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A Body in the Backyard

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Extreme gardening often involves gnomes and planted bodies… It’s just an ordinary day for octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover—until her yardman discovers a dead body planted in her backyard. This death isn’t cut and dried—the victim was bashed in the head with one of Myrtle’s garden gnomes. Myrtle’s friend Miles recognizes the body and identifies him as Charles Clayborne… relu Extreme gardening often involves gnomes and planted bodies… It’s just an ordinary day for octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover—until her yardman discovers a dead body planted in her backyard. This death isn’t cut and dried—the victim was bashed in the head with one of Myrtle’s garden gnomes. Myrtle’s friend Miles recognizes the body and identifies him as Charles Clayborne… reluctantly admitting he’s a cousin. Charles wasn’t the sort of relative you bragged about—he was a garden variety sleaze, which is very likely why he ended up murdered. As Myrtle starts digging up dirt to nip the killings in the bud, someone’s focused on scaring her off the case. Myrtle vows to find the murderer…before she’s pushing up daisies, herself.


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Extreme gardening often involves gnomes and planted bodies… It’s just an ordinary day for octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover—until her yardman discovers a dead body planted in her backyard. This death isn’t cut and dried—the victim was bashed in the head with one of Myrtle’s garden gnomes. Myrtle’s friend Miles recognizes the body and identifies him as Charles Clayborne… relu Extreme gardening often involves gnomes and planted bodies… It’s just an ordinary day for octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover—until her yardman discovers a dead body planted in her backyard. This death isn’t cut and dried—the victim was bashed in the head with one of Myrtle’s garden gnomes. Myrtle’s friend Miles recognizes the body and identifies him as Charles Clayborne… reluctantly admitting he’s a cousin. Charles wasn’t the sort of relative you bragged about—he was a garden variety sleaze, which is very likely why he ended up murdered. As Myrtle starts digging up dirt to nip the killings in the bud, someone’s focused on scaring her off the case. Myrtle vows to find the murderer…before she’s pushing up daisies, herself.

30 review for A Body in the Backyard

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    I got a big kick out of reading this breezy, nicely done cozy mystery starring an intrepid octogenarian sleuth living in a small town in North Carolina. She's a retired English teacher with a crusty personality and an avid interest in solving homicides. The low-keyed humor works for me. The usual aches and pains don't really slow her down much. The supporting characters led by her son Red are funny, too. The mystery plot is sturdy. So, I'll read more titles in the series when I can find the time I got a big kick out of reading this breezy, nicely done cozy mystery starring an intrepid octogenarian sleuth living in a small town in North Carolina. She's a retired English teacher with a crusty personality and an avid interest in solving homicides. The low-keyed humor works for me. The usual aches and pains don't really slow her down much. The supporting characters led by her son Red are funny, too. The mystery plot is sturdy. So, I'll read more titles in the series when I can find the time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anna Maria

    I didn't really enjoy this book as I expected. I thought the main character Myrtle Clover, an elderly lady that likes to solve murders would be like Miss Maple. Two bodies are found in her back yard. And she and her friend, Miles, are into all kinds of things, getting clues and solving the crime. Even if it wasn't a very long story, it took me a while to read it, and I kept losing interest in what was happining in the story. I didn't really enjoy this book as I expected. I thought the main character Myrtle Clover, an elderly lady that likes to solve murders would be like Miss Maple. Two bodies are found in her back yard. And she and her friend, Miles, are into all kinds of things, getting clues and solving the crime. Even if it wasn't a very long story, it took me a while to read it, and I kept losing interest in what was happining in the story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Writing is good, but I really did not like the main character. I am sorry, but if your reaction to your gardener finding a dead body in your backyard is to get upset when the man and his wife reaction reasonably, I have a problem with you. Sorry. It's not Craig. It is me. Writing is good, but I really did not like the main character. I am sorry, but if your reaction to your gardener finding a dead body in your backyard is to get upset when the man and his wife reaction reasonably, I have a problem with you. Sorry. It's not Craig. It is me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Kilgore

