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Too Many Crooks Spoil the Plot–great plot and characters

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Too Many Crooks Spoil the Plot

by Sarah Osborne

Too Many Crooks Spoil the PlotToo Many Crooks Spoil the Plot begins with “Nothing warned me that my world was about to tilt on its axis and never tilt back again,” a sentence full of promise for a good cozy mystery. Author Sarah Osborne manages to pack a lot of background into her opening chapter. We are introduced to the main character, Dr. Ditie Brown, a pediatrician who works in a refugee clinic, her two pets, and her brother Tommy. There are hints of family troubles. Ditie reunites with her old friend Ellie whose emotions bounce all over the place. She asks a huge favor: “Do you think the kids could stay with you for a few days?” Unfortunately someone was gunning for Ellie—literally.

The plot is quite complex with lots of threads that seemingly don’t connect…until they do. Meanwhile, who are the good guys and who are the bad  guys? What do Ellie’s children have that is worth killing for? Through all of this we watch Ditie, her friend Lurleen (with an interesting faux French background and accent), Detective Garrett, P.I. Dan, and Garrett’s mother, a retired cop, work diligently to solve the mystery and keep the children, Lucie and Jason, safe.

I see in Lucie a level of responsibility that a former student of mine had. In my student’s case, the mother was  an alcoholic and my first grader got herself and her kindergarten brother ready for school and on the bus each day. Therefore, I find realism in Lucie, a fictional child whose mother is erratic; Lucie has to step in and be the “adult” for her brother.

Initially I felt that the two romances in the books happen way too quickly. On the other hand, extreme circumstances can cause extreme emotional reactions. I quickly got over my hesitation with that aspect of the story and enjoyed watching the two couples grow in their relationships as the story progresses.

This book is a winner. I’m looking forward to the next cozy mystery in this series.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #1 in the Ditie Brown Mystery Series

Publication:   May 29, 2018—Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press)

Memorable Lines:

It’s not every dog that can smile, but when you find one who does, you know you have a treasure.

He could hide behind the lights, the glitter, so that no one, least of all his sister, ever knew who he really was.

I felt uneasy. The murders felt so neatly solved. It was just the murderers that didn’t quite fit.


  1. It looks like I missed a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cozynookbks says:

    This sounds like an intelligent cozy. I think I’d like Lucie’s character. It’s sad when children have to grow up sooner than necessary but unfortunately it’s a reality for some (speaking of real life situations). Thanks for telling us about this one. The cover is lovely too.

    Liked by 1 person

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