If you haven’t read the first book in this series, Digging Up Dirt, reviewed here, it probably won’t matter too much, though you will probably go back and read the first one after reading this.
Poppy McGowan works for the ABC doing a children’s TV program on various different themes which she then has to research before writing them. As a result, she knows quite a bit about a lot of subjects, such as “People Who Help Us: Police.”.
She also seems to have a knack for finding dead bodies and solving the crime. In the first book, the body was an unpleasant archaeologist found in Poppy’s own home that was being renovated. In this one, the body is found in the corridor of a retirement village.
That, however, happens about halfway through the book, after Poppy’s aunt Mary’s best friend Daisy is found bleeding to death in her bathroom. Fortunately she is taken to hospital in time, but Poppy has to deal with Daisy’s family, including her rock star son Jonathan and her stepdaughter and her son Oscar. There are some issues about a family mansion in England, but it’s not the obvious one about a will…
Despite the murder this is very much a cheerful cosy. My favourite scene is when Jonathan has disappeared in the streets of Sydney and his fans are alerted via social media. Suddenly the streets are overflowing with searchers and people taking advantage of the crowds to sell them stuff, including sausages.
Reading the line “Where five or more Australians gather, there shall be a Sausage Sizzle. It may even be a law” I couldn’t stop laughing. It means more to Aussies, of course, because of the famous “democracy sausage” sold at election polling booths as a fundraiser, but if this doesn’t mean anything to you, you might think about Terry Pratchett’s Ankh-Morpork, where people do exactly this when a crowd gathers, for whatever reason.
Poppy’s own issue is raising money herself to go on a dig in Jordan with her gorgeous archaeologist boyfriend, Tol - and try solving the mystery, because Tol is a suspect.
If you enjoy Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman novels, this is the series for you.
Both books are now available in all the usual places, including Book Depository.
They are also available in ebook, both in Apple Books and Kindle. I’m giving you the Australian link, but it’s available on the US Amazon site as well, and certainly other Amazon sites.