ARC: Dead in a Dumpster

An enjoyable new mystery that's not too gruesome or too cutesy. #spon | A book review from

Note: This post is sponsored by Masquerade Tours in exchange for an honest review.

When Leah Norwood finds the body of Isabel Meeks in the dumpster behind her store, she can’t believe the police consider her a suspect. Sure, she didn’t liked Isabel, but then again, neither did anyone else. Isabel had a condescending attitude and a bad reputation. As manager of the antique store, Patina, she had made a lot of enemies.

There is Patina’s assistant manager, the handsome and charming Trent. Isabel was blackmailing him. There is Patina’s owner, the aloof and influential Anthony Thorpe. Isabel was smuggling drugs through his store. And there is the entire drug dealing Cantono family. Isabel had lost a box containing heroin from one of their shipments. That is just to name a few and didn’t even include the stranger who was seen arguing with Isabel just hours before her death.

The police have too many suspects and too many soft alibis. Leah needs to prove to the sexy new chief of police that she had nothing to do with Isabel’s death. Leah loves a good mystery. Can she find the killer before the police charge her with murder? (Summary via

I really enjoyed this book—in fact, I read it in one sitting the day I got it in the mail. As longtime readers know, I’m a huge mystery fan, and I was so excited to see a mystery posted on Masquerade Tours, so of course I immediately requested it.

Leah is the owner of a small boutique, which sells fragrances and lotions designed by her best friend. She loves her job, except for Isabel, the manager of the store next door. So when Leah finds Isabel dead in the dumpster behind their stores, the police immediately suspect her of committing the murder. In order to clear her name and satisfy her curiosity, Leah begins her own investigation—much to the chagrin of the attractive new police chief.

I wouldn’t necessarily classify this mystery as a cozy mystery (think Gone But Knot Forgotten), but it’s not really a thriller either (think Louisiana Fever). It’s an enjoyable story without being either too gruesome or too sappy. Leah is a fun character to follow; she puts herself in danger but is never reckless, which I appreciate. And the romance (you knew a romance was coming, didn’t you?) was sweet without being cloying or taking over too much of the story.

I did start to lose the threads of the plot toward the end, as the mystery started to drug dealing side plots, but the ending pulled it together in a (mostly) satisfactory way. It’s not mind-blowing, but it’s definitely an enjoyable read.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

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