Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass

(An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery) 

by Heather Day Gilbert


About the Book

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 25, 2019)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108841
ISBN-13: 978-1516108848
Digital ASIN: B07HVYQ9XZ

When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.
The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

Is it OK to call a mystery including murder light and fun?
I enjoyed my time spent with Belinda Blake.

Belinda has found her own calling and path in life. Her mom is a free spirit, doing her best to live off-the-grid, homesteading, while Belinda's father is a veterinarian. Her sister, on the other hand, has chosen a more powerful lifestyle. I tell you this because all of their personalities come into play as Belinda is figuring out her independent way of life.
Belinda enjoys video games and reviews them. She also knows a bit about pets and fearlessly takes on pet-sitting for some less than ordinary types. We meet her as she is taking Rasputin for a walk, with unanticipated results. This is also how she meets her new neighbor, Stone the fifth.

Stone is one of those characters you may have conflicted feelings about. At times you may find him both (or either) adorable or detestable. It is Belinda's feelings about him that matter. 
She has just moved into a cottage on the grounds of Stone's family's estate. 
Because of this proximity, we get to know more about how the wealthier residents live, including several of Stone's friends. We also meet the hired help. Ms Gilbert does a wonderful job of creating characters we are drawn to and want to understand or at least know more about.
When one of those people ends up dead in Belinda's flowerbed, she takes a personal interest in figuring out why and by whom. Although warned off by the investigating detective, he at least is willing to listen to the information she provides.

Naturally, no one wants to see Belinda in danger, yet Stone drags her into the investigation by introducing her to the main players, only for a second victim to be found in nearly the same spot. After that, there is no stopping Belinda Blake.

A wonderful start to an interesting series that shows much potential. We do get a sneak peek at what will happen next. The pets Belinda will encounter and the mysteries she is drawn to will make for enjoyable escape reading. 

About the Author

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals.
Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love.
Like Belinda Blake, Heather plays video games, although so far she hasn't done any exotic pet-sitting or hunted any murderers.
Find out more on

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  Twitter: @heatherdgilbert

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  1. Sounds like a fun new series. I like the exotic pet sitter storyline.

  2. I'd like to get to know Belinda by reading this story.

  3. Hi, Laura! Thanks so much for your charming review of Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass! I'm glad you're excited about this series and I can't wait until book 2 releases this October! :) Nice to visit your blog today.

  4. Sounds like a fun series.


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