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A Sprinkling of Murder

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Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she'll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . . Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she'll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . . Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she's starting a book club tea. But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she's about to get a little help from an unexpected source . . .


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Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she'll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . . Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she'll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . . Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she's starting a book club tea. But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she's about to get a little help from an unexpected source . . .

30 review for A Sprinkling of Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    A Sprinkling of Murder is the first book in a new series titled 'A Fairy Garden Mystery' written by Daryl Wood Gerber in 2020. I've ready a few of the author's other series (both cozy mysteries and more suspenseful ones), and she's already written the second book in this series due out in 2021. I really enjoy her writing style and character creation, so when she had a new series, I decided to give it a try. The story takes place in a small town where Courtney Kelly runs a magical fairy garden sho A Sprinkling of Murder is the first book in a new series titled 'A Fairy Garden Mystery' written by Daryl Wood Gerber in 2020. I've ready a few of the author's other series (both cozy mysteries and more suspenseful ones), and she's already written the second book in this series due out in 2021. I really enjoy her writing style and character creation, so when she had a new series, I decided to give it a try. The story takes place in a small town where Courtney Kelly runs a magical fairy garden shop. Most people cannot see the fairies, but Courtney can, and possibly a few others around her. While the books have a paranormal element to them, it is not entirely set in a magical world. Courtney had the gift as a child until something happened and it disappeared. Her ability to talk to fairies, in particular Fiona, a fairy who's been an unruly teenager of sorts and was kicked out of her world until she behaved better), recently returned. So... Courtney set up her garden in a larger complex of stores. Some people don't like her and think she's a fake. Others adore her. Her dad's a former cop but retired. Her bestie works at the shop. And one day, a fellow shopkeeper turns up dead. Whodunit? The mystery was my favorite aspect of this debut novel in the series. There are at least ten viable suspects, and it's a little more than normal because the author has to set the stage with the characters and background. It's handled well, and I kept jumping around in my decision on who was most guilty. Gerber does a great job presenting the possibilities, and when we finally settle on the top two or three, it looks mighty suspicious; there's something bigger than this individual death going on, but how does it tie into the property, the town, and the anger between tenants? Gerber presents Courtney as a smart amateur sleuth by accident. The guy died in her garden, so she looks the most guilty. We know she's innocent, and I enjoyed the tale as it unfolded. Although I enjoyed the story and the writing, I didn't click with the characters in this one. The book is written well, but perhaps because I'm not that interested or knowledgeable about fairies, I didn't feel a strong connection. Fiona is the main fairy we get to know, and she helps solve the case... but because she's a bit of a nuisance at times, I didn't take to her... it might get better for me in the next book. The stage is set well, and I see lots of promise. That said, Gerber excels as she always does in these types of books. I will definitely read the next one, and I ended up with a solid 4 that might get higher if I found my connection to the fairy garden world. That said... it's purely my personal taste for paranormal or magic... sometimes it's not quite right for me...but the author is great and the mystery is wonderful, so I'm a fan and I'll keep reading. You should give it a chance, especially if you like a little magical realism, and you might be the one to give it the full 5 stars it deserves!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Natalia R

    A Sprinkling of Murder is the first book in Daryl Wood Gerber's A Fairy Garden Mystery series. The protagonist, Courtney Kelly, has opened a fairy garden business and tea shop called Open Your Imagination. When she finds a fellow business owner dead in her shop, she immediately becomes one of the main suspects. With the help of her fairy friend, Fiona, she is determined to clear her name and find the real culprit. I thought this was an enchanting and well-written read. I enjoyed the rich descript A Sprinkling of Murder is the first book in Daryl Wood Gerber's A Fairy Garden Mystery series. The protagonist, Courtney Kelly, has opened a fairy garden business and tea shop called Open Your Imagination. When she finds a fellow business owner dead in her shop, she immediately becomes one of the main suspects. With the help of her fairy friend, Fiona, she is determined to clear her name and find the real culprit. I thought this was an enchanting and well-written read. I enjoyed the rich descriptions of the charming small town of Carmel, California, and the fairy gardens. Fiona was my favorite character. I loved the friendship between her and Courtney and thought they made a great sleuthing team. Courtney was a likable main character. She was friendly, determined, and smart in her sleuthing. I look forward to seeing what's in store for her business and how the relationships in her life develop. I would also like to learn more about Fiona's world. The mystery has plenty of twists and turns to keep readers on the edge of their seats. I was unable to figure out the culprit's identity until the reveal. Overall, I loved this book and thought it was a wonderful start to a new series. I look forward to the next book. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is the first book in the new cozy A Fairy Garden Mystery series. While this new series falls solidly into the cozy mystery genre it does have a bit of a paranormal twist with the main character interacting with faeries. Also, as with most cozies the book does have a fully solved mystery within so it can be read as a standalone without worry of a huge cliffhanger. As a child Courtney Kelly loved faeries and could see and interact with them until the age A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is the first book in the new cozy A Fairy Garden Mystery series. While this new series falls solidly into the cozy mystery genre it does have a bit of a paranormal twist with the main character interacting with faeries. Also, as with most cozies the book does have a fully solved mystery within so it can be read as a standalone without worry of a huge cliffhanger. As a child Courtney Kelly loved faeries and could see and interact with them until the age of ten when Courtney lost her mother. Now as an adult though Courtney has rediscovered the ability when she took over her father’s landscaping business in the small town of Carmel, California. Courtney has been making a success running the business as a fairy garden business and teashop. Courtney teaches garden design with all things faerie and has plans of a book club for the teashop. However, all the success is at risk when Courtney finds the body of a neighboring business owner right on her property. Having the touch of paranormal involved in this new series I couldn’t help but be curious if it would be another of those overly quirky reads I would love. Unfortunately as much as this one had a solid mystery which I enjoyed I also didn’t find myself really connecting with these new characters just yet as it seemed there was quite a bit going on to get to know for a first book. For me this one ended at three stars but it does have potential to grow on me in the future. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda 📚