    Myrtle Clover is definitely worth meeting. She's the most fun character I've met in a while. Some of the other characters are also fun. The main problem here is what you find a lot of in the ebook market: this is essentially a draft product rather than a finished one. Yes, a good copy editor would help, but what ever happened to writers who learned the tools of the trade? The mystery is slight, and is revealed a bit too easily. An interesting twist on a common flaw here: while many authors have Myrtle Clover is definitely worth meeting. She's the most fun character I've met in a while. Some of the other characters are also fun. The main problem here is what you find a lot of in the ebook market: this is essentially a draft product rather than a finished one. Yes, a good copy editor would help, but what ever happened to writers who learned the tools of the trade? The mystery is slight, and is revealed a bit too easily. An interesting twist on a common flaw here: while many authors have difficulty showing us rather than telling us, this author seems to do both. Much better to drop all the telling and simply let us watch Myrtle in action. Occasionally, her uniquely fun voice suddenly gets lost, which is disconcerting, but this is most likely due to the writer failing to go back and check everything. Many readers will have fun with this, but I can't help thinking what a shame it is that a writer with such talent doesn't put in the extra work to make her story shine.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen Lynn

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. It sounded promising, but I just found the main character annoying for some reason. It seemed she was just a stubborn old lady who is just super nosey. I don't know, it just left something to be desired I guess. The writing itself was good, but the story just lacked excitement, in my opinion. It took me a while to read it, even though it is relatively short, just because I kept losing interest in what was going on. Overall, it just wasn't for I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. It sounded promising, but I just found the main character annoying for some reason. It seemed she was just a stubborn old lady who is just super nosey. I don't know, it just left something to be desired I guess. The writing itself was good, but the story just lacked excitement, in my opinion. It took me a while to read it, even though it is relatively short, just because I kept losing interest in what was going on. Overall, it just wasn't for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen B.

    After reading five of the Myrtle Clover mysteries it is hard to review each new one. It's not that the books are repetitive but I've come to look forward to the same things I find in each book. The humor in this book is a bit more subtle than in the first in the series but there are certain things I look forward to: Red's objections to Myrtle's sleuthing and her responding with the number of gnomes in her yard just to get to him Myrtle's relationship with her friend Miles - Miles recognizes her cl After reading five of the Myrtle Clover mysteries it is hard to review each new one. It's not that the books are repetitive but I've come to look forward to the same things I find in each book. The humor in this book is a bit more subtle than in the first in the series but there are certain things I look forward to: Red's objections to Myrtle's sleuthing and her responding with the number of gnomes in her yard just to get to him Myrtle's relationship with her friend Miles - Miles recognizes her clever ability to put the pieces together, he's sidekick but he also finds Myrtle to be annoying at times. Myrtle can't cook and the fact that everyone in Bradley knows that always makes me laugh. Behind all the laughter we have a really clever sleuth. She is feisty and doesn't let her age of in the eighties get in her way and in fact at times uses it to her advantage by actually pretending that she is more frail than she is. Myrtle's relationship with her neighbor Erma and her dislike of and frustration with Myrtle always adds to spice to a Myrtle Clover book. This time Myrtle finds a body in her own yard, and later another one, so Red can't really keep her out of the investigation.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Z.

