I think many of us grew up reading Encyclopedia Brown, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie mysteries, and I’m no exception. I read as many as I could in our small-town library and now that I’m older, I’ve slowly started acquiring the Agathas I like best. Agatha Christie is one of the few authors I can reread any day of the week—you’ll even find her books mentioned in my Belinda Blake mysteries.
Of course, Miss Marple is often pointed to as one of the quintessential cozy mystery sleuths. Small town, check. Amateur sleuth, check. Non-graphic, mostly check…although there are some seriously creepy Miss Marple books out there, y’all! Have you ever read Nemesis? Or Sleeping Murder?
When I started writing cozies, I naturally kept the Agatha standard in mind—I wanted to write mysteries that were clean enough for young teens to read, that had characters with depth, and twists that would surprise most readers. These kinds of books can be enjoyed by a wide variety of readers and can hopefully bring entertainment throughout the ages. I doubt Agatha Christie set out to change the world with her quaint stories that delivered the kind of believable villains most people couldn’t see coming…but she did. If any of my books even bring half the joy she’s brought to readers for so many years, I’ll consider my cozy mysteries a success.
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 . . .
“A humorous series debut with exotic pets and a zany cast of characters. Gilbert’s cozy will make you smile.” —Amanda Flower, USA Today bestselling author of Premeditated Peppermint
“Cozy fans will root for pet-sitter Belinda Blake as she unravels this cleverly-crafted mystery in a delightfully-deadly new series by Heather Day Gilbert.” —Elizabeth Spann Craig, author of the bestselling Myrtle Clover Mysteries
“Smart and fresh, with a compelling mystery at its heart, Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is an enchanting cozy that will hook you from page one. As will amateur sleuth Belinda Blake, a delightfully original heroine you’ll want to meet again and again.” —Karin Kaufman, author of the bestselling Juniper Grove Cozy Mystery Series
“Snakes rank only slightly more favorably with me than spiders, leeches, and ticks. So you can imagine my surprise when, by the end of this book, the snake was my second favorite character after Belinda herself. On top of being a great book for animal-lovers (trust me, you’ll love even the snake), this was a fun read with a smart sleuth. I can’t wait to see what Belinda does next, where both pets and perps are concerned.” —Emily James, award-winning and bestselling cozy mystery author