    I loved this whimsical new cozy debut. Although I’ve yet to create my own fairy garden, I’ve imagined them and enjoy looking at pictures that others have designed. Protagonist, Courtney Kelly believes in fairies because she has real one—Fiona! Only those who ‘believe’ can see Fiona. Even Courtney’s precious kitten can see her. The Mystery begins when a death occurs on the patio of Open Your Imagination, Courtney’s fairy garden and tea shop. I was delighted to find a story written with the combina I loved this whimsical new cozy debut. Although I’ve yet to create my own fairy garden, I’ve imagined them and enjoy looking at pictures that others have designed. Protagonist, Courtney Kelly believes in fairies because she has real one—Fiona! Only those who ‘believe’ can see Fiona. Even Courtney’s precious kitten can see her. The Mystery begins when a death occurs on the patio of Open Your Imagination, Courtney’s fairy garden and tea shop. I was delighted to find a story written with the combination of the two! The plot zips along with Fiona helping Courtney find clues that pinpoint the killer. The author shares tasty recipes with readers, too. A SPRINKLING OF MURDER is an enchanting beginning to what I hope will be a long-running cozy series. I honestly reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington. Thank you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeri

    This was a very engaging read. It kept me interested and guessing as to who the culprit was. I also enjoyed reading about fairy gardens others had created even though I have yet to create my own. Hopefully someday. Courtney is the owner of Open Your Imagination, a shop for you to create fairy gardens and all things magical. She even has her own fairy, Fiona, that is working on getting her grown set of wings by behaving better and being more helpful. When Fiona wakes Courtney up in the middle of t This was a very engaging read. It kept me interested and guessing as to who the culprit was. I also enjoyed reading about fairy gardens others had created even though I have yet to create my own. Hopefully someday. Courtney is the owner of Open Your Imagination, a shop for you to create fairy gardens and all things magical. She even has her own fairy, Fiona, that is working on getting her grown set of wings by behaving better and being more helpful. When Fiona wakes Courtney up in the middle of the night saying she has to go to the shop quickly. She finds her neighboring shop owner dead by the fountain in her shop. I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Fairies. Magic. Mystery. As in so many cozies, everything runs swimmingly until a dead body turns up on the page. Fortunately, author Daryl Wood Gerber has found a winning detective in Courtney. Smart and determined, she’s the perfect sleuth to crack the case. She’s backed up by a quirky cast of secondary characters including a particularly rambunctious fairy, Fiona, and each of them add some spark to an already engaging world. A fairy garden/tea shop makes for a unique backdrop, and Gerber grabs Fairies. Magic. Mystery. As in so many cozies, everything runs swimmingly until a dead body turns up on the page. Fortunately, author Daryl Wood Gerber has found a winning detective in Courtney. Smart and determined, she’s the perfect sleuth to crack the case. She’s backed up by a quirky cast of secondary characters including a particularly rambunctious fairy, Fiona, and each of them add some spark to an already engaging world. A fairy garden/tea shop makes for a unique backdrop, and Gerber grabs every bit of whimsy from it that she can. Cute garden scenes crash against a broader murder investigation, though, and the result is a heightened sense of tension. Adorable fairies might be frolicking in a garden, but that doesn’t mean danger isn’t lurking around every corner. Add in numerous suspects, a few red herrings, and some enchanted investigating, and the result is a well-rounded, fun mystery. Ultimately, Gerber has conjured up an absolutely charming start to a new cozy series. Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Review also posted at https://pluckedfromthestacks.wordpres...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    This is the first book in a new series by author Daryl Wood Gerber. I am a fan of Ms. Gerber's other cozy mystery series so I was looking forward to seeing what she cooked up this time around. I found A Sprinkling of Murder to be an entertaining read. The protagonist, Courtney Kelly, has opened a shop that is dedicated to fairy gardens, complete with her own fairy. The inclusion of the fairy theme and the fact that Courtney, as well as some of the other cast of characters, can see them adds both This is the first book in a new series by author Daryl Wood Gerber. I am a fan of Ms. Gerber's other cozy mystery series so I was looking forward to seeing what she cooked up this time around. I found A Sprinkling of Murder to be an entertaining read. The protagonist, Courtney Kelly, has opened a shop that is dedicated to fairy gardens, complete with her own fairy. The inclusion of the fairy theme and the fact that Courtney, as well as some of the other cast of characters, can see them adds both whimsy and just a hint of paranormal to the story. Fiona, the fairy, is a bit of trouble maker and as such is on probation. She must help humans in order to earn her fairy wings. Fiona gets her first chance as Courtney becomes a prime suspect when the dead body of a fellow merchant is found in her story. I like this author's writing and find that she does a good job introducing the characters and providing a sufficient backstory to get the series started. The mystery was well done and kept me engaged. Ms. Gerber introduces a number of viable suspects for her readers to choose from. She sprinkles in plenty of clues that will keep a reader doubting his/her opinion about the identity of the killer. Courtney is what I like to call an accidental sleuth. She is inherently nosy and doesn't go looking to solve a crime. She becomes a sleuth by necessity - to clear her own name. Ms. Gerber has written Courtney as a smart amateur sleuth; she doesn't take unnecessary chances and is not out to "show-up" the local police department. In fact, she does what she can to keep them informed even though they think she is just trying to shift suspicion. This was an entertaining start to a new series, with the next book due out in 2021. If you are a fan of this author, I think you will enjoy the book and the bit of whimsy she has added with the introduction of fairies. I voluntarily read a digital advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    A magical first book! This book was thoroughly enjoyable. I really liked Courtney and her fairy garden shop. Even though I don’t want to make my own fairy garden it was fun reading about the ones she made and her bonsai class sounded like fun. The mystery kept me guessing and I really didn’t see some of those twists and turns coming at the end. I’m interested to see if Courtney has a relationship in future books with Brady, I’d love to see that happen. There are lots of recipes included at the e A magical first book! This book was thoroughly enjoyable. I really liked Courtney and her fairy garden shop. Even though I don’t want to make my own fairy garden it was fun reading about the ones she made and her bonsai class sounded like fun. The mystery kept me guessing and I really didn’t see some of those twists and turns coming at the end. I’m interested to see if Courtney has a relationship in future books with Brady, I’d love to see that happen. There are lots of recipes included at the end including a couple that I might need to try and a couple of them have a gluten free version as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christi

