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The amusing first in a new cozy series from Craig (A Dyeing Shame) introduces Myrtle Clover, a sturdy octogenarian who writes a column for the Bradley, N.C., newspaper, the Bradley Bugle. When developer and realtor Parke Stockard, an unpopular busybody, dies from blunt force trauma while messing with church altar flowers, Myrtle helps her police chief son, Red, investigate. Could the killer be rival Bugle columnist Josh Tucker; Parke's drugged-out son, Cecil; or a gossipy book clubber like Kitty Kirk? When Kitty's killed by another blunt force trauma, the plot thickens, and with Bradley's population only 1,500, chances are Myrtle knows the criminal. Myrtle's wacky personality is a delight (she collects garden gnomes that she trots out to her yard whenever she's displeased with Red), but hopefully Craig will add more depth to the snooping in the sequel. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.