Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: The Diva Digs Up the Dirt

Summary: Trouble in spades… Determined not to be a garden-variety diva, Sophie Winston’s neighbor, Natasha, cultivates a plan to shine on television—using Sophie’s backyard. As the cast and crew of the makeover show Tear It Up With Troy bulldoze through her backyard—and vacation—Sophie retreats to her perennial boyfriend Wolf’s to replace a dead rose bush. But her tender deed goes awry when she digs up a purse belonging to Wolf’s missing wife. As speculations sprout, Wolf bolts, and then a body crops up in a garden.  Is Wolf’s thorny past raising a dead head? This is one case the domestic diva can’t let wither on the vine…  -- Berkley Prime Crime

My personal life has been absolutely crazy the past few days, and I've had a hard time finding a few minutes here and there to read. When I do sit down to read, I either can't concentrate on the story or I fall asleep. So I decided that it might be the perfect time to pick up a cozy, and I grabbed THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT by Krista Davis. I had reviewed THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE a few months ago and thought it was very cute, and I was curious to see what was in store for Sophie and her friends.

I think THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT definitely hit the spot as far as my reading slump goes. While I can normally read a book like this in one sitting, it did take me a few days; however, it was a fun story that was a very easy read. I enjoyed THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT, but I don't know if I liked it quite as much as THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE. Of course, I thought the entire Halloween theme of the prior novel was especially fun so it might not be fair to compare the two books.

In THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT, domestic diva Sophie's professional (and personal) rival Natasha arranges for a television crew to come in and build her a much-needed garage. Since Natasha is never really looking out for Sophie, she's a bit suspicious about her intentions; however, she figures it's worth a shot not to have to worry about street parking in Old Town Alexandria. Meanwhile, Sophie goes to her boyfriend Wolf's house to surprise him with a new rosebush and "digs" up a purse belonging to his missing wife. Wolf becomes the prime suspect in the mystery surrounding her disappearance. And then, another dead body is discovered that complicates things even more. Sophie and her friends find themselves caught up in trying to prove Wolf's innocence while at the same time trying to figure out who is behind all of the mayhem.

THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT is a cute story (or at least as cute as some murders and poisonings can be!) In the case of this book, I thought the mystery was pretty good. There were lots of suspects and Sophie and her friends had many different imagined scenarios, but I ended up getting a little confused about how all of the characters were linked -- both in the present and the past. I think that's probably because my attention span isn't up to speed right now, but parts of the story did get a little jumbled for me. Having said that, everyone was resolved by the end of the book and I understood all of the connections. In addition, there were a few surprises at the end of the book.. and they weren't all related to the whodunit aspect of the story.

There is no doubt that I enjoy the Domestic Diva series, especially the characters and the setting; and I do like the helpful decorating/gardening hints that both Sophie and Natasha provide at the beginning of each chapter. I also loved all the descriptions of flowers and gardens that appeared in this book. However, since I'm not exactly a "domestic diva" when it comes to all the gardening stuff, I found that I appreciated the food descriptions even more than the plant ones. Ms. Davis includes recipes for many of the treats she mentions throughout the book including Caramel Banana Muffins, Arnold Palmers, and Pesto, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Crostini; and the recipes sound delicious and seem relatively simple.

Overall, THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT was a fun mystery and a great way to spend a few hours by the pool or at the beach.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm glad that this book is what you needed at the right time. I have a problem when I am in chaos mode...if it is just the least bit clever or quippy or cute, I get really annoyed. If my life is that crazy, I have to have sick and twisted stuff. Stuff that in NO WAY wants to make me laugh. I know, I'm strange. I like cozy mysteries when I am light-hearted and have time to enjoy them.

Serena said...

Sounds like this is a good series for those who like cozy mysteries. I'm sort of in and out of I'm glad you found something you could concentrate on.

bermudaonion said...

My thoughts get jumbled in mysteries sometimes too but I've just learned to go with the flow and hope it all comes together for me. This sounds like a good series.