    This is the first book in Daryl Wood Gerber’s Fairy Garden series. I really enjoyed it. The book takes places in Carmel, California and, after reading the book, I would love to visit there. The main character, Courtney Kelly, owns a fairy garden shop and tea shop. I loved Courtney and her friends, especially Courtney’s fairy, Fiona. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, A Glimmer of a Clue, which is scheduled to be released in Summer, 2021. I honestly reviewed an electronic This is the first book in Daryl Wood Gerber’s Fairy Garden series. I really enjoyed it. The book takes places in Carmel, California and, after reading the book, I would love to visit there. The main character, Courtney Kelly, owns a fairy garden shop and tea shop. I loved Courtney and her friends, especially Courtney’s fairy, Fiona. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, A Glimmer of a Clue, which is scheduled to be released in Summer, 2021. I honestly reviewed an electronic ARC I won from Goodreads and Kensington Books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Courtney Kelly believes in bringing a little magic into your life in the form of a fairy garden. Courtney has a background in landscaping but decided to follow her dream of opening a fairy garden and tea shop. Courtney has believed in fairies most of her life, although she could not always see them. Everything seemed to be going great for the shop until the store’s fairy, Fiona, comes to inform her that there is a dead body in the shop. Courtney rushes to her shop and calls the police, only to b Courtney Kelly believes in bringing a little magic into your life in the form of a fairy garden. Courtney has a background in landscaping but decided to follow her dream of opening a fairy garden and tea shop. Courtney has believed in fairies most of her life, although she could not always see them. Everything seemed to be going great for the shop until the store’s fairy, Fiona, comes to inform her that there is a dead body in the shop. Courtney rushes to her shop and calls the police, only to become a prime suspect. Courtney, along with Fiona, set out to clear her name and save her business. I loved reading this book. This is a fun and unique cozy mystery. I fell in love with Courtney, her cat, Fiona, and Joss (the bookkeeper for the shop). The characters are well-developed and have great chemistry. The store, Open Your Imagination, is a charming and magically setting for the book. I loved reading about how to make fairy gardens. I have a small one of my own in my reading nook. While reading, I had to urge to rush out and get items to expand my fairy garden and try out the new ideas I had just read about. The mystery is well developed. It has many twists and turns and red herrings to keep the reader involved in solving the murder right along with Courtney and Fiona. I have read books from Author Daryl Wood Gerber other series. I have enjoyed the books of hers that I read, but I think this series is going to be my favorite one of her series. I am excited about reading the next one in the series! All thoughts and opinions are my own, and in no way, I have been influenced by anyone.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melina

