summary

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert is the first tale in An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery series.  Belinda Blake has moved to Greenwich, Connecticut to expand her exotic pet sitting service.  She was fortunate to rent the carriage house on the Carrington estate.  Belinda moves in along with Rasputin, the ball python that is currently in her care while his owner is away for Thanksgiving.  Belinda is puttering in the garden when she spies the red sole of a shoe.  She goes to pick it up and realizes there is a body attached to the shoe.  Margo Fenton is a friend of the Carrington family and was last seen Monday evening at Stone Carrington V weekly billiards game.  Stone enlists Belinda help in solving the twisty crime.  They question those close to Margo in the hopes of getting a bead on the killer.  There is no shortage of suspects including Stone Carrington V.  Belinda finds Stone charming and handsome, but, as the evidence mounts up, she worries that she is falling for a killer.   The deadly snake in Belinda’s care is the least of her worries after she receives a series of threatening notes.  When another body turns up in her garden, Belinda knows she needs to solve this case before she ends up as garden fertilizer. 
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My Thoughts

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is a lighthearted cozy mystery.  Belinda Blake earns her living minding exotic animals (no dog or cats for her) while their owners are out of town and writing video game review articles.  She wanted to expand her pet sitting business and thought Greenwich would be the perfect locale.  Belinda was looking forward to a quieter life and getting her hands dirty in the gardens surrounding her cottage.  While doing a little weeding, Belinda finds a body.  She is suddenly dashing around town with the charming Stone Carrington V.  Belinda is an introvert with a quirky wardrobe who likes to read Agatha Christie, play video games, and gardening.  I like that Belinda actively investigates Margo’s murder by questioning various suspects and searching for clues.  There are multiple suspects, pointed clues and a red herring or two.  Might even be a twist to shock you.  For those who have an aversion to slithery creatures, you might find the details regarding the Rasputin a little hard to read.  There are details on Rasputin’s food, his daily habits, giving the creature a bath, transporting him to Manhattan and back, and taking him for a walk (gives me the shivers).  There are a couple of romantic interests for Belinda including Stone V and a dairy farmer.  I felt that information on Belinda was lacking (needed more details).  It was nice to get to know her family while Belinda spent Thanksgiving at home.  The family farm is charming, and I found the mother humorous (makes me wish the book was set in Larches Corner).  I appreciated the wrap up at the end.  There is a preview of the Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (comes out October 1).  Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is an upbeat cozy mystery with Louboutin heels, chauffeured cars, a debonair gentleman, a massive mansion, a quirky amateur sleuth, and a slithering serpent named Rasputin. 
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Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleKobo, iBooks, and Google Play.  To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter form below or click here.  I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour (schedule below) for character interviews, guest posts, and reviews, author interviews.  Thank you for visiting today.  I will be sharing my review of Amish Covert Operation by Meghan Carver tomorrow.  I hope that you have a juliant day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

June 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

June 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 21 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

June 22 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

June 23 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 24 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 24 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 24 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST

June 25 – Books Direct – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 25 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 27 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

June 28 – eBook Addicts  - REVIEW

June 28 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 29 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 29 – Brooke Blogs – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 30 - The Avid Reader – REVIEW
Scott Gustafson (b. 1956), USA


  1. Sounds like a great new series. Looking forward to reading.

  2. I'm looking forward to getting to know Belinda & the rest of the characters.