    As so many of the books of this "cozy" genre deteriorate into meanness and family feuding, it is nice that, while Myrtle and her sheriff son Red have their differences, they also have a solid respect and familial love for one another. All the silliness of the previous Myrtle Clover books are represented - her non-romance with her bespectacled neighbor, the "sykick" out in the woods, the ornery drifter with roots in town. These aren't books I recommend to everyone, but as a heavy+ reader I love t As so many of the books of this "cozy" genre deteriorate into meanness and family feuding, it is nice that, while Myrtle and her sheriff son Red have their differences, they also have a solid respect and familial love for one another. All the silliness of the previous Myrtle Clover books are represented - her non-romance with her bespectacled neighbor, the "sykick" out in the woods, the ornery drifter with roots in town. These aren't books I recommend to everyone, but as a heavy+ reader I love to lay aside the best-selling tomes and dusty classics for a spell, and keep things cheery, breezy and murderous in the winsome village of Bradley, NC.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I love Myrtle! Not to mention her friend Miles, and son, Red and all the other characters in this series. This book Myrtle ends up with not only one body in her backyard, but two. How can that happen? Mostly, the question her son, Red, the police chief wants to know. Again, between Myrtle and her friends, she manages to solve the case before her son. Myrtle likes to keep her brain moving, she is in her 80's after all. I love Myrtle! Not to mention her friend Miles, and son, Red and all the other characters in this series. This book Myrtle ends up with not only one body in her backyard, but two. How can that happen? Mostly, the question her son, Red, the police chief wants to know. Again, between Myrtle and her friends, she manages to solve the case before her son. Myrtle likes to keep her brain moving, she is in her 80's after all.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Skeeter Jorgensen

    Myrtle Clover is an elderly lady that likes to solve murders! Her and her friend, Miles, are into all kinds of things. Two bodies are found in Myrtle's back yard. The antics she goes through getting clues and solving the crime, before her policeman son forces her to stop looking for clues, because of the danger she finds herself in. I liked this story, a good clean cozy mystery. I give it 4 stars. Myrtle Clover is an elderly lady that likes to solve murders! Her and her friend, Miles, are into all kinds of things. Two bodies are found in Myrtle's back yard. The antics she goes through getting clues and solving the crime, before her policeman son forces her to stop looking for clues, because of the danger she finds herself in. I liked this story, a good clean cozy mystery. I give it 4 stars.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Fun read, mature lady (nosy) investigates murders, robbery, and more. Like the main character and the plot. Have read author before and will again. Clean, interesting and recommended for (no gore) lovers of mystery.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer S. Alderson

    A fun and quirky amateur sleuth mystery. Myrtle is a kick! I would recommend this novel to cozy mystery fans.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ronna

    Octogenarian, Myrtle Clover fills her yard with her favorite garden gnomes as a sign of her displeasure with her across the street neighbor, Red, who is also her son and their small North Carolina's town police chief. He thinks she should live safely in an assisted living facility, and she thinks she should take advantage of the town gossip and her roll as a newspaper reporter, to help solve problems in her town. Unfortunately, someone has decided that one of her gnomes was a good murder weapon, Octogenarian, Myrtle Clover fills her yard with her favorite garden gnomes as a sign of her displeasure with her across the street neighbor, Red, who is also her son and their small North Carolina's town police chief. He thinks she should live safely in an assisted living facility, and she thinks she should take advantage of the town gossip and her roll as a newspaper reporter, to help solve problems in her town. Unfortunately, someone has decided that one of her gnomes was a good murder weapon, and there's a dead body in her back yard. This time, the dead body was a scoundrel, who is a distant cousin of her friend and fellow sleuth, Miles. And Myrtle's busybody neighbor announces that Miles must be the murderer. So, once again Myrtle insinuates herself into Red's murder investigation. She's also helped by Red's wife who has taken up photography as her new hobby. This fun series never fails to amuse me while providing clues to the murder mystery. Wonder which will last longer, Myrtle--now approaching 90, or this mystery series. I'm rooting for both!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lark37

