Friday, January 12, 2024

Shade Grown - A Review & Giveaway


SHADE GROWN by Heather Day Gilbert
The Eighth Barks and Beans Cafe Mystery

Macy Hatfield and her brother, Bo are enjoying a leisurely morning in their hometown of Lewisburg, West Virginia by going on a home and garden tour. When a visitor's dog starts barking incessantly and heads towards the memorial garden on the property Macy moves to intercept him, only to discover the reason behind barking. There's a dead body in the hostas, none other than the movie star who just moved to town. Although he's been shot, a local drug dealer has resurfaced, leading to more questions. There's an elusive woman who sends Macy lethal glares, an unpleasant contractor, and a shifty agent. As she becomes friends with the victim's sister Macy's also on the wrong end of some threatening encounters. Could she be making a killer nervous?  

A close knit protective family, great friends, and lovable dogs, along with yummy food and coffee, are great ingredients for a story and in SHADE GROWN they combine for a superb mystery. And I don't even like coffee! Despite the danger, reading a Barks and Beans Cafe Mystery makes you feel as if your enveloped in a hug. There's such a sense of community and good will...even with drug dealers, a drug overlord making trouble, and various murderers hanging around!

I really enjoyed the mystery, lots of red herrings are skillfully woven through the story leading readers in varied directions never really knowing the motives and people involved. I was a bit disappointed in Macy though. Once the ultimate clue was given she purposefully ignored it! She's so smart, but was really stupid in this instance. She was however, cagey enough about getting herself out of a very dangerous situation...with a little help.

SHADE GROWN is a compelling mystery with a slow burn. So grab a hot beverage and settle in for a delightful visit to the Barks & Beans Cafe!


 Shade Grown (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert

About Shade Grown

Shade Grown (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 8th in Series
Setting - West Virginia
WoodHaven Press (December 11, 2023)
Paperback: ‎ 190 pages

BOOK EIGHT in the Award-winning BARKS & BEANS CAFE cozy mystery series!!

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.
During Lewisburg's popular summer home and garden tour, Macy and her brother Bo discover new aspects of their hometown's history. One of the last homes they visit features a lush commemorative shade garden marking where a Civil War soldier's bones were buried. As Macy pauses to admire a bed of blue hostas, she glimpses a shadowy shape lying beneath the dinner-plate leaves. It turns out to be the body of famed movie star Cody Franklin, who'd purchased the garden house as a quiet country retreat. Back at the cafe, Macy speaks with Cody's distraught sister, who lets slip that she's afraid her brother's killer will target her next. Macy's heart goes out to the bereaved sibling, and she agrees to speak with Cody's local acquaintances in hopes she'll uncover some helpful backstory. But someone powerful is lurking behind the scenes, and Macy has to zoom in on the killer before everything fades to black. Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride!
The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes. The Barks & Beans Cafe series in order: Book 1: No Filter Book 2: Iced Over Book 3: Fair Trade Book 4: Spilled Milk Book 5: Trouble Brewing Book 6: Cold Drip Book 7: Roast Date Book 8: Shade Grown Standalone Novella: House Blend

About Heather Day Gilbert

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an RWA Daphne du Maurier Award-winning author and 2-time ECPA Christy Award finalist, enjoys writing contemporary mysteries with unpredictable twists, much like the Agatha Christie books she read growing up. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren't afraid to protect those they love. Find out more at

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1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great cozy mystery for winter reading!