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REVIEW: Pickled Petunia – Dahlia Donovan

Pickled Petunia - Dahlia Donovan

Genre: Cozy Mystery

LGBTQ+ Category: Ace (Autistic)

Reviewer: Xanthe, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

Mystery beckons when a young woman seeks out budding amateur detective Pineapple “Motts” Mottley to find her missing mother in the third novel of the Motts Cold Case Mystery series.

Murder comes to Motts’s doorstep when a stranger asks her to investigate a suspicious disappearance. Past experience tells her to say no yet her curiosity wins out. What’s the harm in asking a few questions?

The missing person case quickly evolves into murder when a body is found in the strangest circumstances. Motts sifts through various suspects and lies, only to come face to face with danger. Things become even more personal when a killer from her childhood makes an unwelcome appearance.

How many close calls can Motts escape?

Will she survive amidst a flood of beer and a catastrophic inferno?

The Review

Mott’s Cold Case Mystery series has been very entertaining to read, and Pickled Petunia continues that trend with a rather dramatic plot. This time, Motts is asked to look into by the daughter of a missing woman.

The mystery in this book will keep you guessing about both the suspects and the reasons behind the murder. Paisley is the daughter of Petunia, who has gone missing recently. She’s asked for Motts’s help finding her, but also seems a little off when talking about anything. But then, the same can be said about her own boyfriend and her mother’s. These interactions keep you guessing, as many people are there to confuse you.

Motts’ way of thinking brings you into the thought process of someone with autism. This is a cosy mystery read, but things are heating up for Motts as she comes closer to the conclusion of the case. But that’s isn’t the only danger that’s presenting itself. Something from her past rears its head, and Motts is definitely not ready to deal with that again.

One of my favourite things about this series, apart from Motts herself, is the friends and family that surround her. Vina, Nish, and River are her closest friends, but since moving to the small village in Cornwall, there’s no end of friendships and love from those who only want her to feel comfortable, secure and accepted for who she is. Folks are also concerned about the trouble she seems to continually find herself in. Amusingly, Motts seems to have three men who would love the pleasure of her company as more than friends. It’s fun to read her outlook on relationships as an asexual woman. But also how, because of her autism, she’s often not aware of the flirting or possible date that she’s on. Her friends come in to save the day by both informing her of what’s going on and gently teasing her at the same time.

They all seem really sweet and understanding of taking their time, so I’m very interested to see how things progress.

It’s great getting more from this community in a small village in Cornwall, England. It’s such a beautiful place that is lovingly described by the author, almost making it hard to think of such crimes occurring there. I even loved the mention of her Cosplay Podcast, another of her series.

This is another good read from Dahlia Donovan. With how things are left for Motts and the past catching up to her, it’s going to be a tantalising wait for the next instalment.

The Reviewer

Hello all, my name is Xanthe and I am excited to be a reviewer for the PRG.

I read a lot, every night for at least 4-5 hours and I love to get lost in the world that an author has created. The best ones leave you wanting more and at a loss for words to describe just how good it is but I’ll try my best.

I live in a small town in South West England, just me and my dog Bonnie. I work part time in administration and really enjoy my job and the people I work with which I am very aware is not always the case!

I’ll read pretty much any sub genre within the mm genre. Since discovering it a few years ago, I rarely read anything else. One thing I won’t touch is horror, a definite no no for me!

Never ask me what my favourite anything is as I’ll have to give you a list of about ten or twenty things. How am I able to pick one food, book or film out of so many that I love?!

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