    This one was okay. I wasn't particularly enamored of any of the characters. I knew whodunit early on and there really weren't any surprises along the way. I did get a kick out of Myrtle's attempts to avoid her nosy neighbor Erma. As other reviewers have mentioned, I could have done with less references to Myrtle's advanced age. I became a grandma for the first time in my late 40's, so one question that kept popping into my mind every time Myrtle was with her grandson, Jack, was ..."If Myrtle Cov This one was okay. I wasn't particularly enamored of any of the characters. I knew whodunit early on and there really weren't any surprises along the way. I did get a kick out of Myrtle's attempts to avoid her nosy neighbor Erma. As other reviewers have mentioned, I could have done with less references to Myrtle's advanced age. I became a grandma for the first time in my late 40's, so one question that kept popping into my mind every time Myrtle was with her grandson, Jack, was ..."If Myrtle Cover is in her 80's, why is her grandson in a stroller? Shouldn't Jack be her great-grandson?" I sure hope my children aren't still having babies when I'm in my 80's as that would put them over 50. I guess the fact that I kept thinking that means the plot of the book wasn't riveting enough to hold my attention!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    This is the second Myrtle Clover book I have read and thought it not quite as good as the first. One thing that has bothered me in both books, but more so with this one is the seemingly large age difference between Myrtle, her son and grandson. This book made the age differences seem larger than in the previous book. While reading this, I found myself trying to calculate out everyone's age rather than focusing on what I was reading. The other thing that bothered me with this story is the ending This is the second Myrtle Clover book I have read and thought it not quite as good as the first. One thing that has bothered me in both books, but more so with this one is the seemingly large age difference between Myrtle, her son and grandson. This book made the age differences seem larger than in the previous book. While reading this, I found myself trying to calculate out everyone's age rather than focusing on what I was reading. The other thing that bothered me with this story is the ending seemed to just happen. Perhaps if I had not been trying to calculate everyone's approximate age I might have caught on to the clues sooner rather. I do enjoy this series and will definitely read more, I will just have to forgot about the ages of the characters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    3rd in the "Myrtle Clover" cozy mystery series. I can recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a quick, cute mystery. Myrtle is an octogenerian whose son (Red)lives across the street and just happens to be the police chief of Bradly North Carolina. Like Cabot Cove Maine, this small, sleepy town manages to have dead bodies lying around all over town just waiting for Myrtle to discover the perpetrator of their untimely demise. Even though Red would prefer for Myrtle to quietly move into the Gree 3rd in the "Myrtle Clover" cozy mystery series. I can recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a quick, cute mystery. Myrtle is an octogenerian whose son (Red)lives across the street and just happens to be the police chief of Bradly North Carolina. Like Cabot Cove Maine, this small, sleepy town manages to have dead bodies lying around all over town just waiting for Myrtle to discover the perpetrator of their untimely demise. Even though Red would prefer for Myrtle to quietly move into the Greener Pastures rest home, Myrtle, with the help of her trusty side-kick Miles, rises to the occasion and toddles around town with her cane picking up gossip and solving the crime.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    A Body in the Backyard is a cozy mystery featuring spunky octogenarian Myrtle Clover. Myrtle's gardener finds a body in her backyard setting Myrtle of on solving the mystery mystery of whodunit. The lengths that Myrtle goes to trying to talk with potential subjects is too funny. While there is no great mystery in the book the characters are interesting and the story is entertaining. A Body in the Backyard is a cozy mystery featuring spunky octogenarian Myrtle Clover. Myrtle's gardener finds a body in her backyard setting Myrtle of on solving the mystery mystery of whodunit. The lengths that Myrtle goes to trying to talk with potential subjects is too funny. While there is no great mystery in the book the characters are interesting and the story is entertaining.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Philip Whiteland

    Ok, so it's Miss Marple transplanted to smalltown USA but this is an entertaining, albeit somewhat unbelievable at times, detective yarn. It certainly makes a change for the leading characters to be seriously geriatric! Can't say that it gripped me but I was interested to see how it would all turn out. Ok, so it's Miss Marple transplanted to smalltown USA but this is an entertaining, albeit somewhat unbelievable at times, detective yarn. It certainly makes a change for the leading characters to be seriously geriatric! Can't say that it gripped me but I was interested to see how it would all turn out.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trudy E