    I am a fan of Daryl Woods Gerber's books and this series looked very intriguing. This is the first book that I have read that had fairies in it, and I found that very charming and entertaining. Courtney Kelly owns the shop Open Your Imagination that sells things to help people build fairy gardens. Courtney also has a resident fairy, Fiona, in her shop and a ragdoll kitten, Pixie, that can see Fiona. When neighboring shop owner Mick Watkins is found murdered in Courtney's shop, Courtney has to in I am a fan of Daryl Woods Gerber's books and this series looked very intriguing. This is the first book that I have read that had fairies in it, and I found that very charming and entertaining. Courtney Kelly owns the shop Open Your Imagination that sells things to help people build fairy gardens. Courtney also has a resident fairy, Fiona, in her shop and a ragdoll kitten, Pixie, that can see Fiona. When neighboring shop owner Mick Watkins is found murdered in Courtney's shop, Courtney has to investigate to prove she did not kill him. I really enjoyed this story and the magical element to it as well. It has a very well thought out plot and as always with Daryl, the writing was superb and the story flowed really well. I enjoyed the setting of the story and all the characters were well developed. The mystery was a completer surprise as was the reveal of the killer and the reason the murder took place. I love a cozy that grabs my attention from the beginning, keeps me turning pages, and keeps me guessing till the very end. This story did all of that. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is the first in a new magical cozy series that was an absolute delight to read. Ms. Gerber has set this mystery in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA in a courtyard of small businesses. Courtney Kelly has opened her own business, Open Your Imagination, a fairy garden and teashop. Courtney believes in fairies and has one in her own garden, Fiona. This well crafted mystery has well developed characters, a little humor, provided by Fiona, several suspects, red herrings A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is the first in a new magical cozy series that was an absolute delight to read. Ms. Gerber has set this mystery in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA in a courtyard of small businesses. Courtney Kelly has opened her own business, Open Your Imagination, a fairy garden and teashop. Courtney believes in fairies and has one in her own garden, Fiona. This well crafted mystery has well developed characters, a little humor, provided by Fiona, several suspects, red herrings and twists which kept me reading until the end. I had only a small inkling who was behind the murder but wasn't ever sure if I had guessed right. I am already looking forward to the next one in this series which will be out in the summer of 2021. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is the debut of A Fairy Garden Mystery series. Courtney Kelly owns Open Your Imagination, a fairy garden and tea shop, in Carmel-by-the-Sea. She has a sweet cat named Pixie who comes to work with her. Open Your Imagination has its own resident fairy named Fiona. Only those who truly believe can see her. Courtney is awakened during the night by Fiona about danger at the shop. She arrives to find Mick Watkins, owner of Wizard of Paws, dead by the fountai A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is the debut of A Fairy Garden Mystery series. Courtney Kelly owns Open Your Imagination, a fairy garden and tea shop, in Carmel-by-the-Sea. She has a sweet cat named Pixie who comes to work with her. Open Your Imagination has its own resident fairy named Fiona. Only those who truly believe can see her. Courtney is awakened during the night by Fiona about danger at the shop. She arrives to find Mick Watkins, owner of Wizard of Paws, dead by the fountain on her patio. Detective Dylan Summers considers Courtney a person of interest since her alibi of being online in the Fairy Garden Girls Dig It chat room cannot be confirmed. Courtney, with help from Fiona and a few friends, digs into the case to prove her innocence and find the guilty party. A Sprinkling of Murder is an enchanting cozy mystery. I thought the story was well-written with delightful characters. I enjoyed the descriptions of Carmel-by-the-Sea with the cute cottages and variety of shops. It really is a fairy tale town and perfect for a shop featuring fairy gardens. I liked that this series has the unique concept of fairy gardens. I just loved the vivid descriptions of these diminutive, creative creations and cannot wait to create one in my front yard. Courtney Kelly is a friendly character with a rich imagination and a green thumb. She is also smart and determined. Courtney is a good sleuth because she pays attention to details and is good at deduction. She comes up with some good theories regarding the crime. Her cat, Pixie is a adorable, but my favorite character is Fiona, a righteous fairy. Fiona is one spunky fairy who adds humor and whimsy to the story with her antics. I hope we learn more about fairies and their world in future books. The mystery was well thought out with a variety of suspects. Courtney asked good questions and kept Detective Summers in the loop (though he did not appreciate her theorizing). I enjoyed reading A sprinkling of Murder and I am looking forward to devouring future books in A Fairy Garden Mystery series. There are recipes at the end including one for the caramel blondies featured in the story (there is a gluten free recipe too). A Sprinkling of Murder is a whimsical cozy mystery with a fierce fairy, a cute cat, fun fairy gardens, a murdered Mick, a defensive dad, and a prying planter.

  14. 5 out of 5

    M.

    Daryl Wood Gerber’s enchanting new series, takes a refreshing turn in the cozy mystery genre. I was immensely pleased as I read, A Sprinkling of Murder, with its main character, Courtney Kelly, the owner of At Open Your Imagination, a unique shop that combines her love of all things fairy, gardening, and the Sweet Treats, tea shop. From the very beginning we are swept into the fairy world as we meet Courtney’s own fairy, Fiona, a “Righteous” fairy, as well as her adorable ragdoll cat, Pixie. Wit Daryl Wood Gerber’s enchanting new series, takes a refreshing turn in the cozy mystery genre. I was immensely pleased as I read, A Sprinkling of Murder, with its main character, Courtney Kelly, the owner of At Open Your Imagination, a unique shop that combines her love of all things fairy, gardening, and the Sweet Treats, tea shop. From the very beginning we are swept into the fairy world as we meet Courtney’s own fairy, Fiona, a “Righteous” fairy, as well as her adorable ragdoll cat, Pixie. With a loveable cast of characters, and some not so loveable, we become immersed in the story as we enjoy the quaint backdrop of Carmel By the Sea. With Ms. Gerber’s wonderful descriptions, I could picture myself as a part of the story. Clues are sprinkled throughout the book leaving the quest to find the killer challenging for the arm chair sleuth. This delightful first in series, with its magical draw, has me anxiously awaiting the next. I received an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Kensington Books, Netgalley, and the author for giving me the opportunity to review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    A SPRINKLING OF MURDER, the first book in the brand new Fairy Garden Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber, is an enchanting tale that captured my fancy! With a charming setting in Carmel-by-the-Sea situated on California’s Monterey Peninsula, the reader can’t help but feel like they’re on vacation. I adored the fairy garden and tea shop, Open Your Imagination, owned by protagonist Courtney Kelly. It was a treat to learn some of the ins and outs of creating fairy gardens for personal home gardens A SPRINKLING OF MURDER, the first book in the brand new Fairy Garden Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber, is an enchanting tale that captured my fancy! With a charming setting in Carmel-by-the-Sea situated on California’s Monterey Peninsula, the reader can’t help but feel like they’re on vacation. I adored the fairy garden and tea shop, Open Your Imagination, owned by protagonist Courtney Kelly. It was a treat to learn some of the ins and outs of creating fairy gardens for personal home gardens as the story unfolded. This is one of the times I wish it were possible for pictures to be included within the text as I read along. (However, if you visit the author’s website, she has photos and YouTube videos posts on her “just for fans” page.) Sometimes first books in a series introduce a large cast to set the stage for future books and that happens here. However, the author provides a helpful list of characters at the front of the book for easy reference. I liked the protagonist Courtney. She is smart and curious but doesn’t come across as overly nosy or in-your-face. When she discovers the murdered body of her shop’s neighbor on her patio late one night and then becomes a suspect, Courtney knows she needs to get to the bottom of the crime and clear her name. Assisting her in sleuthing is the adorable fairy, Fiona, who is on probation after being expelled from fairy school for too many pranks. Fiona is a fun sidekick to Courtney with her penchant for shenanigans! The introduction of this surprising fantasy element brought a lightheartedness to the story which I greatly enjoyed. To tie in the magical fairy theme, the author also includes lovely “fairy” quotes from literature at the beginning of each chapter. I was tempted to page ahead to read them all before starting the story. Ms. Gerber is well-known for her other cozy mystery books and her expertise in crafting a well-plotted mystery is on full display here. The pace was even and kept me turning pages wanting to see what happens next. The number of suspects and the way Courtney presented them as she asks questions made it difficult to guess who the culprit was. They all seemed entirely viable. With a surprising twist at the Agatha Christie-style reveal, I was left feeling highly satisfied and entertained! While this may be a cozy mystery set in a fairy garden shop, they do serve tea and treats there. Courtney also frequents the Hideaway Café which is owned by her potential love interest, Brady, so there’s plenty of yummy food mentioned. True to Ms. Gerber’s love for creating delectable recipes, she’s included several at the back of the book. I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelcy

