Saturday, August 12, 2023

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Weeding Out Lies (Texas Flower Farmer Cozy Mystery, #1) by Jackie Layton


Weeding Out Lies
A Texas Flower Farmer Cozy Mystery
Jackie Layton

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting - Texas
Publisher: Level Best Books
Publication Date: July 11, 2023
Print length: 302 pages


Flower farmer Emma Justice’s life is firmly rooted in Lutz, Texas where she has recently begun her new business. One morning while delivering flowers, she stumbles upon a prominent citizen. Dead. When a friend is accused of murder, Emma launches her own investigation. She’s used to separating weeds from flowers. Emma will dig for clues, weed out red herrings and cultivate a plan to find the killer.



4 stars!

A new amateur sleuth blossoms in this fresh, flower-filled, Texas-set debut cozy mystery!

Emma Justice is the unlikely new amateur sleuth in Jackie Layton’s new Texas Flower Farmer Cozy Mystery series set in the small fictional town of Lutz, Texas. A former pharmacy tech, she’s finally pursuing her dream of flower farming now that her only child, daughter Abby, is out of the house and off to college. Her transformation to gumshoe is courtesy of a promise to help her dear friend and bookstore owner, Paige Booker, clear her name as the main suspect in the murder of her part-time employee, Willow Moore. With loads of suspects and as many possible motives for her murder, this first book is rife with red herrings and plot twists.
Emma is hard-working and determined to find her joy in growing and selling her beautiful blooms. There are plenty of descriptions of lovely flower combinations throughout the story, and I was often tempted to try to recreate some of her displays. In addition, Emma’s best friend, Sophie, owns the bakery in town, and another, Brett, the local coffee shop, so many luscious food items and delicious drinks are mentioned. Love interest Jake is new to town and helping out his best friend, Brett, while he takes a break and does his best to delight Emma with yummy new coffee concoctions.

As with most first-in-series books, the author must establish the small-town setting and its residents in this entry, including the protagonist, family, friends, victim, and suspects. Layton does a great job providing a wide variety of people, professions, and businesses to populate Lutz without overwhelming the reader. She hits a good balance with those who make only a casual appearance and those who will have a more substantial hand in the current proceedings. 

With a victim everyone seems to like, Emma has to really dig into Willow’s private affairs to discover suspects and their motives. However, once she gets going, meanies start to come out of the woodwork. Emma is mostly discreet about her inquiries, but it’s a small town, and word inevitably gets around that she’s asking tough questions. She eventually narrows down her list of names and motives, but it wasn’t until the final reveal that I knew the real killer and the truth behind Willow’s death. 

I recommend WEEDING OUT LIES to cozy mystery readers ready for a new series featuring flowers, food, and a scrappy female protagonist in an authentic down-home Texas setting.


Jackie Layton is the author of cozy mysteries with Spunky Southern Sleuths. Her stories are set in Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. She lives on the coast of South Carolina where she enjoys walks on the beach and golf cart rides around the marsh. Reading, gardening, and traveling are some of her favorite hobbies. She always keeps a notebook handy to write down ideas for future stories. Be careful what you say around her, because it might end up in a book. 


August 9 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 9 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 11 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – Christy's Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
August 12 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
August 12 – Jane Reads -CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
August 13 – ebook addicts – AUTHOR GUEST POST
August 14 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 14 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 14 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW
August 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST
August 16 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 16 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 17 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 17 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
August 18 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
August 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW


1 comment:

Jackie Layton said...

Hi Paula, thanks for reviewing Weeding Out Lies!