Reviews: Animal, Vegetable, Murder


Animal, Vegetable, Murder. Dailey, Judy (Author) Apr 2013. 252 p. Five Star, hardcover, $25.95. (9781432826918)

Sunny Day Burnett, so named by her mother during a hippie phase, is widowed and living in her grandmother’s house in Laurelmere, a gated enclave in Seattle. Her neighbors look askance because she doesn’t eat at the club and has surrounded her home with organic gardens. When Sunny finds one of those neighbors dead in her garden, the cold shoulder gets much colder. But why is the corpse clutching a picture of Sunny’s husband dressed in a pink gown and boa? Shocked by the picture and still mourning the loss of her husband, Sunny hides the photo before the police arrive. With security tight at Laurelmere, the pool of suspects is thin, and Sunny, of course, is at the top of the list. The attorney across the street, Horace “Ace” Pennington III, offers to be her lawyer. It seems a little too smooth and quick, but then Ace’s house blows up. Filled with quirky yet believable characters, this first mystery is engaging up to and through the suspenseful conclusion. Sunny’s asides about the environment and the importance of organic living help to make her a sympathetic heroine.

— Karen Muller

“All I can say is, ‘Wow!’”– Denise Dietz (that’s DIET with a Z), bestselling author of the Ellie Bernstein diet club mysteries.

“Delightfully quirky and full of surprises! This clever and entertaining mystery–a winning debut–will have you laughing out loud. With her sassy wit, warm heart and very, um, complicated life, Sunny Day Burnett is terrific.” — Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity-winning author

Animal, Vegetable, Murder is a fast-paced, witty mystery with a vivid cast of characters, including an appealing heroine who doesn’t take herself too seriously and a Scottish detective with all the irascible charm of his kind. Highly recommended!” — Lillian Stewart Carl, author of the Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron mysteries.

“Judy Dailey’s new mystery, Animal, Vegetable, Murder, is a must have for anyone who loves a snuggly good time. Home-grown chickens, snap-beans, and imported Scotch wisdom lead to a surprising and satisfying conclusion.” — Cathy Cobb, Ph.D., author of Crime Scene Chemistry for the Armchair Sleuth.

“If you like the cozy mystery genre but wish for a touch of edginess and some environmental consciousness, Animal, Vegetable, Murder is the book for you. Dailey has a keen ear for dialogue, a quick wit, and her pace and plot will keep you intrigued.”– Jennie Palches Grant, founder of the Goat Justice League and author of City Goats: The Goat Justice League’s Guide to Backyard Goat Keeping.

“No rotten tomatoes! Judy Dailey’s debut mystery is a hoot from start to finish. With an axe-wielding urban farmer protagonist, her sexy chicken-farmer love interest, and her crossdressing attorney – not to mention the retired cop and his Peeping Tom grandson next door – Animal, Vegetable, Murder has a laugh a minute and plenty of twists and turns.” — Jennie Bentley, author of the best-selling Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation Mysteries.