    ** Keep in mind this rating is on the ' Cozy Mystery Scale'** What a great start to a new cozy series! I thought this one was very unique as our MC not only has a cozy cat companion (Pixie), but she also has a fairy companion (Fiona) which made it that much more fun! There were a lot of fun side characters .... I am actually interested to see how all of them develop as the series goes on. Typically with cozies, the focus is on a love interest and maybe a couple best friends, but rarely does each ** Keep in mind this rating is on the ' Cozy Mystery Scale'** What a great start to a new cozy series! I thought this one was very unique as our MC not only has a cozy cat companion (Pixie), but she also has a fairy companion (Fiona) which made it that much more fun! There were a lot of fun side characters .... I am actually interested to see how all of them develop as the series goes on. Typically with cozies, the focus is on a love interest and maybe a couple best friends, but rarely does each character mentioned have a distinguishable personality. I also liked that even though the MC was a main suspect -which again, is also common in cozies - law enforcement didn't let that deter them from actually conducting a proper investigation and look into other POIs. Thank you to Kensington Publishing for the eArc provided via Netgalley in exchange for review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    An intriguing new cozy mystery series delights with fairy gardens including real fairies, an interesting and intelligent main character and of course a murder with a side of mayhem! I love the main character! An intelligent woman who owns her own shop and uses excellent deductive reasoning sprinkled with a dose of fairy dust for luck! The author has woven an interesting town that would be on my vacation list in a heartbeat if it really existed and wrapped it into a plot that both entertains and An intriguing new cozy mystery series delights with fairy gardens including real fairies, an interesting and intelligent main character and of course a murder with a side of mayhem! I love the main character! An intelligent woman who owns her own shop and uses excellent deductive reasoning sprinkled with a dose of fairy dust for luck! The author has woven an interesting town that would be on my vacation list in a heartbeat if it really existed and wrapped it into a plot that both entertains and intrigues! I am quite excited to see where the author takes the characters she has created in the next book!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Hollins-Stallman

    “Sprinkling of Murder” by Daryl Wood Gerber the first instalment in “A Fairy Garden Mystery" series. What a great start to a new cozy series, I love all the whimsical characters and learning about fairy gardens. I found the story to be charming, whimsical and especially liked that Courtney had a Ragdoll cat named Pixie and a Fairy named Fiona. I always enjoy cozies with a hint of magic and this was no exception. The side characters were also intriguing and I can see them developing more over the “Sprinkling of Murder” by Daryl Wood Gerber the first instalment in “A Fairy Garden Mystery" series. What a great start to a new cozy series, I love all the whimsical characters and learning about fairy gardens. I found the story to be charming, whimsical and especially liked that Courtney had a Ragdoll cat named Pixie and a Fairy named Fiona. I always enjoy cozies with a hint of magic and this was no exception. The side characters were also intriguing and I can see them developing more over the next few books. It was entertaining, full of twists and turns as well as a few surprises. I didn’t guess the ending either so that was nice. I highly recommend this series to all my cozy loving friends. I requested and received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington Books and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Abby Fabian

    This is an enchanting new series that blends cozy mystery and magical realism. First off, this book contains fairies. As in, there is a talking, breathing fairy. She's not alluded to, but rather she is a full blown character. While this could have been done incorrectly or made this book seem childish, it didn't. I found the fairy aspect to be fun and done very well. It was certainly believable as well as well explained. Fiona, the fairy, is fun and spunky and loves practical jokes. Courtney and This is an enchanting new series that blends cozy mystery and magical realism. First off, this book contains fairies. As in, there is a talking, breathing fairy. She's not alluded to, but rather she is a full blown character. While this could have been done incorrectly or made this book seem childish, it didn't. I found the fairy aspect to be fun and done very well. It was certainly believable as well as well explained. Fiona, the fairy, is fun and spunky and loves practical jokes. Courtney and Fiona make a quirky and unexpected crime-solving pair. Since only believers can see fairies, Courtney has to sometimes hide her interactions with Fiona which leads to some very funny moments. Joss, Courtney's assistant at her fairy garden store, is also a believer and can see Fiona. I really enjoyed the scenes featuring the three of them together. Joss has a good sense of humor and defends Courtney left and right. The interactions between Courtney and her slightly overprotective father were also endearing. When Courtney needs to slow down and mull things over, she creates fairy gardens. Once her creative juices start flowing, she can analyze things more clearly. I appreciated the fact that we got to see her love for what she does in these moments. The mystery was certainly a puzzle. Poor Courtney gets dragged into the murder investigation not only because it took place in her store, but also because she is considered a suspect. Yikes! Luckily she has an ex-cop father, a kind landlord, and a little bit of magic on her side. I received a copy of this book. I am voluntarily leaving a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Jones Hullinger