    Whoever said that the elderly lead dull lives? Myrtle Clover has assisted her police chief son, Red, with other cases-whether he wanted her help or not. This time, one of Myrtle's famed gnomes is used as a murder weapon- right in her backyard! Enlisting the help of her often unwilling sidekick, Miles, Myrtle is determined to find out who the killer is. Whoever said that the elderly lead dull lives? Myrtle Clover has assisted her police chief son, Red, with other cases-whether he wanted her help or not. This time, one of Myrtle's famed gnomes is used as a murder weapon- right in her backyard! Enlisting the help of her often unwilling sidekick, Miles, Myrtle is determined to find out who the killer is.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    The Key is the Gnome After ready thus far in this series, a reader quickly learns a thing or two from Myrtle Clover. One, Miles is a sweetie and not a murderer and two, please always keep the doors locked. After two murders in her own back yard, of course Myrtle is going to investigate. No Gnome is left unturned. Readon.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Stoeckel

    This is a fun read. Third in the Myrtle Clover series, it looks as though this mystery starts in her own backyard with a body killed by one of her own gnome collection! Well worth reading, but not searching out specifically, I got it as a freebie and enjoyed it

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I thought it was ok. I just could not wrap my head around her age compared to her son's age and grandson.....she seemed way too old, came and all. Also, most neighbors and regular "people" would not be so casual about two bodies being in the backyard. And why host a wake....... I thought it was ok. I just could not wrap my head around her age compared to her son's age and grandson.....she seemed way too old, came and all. Also, most neighbors and regular "people" would not be so casual about two bodies being in the backyard. And why host a wake.......

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liz Fisher

    I enjoyed this book. Myrtle is like an American Miss Marple who is underestimated by most people. I gathered that this was part of a series of books, although it is the first one I have read. In spite of this, I don't think you need to have read the earlier ones. I enjoyed this book. Myrtle is like an American Miss Marple who is underestimated by most people. I gathered that this was part of a series of books, although it is the first one I have read. In spite of this, I don't think you need to have read the earlier ones.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I thought I was going to hate this book because the dialogue in chapter one drove me crazy but once we got away from Puddin and Dusty it wasn't so bad. This is just a cute little mystery. I wasn't really fond of the main character Myrtle but I liked her partner in crime Miles. I thought I was going to hate this book because the dialogue in chapter one drove me crazy but once we got away from Puddin and Dusty it wasn't so bad. This is just a cute little mystery. I wasn't really fond of the main character Myrtle but I liked her partner in crime Miles.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Rosenblum

    Love Myrtle!!! This is number 4 in the series about an 80 something spreading all kinds of fun as she investigates murders! I am going back to read the first 3. Hope I am that feisty at 80! A fun read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Douglas

    This was another good read about Myrtle who just has to investigate the murders of two bodies found in her own backyard on two separate occasions.With the help of Miles [a friend] and Wanda [a psychic] she helps her son,the police chief,solve the crimes

  26. 4 out of 5

    Frances L. Ehrig

    What Myrtle Collects A Body in the Backyard is an enjoyable read. Myrtle is a fascinating older lady who enjoys a mystery and gets right into the adventure. A good book for summer reading.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Crazy fun cozy mystery with truly nutsy characters. Gets you laughing until you can't stop. Great stress buster! The publisher's blurb even gives a hint as to it's comedy. Kathy Schrecongost gives a decent reading if you have the ability to alter speed to taste. Crazy fun cozy mystery with truly nutsy characters. Gets you laughing until you can't stop. Great stress buster! The publisher's blurb even gives a hint as to it's comedy. Kathy Schrecongost gives a decent reading if you have the ability to alter speed to taste.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    3.5 stars Not my favorite in the series, but I still love the main character enough to keep reading them. Update - 3/15/17 - pieces of this one are really staying with me, so I am changing my rating from 3.5 to 4 stars. I may have just been in a bad place when I read it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary (Biblophile)

    Myrtle Clover is a hoot. Had me laughing out loud at her antics. Love this series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lenora

    I found this book to be highly entertaining. I kept snickering at the antics of Myrtle Clover.

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