The Body in the Back Garden is Mark Waddell’s debut novel, a cozy mystery set in Crescent Cove, Vancouver Island, Canada, and is the first book his new Crescent Cove Mysteries series.
Luke Tremblay arrives in Crescent Cove to deal with selling the cottage and antiques business that he inherited unexpectedly from the aunt with whom he spent many summers in his youth. The morning after arriving, he wakes to find the body of a man he’d had an altercation with the previous day, dead in the pond in his back yard.
It isn’t long before Luke is drawn into the mystery of the man’s death, and whether or not it relates to his aunt’s tragic death in a hit and run. Investigating the murder is Luke’s former friend, Jack Munro, now a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and in charge of the detachment in Crescent Cove. Jack is still upset with Luke because after Luke’s last summer in Crescent Cove as a teenager, his family disowned him after he revealed he was gay, and Luke never returned or kept in touch.
The Body in the Back Garden was a lovely cozy mystery. The setting in a small town on Vancouver Island was perfect. The characters in the town were diverse and interesting. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Luke and Jack develop as adults, even as they came to terms with the way they parted.
I am a big cozy mystery (or any mystery really) fan, and I was not able to figure out the culprit until very near the end of the book. This book was very entertaining, and I’m looking forward to reading more from the series.
The Body in the Back Garden releases on August 22 2023. If you love cozy mysteries, put it on your list!
Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an ARC for review.