    I am very particular when it comes to cozy mysteries. The focus on fairies and creating fairy gardens was what drew me to this one. I have not read this author before but I will definitely keep their backlog in mind for future cozy mystery fixes. Cozies are formulaic by nature but this particular story held my interest. I enjoyed Courtney, Fiona and Carmel town as characters and the descriptions of fairy garden creation. If Open Your Imagination were in my town I would be their all the time drin I am very particular when it comes to cozy mysteries. The focus on fairies and creating fairy gardens was what drew me to this one. I have not read this author before but I will definitely keep their backlog in mind for future cozy mystery fixes. Cozies are formulaic by nature but this particular story held my interest. I enjoyed Courtney, Fiona and Carmel town as characters and the descriptions of fairy garden creation. If Open Your Imagination were in my town I would be their all the time drinking in the whimsy and charm. I may have seen the reveal of the murderer from a mile away but there was an unexpected addition in the end that i appreciated. I look forward to the next in the series!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary K

    Courtney Kelly is finally doing what she loves. She's the owner of her dream shop, Open Your Imagination. Here she has all things Fairy. I love how she tries to get people to believe in magic. She knows that it's real. After all she has her own personal Fairy. Fiona. She's a righteous fairy who too often finds trouble. Courtney loves living in Carmel-by-the Sea. It's a special place. She has great friends here, but she has her fair share of detractors. Not everyone believes in what they can't se Courtney Kelly is finally doing what she loves. She's the owner of her dream shop, Open Your Imagination. Here she has all things Fairy. I love how she tries to get people to believe in magic. She knows that it's real. After all she has her own personal Fairy. Fiona. She's a righteous fairy who too often finds trouble. Courtney loves living in Carmel-by-the Sea. It's a special place. She has great friends here, but she has her fair share of detractors. Not everyone believes in what they can't see. When Mick Watkins who owns a nearby pet grooming salon is murdered in her shop, Courtney becomes the prime suspect. I liked how she along with Fiona decide to assist the Police. Detective Dylan Summers isn't pleased with her help. Courtney has spunk. She won't let herself be a victim. I liked that. However, there are plenty of suspects and unexpected surprises. She needs all her fairy's help to find the truth. I enjoyed A Sprinkling of Murder. The fairies gave this cozy a magical twist that pulled me into a special world. Now I'm interested in Fairies. I can't wait for more of Fiona's magic. Plus I want my own Fairy Garden so that I can experience the peace and beauty. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    This author is new to me, and I am always excited to find a new author. I’ve been into paranormal cozy mysteries lately, and this one intrigued me. I dived in, and the first thing I saw was a big list of characters. Hmm, that didn’t excite me as I don’t like a lot of characters to keep track of like in high fantasy. However, I didn’t let that deter me. It didn’t take long for me to be engaged in the book, and I enjoyed the ride. The author does tend to go into great detail with some things which This author is new to me, and I am always excited to find a new author. I’ve been into paranormal cozy mysteries lately, and this one intrigued me. I dived in, and the first thing I saw was a big list of characters. Hmm, that didn’t excite me as I don’t like a lot of characters to keep track of like in high fantasy. However, I didn’t let that deter me. It didn’t take long for me to be engaged in the book, and I enjoyed the ride. The author does tend to go into great detail with some things which I don’t like, but that is a personal preference. The mystery was interesting, and I liked the way it ended. Oh, and it really wasn’t that hard to keep track of all the characters, so I didn’t need to be alarmed at the beginning. This was a well-written, if very detailed, cozy. I’ll definitely be reading more. Recommend. I was provided a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    A Sprinkling of Murders is a fabulous start to A Fairy Garden Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber! I had just finished a different cozy mystery that was just okay and what makes the difference between that one and a great cozy is showing not telling when it comes to the story, characters I could see myself being friends with in real life and wanting to come back book after book to read what is going on in their lives, and a hobby or town that is talked about in detail. Gerber does all three of t A Sprinkling of Murders is a fabulous start to A Fairy Garden Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber! I had just finished a different cozy mystery that was just okay and what makes the difference between that one and a great cozy is showing not telling when it comes to the story, characters I could see myself being friends with in real life and wanting to come back book after book to read what is going on in their lives, and a hobby or town that is talked about in detail. Gerber does all three of those things perfectly in A Sprinkling of Murder. Getting to know Courtney, her friends, the fairies, and the pets (there were as many pets as people… if not more!) was very enjoyable. Courtney has a great community in her little village and the fairies and fur babies added another level to it all. There was no jumping right into the story with a love interest which is a nice change of pace. And even better, for a moment I thought there might be a love triangle, but I was happy to see that potential mate was already with someone else by the end of the book. Courtney isn’t hooking up with a police officer or someone on the newspaper staff so I’m looking forward to seeing how Gerber deals with that in future books, since so many authors have their amateaur sleuth getting help from people in those professions in their book series. One of the things that draws people to cozies is the hobby or cooking that the series centers around, and learning how to make fairy gardens is such a fun concept. I am super excited to take the knowledge I gather from A Sprinkling of Murder and make one (or many!) for my backyard.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rima Aiello

    A truly magical first in a new series! Such a unique setting, a store for fairy gardens. The author does a great job of setting the stage for the characters and mystery without overloading the reader with too much information at once. The mystery keeps you guessing until the very end. Definitely a story you can read again and again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Smith

    A Sprinkling of Murder, set in Carmel, California, is the first in a new series by Daryl Wood Gerber. The protagonist Courtney owns a fairy garden shop, Open Your Imagination, with its own resident fairy Fiona. When the shop owner across the courtyard is murdered in her shop, Courtney needs to clear her name and mounts her own investigation. With a secret door into the shop and no end of red herrings, this mystery stays engaging until the end. While the concept of the fairy is fanciful the charac A Sprinkling of Murder, set in Carmel, California, is the first in a new series by Daryl Wood Gerber. The protagonist Courtney owns a fairy garden shop, Open Your Imagination, with its own resident fairy Fiona. When the shop owner across the courtyard is murdered in her shop, Courtney needs to clear her name and mounts her own investigation. With a secret door into the shop and no end of red herrings, this mystery stays engaging until the end. While the concept of the fairy is fanciful the characters are realistic - some likable and others not so much. The descriptions of the fairy gardens and the charming small town lend a sense of place that is whimsical and enchanting. I can’t wait for my next visit with Courtney and her friends.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This was a very entertaining read. The first book in the Fairy Garden Mystery series, Courtney Kelly runs and owns a fairy garden shop. The premise of the book hooked me right away. I love the idea of fairy gardens so this was just what I needed. A murder occurs in her store and she becomes the prime suspect. Courtney with the help of her friends and her fairy, Fiona, sets out to investigate. This was a light fun read. The characters were engaging and likable. The mystery had enough twists and t This was a very entertaining read. The first book in the Fairy Garden Mystery series, Courtney Kelly runs and owns a fairy garden shop. The premise of the book hooked me right away. I love the idea of fairy gardens so this was just what I needed. A murder occurs in her store and she becomes the prime suspect. Courtney with the help of her friends and her fairy, Fiona, sets out to investigate. This was a light fun read. The characters were engaging and likable. The mystery had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing right up until the end. Four stars. I received this book from net galley in exchange for review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz Caldwell

    Courtney Kelly left her father’s landscaping business and opened a fairy garden store. She has recaptured some of the magic she felt during her childhood, when she could see fairies - magic she lost when her mother died. But when she finds a neighboring business owner dead in her shop, she finds herself suspected of his murder. The police detective and his partner make it clear they don’t want her help, but she finds a multitude of suspects, along with a few secrets hiding beneath Carmel’s lovel Courtney Kelly left her father’s landscaping business and opened a fairy garden store. She has recaptured some of the magic she felt during her childhood, when she could see fairies - magic she lost when her mother died. But when she finds a neighboring business owner dead in her shop, she finds herself suspected of his murder. The police detective and his partner make it clear they don’t want her help, but she finds a multitude of suspects, along with a few secrets hiding beneath Carmel’s lovely surface. It doesn’t hurt that she has a companion fairy who is trying to “earn her wings.” Gerber has written a very likable protagonist, with a quirky and loyal assistant, an irritating business landlord, a lovely residential landlord who has two great sisters, a strong best friend and a father who tries (not always successfully) not to be overprotective. The characters are effectively drawn, and the setting is marvelous. Fairy Fiona is entertaining! I was afraid she might get in the way, or be a shortcut to evidence, but for the most part she only slightly speeds up the discoveries that Courtney would have made anyway. And in the process, she provides a bit of whimsy and joy that we all could use these days. I found myself smiling through the majority of this book. (Okay, so finding the body and a couple other scenes weren’t smile worthy.) This voluntary review is based on an ARC received from the author.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it. I really liked the concept for this cozy mystery. The main character builds fairy gardens and also sees fairies. The unique concept is what convinced me to give this one a try. This was such a fun read and I really liked the whole fairy concept, the fairies had a fun role in the story without overtaking the plot and the fairy garden store was great to read about. The mystery is the one thing that I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it. I really liked the concept for this cozy mystery. The main character builds fairy gardens and also sees fairies. The unique concept is what convinced me to give this one a try. This was such a fun read and I really liked the whole fairy concept, the fairies had a fun role in the story without overtaking the plot and the fairy garden store was great to read about. The mystery is the one thing that didn't fully work for me actually. When the owner of the dog grooming business is found dead in Courtney's store she gets involved in the mystery. For some reason that I still don't understand she becomes a suspect. And she is determined to clear her name. I liked the fact that not only did she try to find the real murderer, but she also tried to prove her innocence, although it did bother me that the police didn't look into that as it was an easy way for them to cross off a suspect, but instead with the help of her friends she had to try and find the proof that she was at home during the murder. The mystery seemed to go in multiple directions. There were plenty of suspects, but no motive or suspect seemed quite right somehow. The dead guy wasn't always liked, but none of the suspects really seemed to have enough of a motive for murder. It continued that way for most of the book and I thought the reveal was a bit anti climactic. It was a bit sad and not as intriguing. It does explain the course of the mystery when you know what actually happened. I do like that there were plenty of red herrings and that Courtney actually manages to cross some suspects off her list. I also liked how her investigating was pretty subtle for the most part and it made sense how she handled things. I liked main character Courtney, with how she believes in fairies and has her own store. She is curious, but not too nosy. She seemed like a kind person who cared about others and I liked how she gave some people the benefit of the doubt. I liked reading about her and learning more about fairy gardens and her her store. The book has quite a lot of side characters, it could be a tad difficult to keep them all straight at times. But it got easier once the book progressed, even so I think it could've benefited from a few less characters as now the ones with a small role could be hard to remember as there are already plenty of side characters with bigger roles, like Courtney's friends, customers and suspects. I liked Courtney's fairy and her friends Joss and Megan. Although the focus is mostly on Courtney and the mystery and I hope we get to know the side characters more in future books. There is a little hint of possible future romance, but it really is nothing more than a hint at this point. The love interest seemed nice enough and I liked how they had a bit of history and already knew each other from school. I was happy that the police officer wasn't the love interest in this case as that's so common in cozies. The police officer could be a bit gruff and they did seem a bit incompetent at times, but mostly they seemed to want to do their job well, so I was happy with that as far as police characters go in cozies. To summarize: This was a fun cozy mystery with a sprinkle of magic. I liked the fairy and fairy garden theme of this book. I liked how the fairy theme was sprinkled throughout the book and was a solid part of it, but didn't overtake the plot. It was fun and interesting to read about Courtney's store and how she made fairy gardens. The mystery didn't fully work for me, I didn't really like the reveal of who was the murderer and the mystery seemed a bit directionless at times with how no suspect or motive seemed quite right or believable. I do like how some suspects were crossed of the suspect list throughout the book and the way Courtney got involved was well done and I liked how most of her investigating was done. I thought Courtney was a likable character and there were some fun side characters as well. I did think the amount of side characters was a bit much as I had trouble keeping them all straight at times. All in all I enjoyed this book and look forward to more books in this series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen (BaronessBookTrove)

    I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is about believing in something that may or may not exist while keeping up with good faith about your neighbors. Will Courtney not only help out Fiona but figure out this mystery? Courtney Courtney is our primary and point of view character. I loved seeing things through Courtney's eyes. One of the many things that I liked a I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is about believing in something that may or may not exist while keeping up with good faith about your neighbors. Will Courtney not only help out Fiona but figure out this mystery? Courtney Courtney is our primary and point of view character. I loved seeing things through Courtney's eyes. One of the many things that I liked about this book is how Courtney tries to teach the people coming into her shop, and us the readers, about how to make our fairy gardens. The way she lost the touch of seeing fairies to getting the site back to have her thriving business is excellent. Courtney is an only child that has been raised by a retired cop. So, she won't be much trouble for our town cop in this story. The main thing that I like about her is that she doesn't hide her secret about being able to see fairies and doesn't care if that makes her seem weird. Fiona Fiona is the resident fairy of Courtney's shop. She is all sorts of trouble for Courtney in all manners of speaking. Not only is she a prankster, but she is on probation, and the fairy queen sent her there to try to make things right. Fiona is a big ball of sunshine and funny qualities to her. She is also very into helping and protecting Courtney along the way as she feels it is her duty. What I like about Fiona is that, not only is she a good fairy, but she likes to help out the kids picking out their things for their fairy gardens. The Mystery The mystery is a big wow. One of Courtney's shop neighbors named Mick Watkins was found dead in her shop's patio area in the back. That is where she does all of her classes on how to do certain things and have tea. Detective Summers thinks that she is a suspect, which starts her off with wanting to clear her name. I might have fallen for some of the red herrings, but in my mind, I kind of had an inkling of who did it. That inkling was right. I just didn't think of why it was until the motive came out. Five Stars A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber is an excellent start to Ms. Gerber's new series called A Fairy Garden Mystery. I am so intrigued about this whole thing. I love how she did everything from the town set up, to the people living in the village, and of course the existence of fairies. Ms. Gerber has done a fantastic job, and I can't wait to read the next one. I am giving this book five stars and recommending it to anyone that likes to read paranormal cozy mysteries.  Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber. Until the next time, Happy Reading! This review was originally posted on Baroness' Book Trove

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kimmie

    "A Sprinkling of Murder" is the first book in a new cozy series, and author Daryl Wood Gerber does not disappoint! I am a huge fan of the author, and was eager to give this new series a try. I'm very glad that I did. First, this is a magical realism cozy, meaning that it's mostly a regular-world story, but with a bit of magic added in. In this case, that magical element comes in the form of fairies being real. Main character Courtney saw fairies as a child, and has recently opened her own fairy g "A Sprinkling of Murder" is the first book in a new cozy series, and author Daryl Wood Gerber does not disappoint! I am a huge fan of the author, and was eager to give this new series a try. I'm very glad that I did. First, this is a magical realism cozy, meaning that it's mostly a regular-world story, but with a bit of magic added in. In this case, that magical element comes in the form of fairies being real. Main character Courtney saw fairies as a child, and has recently opened her own fairy garden shop. She has a resident fairy names Fiona, who is very much an active character in the story. I especially enjoyed that certain adults (who truly believe) can see and interact with the fairies. Animals and some children can see them as well. It is important to note that, while Fiona and other fairies have special gifts and powers, they do NOT sweep in and magically solve the entire mystery. Instead, they help by observing and providing useful information. Courtney is left to her own devices to utilize this information as she tries to unravel what really happened to the victim. There are plenty of characters and suspects, but a handy "who's who" guide is provided at the start of the book. My advice is to NOT read over it upfront....instead, refer back to it if you come across a character you don't remember. The list looks overwhelming if you tackle it first....I found that by meeting the characters as they appeared in the story, I had no trouble keeping everyone straight. On the subject of characters, Courtney is a great one! She is realistic, with real-life strengths, relationships, and problems. Her open heart and faith (which allows her to see fairies) make her even more likeable. I also enjoyed meeting her father, friends, and frenemies, and look forward to seeing these relationship evolve over the course of the series. (I'd especially love to see Courtney's dad have a bigger role next time around.) The mystery itself was ideal, with plenty of possible suspects and motives to keep things interesting, but never so many that things became confusing. In the end, I was satisfied with who the guilty party was, and with the motive. Everything made sense, and the savvy reader could have figured it out with the clues provided, but not too early in the story. I'll conclude that I loved the addition of the fairy aspect, and am eager to learn more about the fairy world and fairy gardens in Courtney's next adventure! Five out of five perfect slices of provolone!

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