I'm sorry to say that I was disappointed in the writing style of this author, and certainly this debut wasn't what I'd thought it would be.
I'm a huge fan of cozy mysteries, and while this is certainly defined as a cozy, I found the writing to be almost amateurish, which was a huge disappointment to me. I realize the author has no control over formatting, but the Kindle edition was "locked" in its formatting, and I couldn't change my font style. The font it's written in is one I'm not personally fond of, so that didn't lend itself to an enjoyable read for me, but that's no slight against the author. What I found highly annoying about the writing itself, was that she chose to italicize far too many words, I suppose for emphasis, but in terms of the reading, I felt they were totally unnecessary. There was also an overuse of the exclamation mark, so for me the formatting and typeface/set were bothersome.
As for the story, while I agree it's a cozy, and it's not a bad storyline, it was truly amazing to me that the "heroine" had been in town but 2 days when the murder happened, then she went on to solve the crime from a cast of people she'd just met, and basically could know nothing about (how can that be?). For me that was just too far a stretch for total believability, and to some degree you want your cozy mystery to be believable, even if a little far fetched (that's part of the fun of a cozy).
Though the characters are described well, they don't seem like mostly likable characters, and unfortunately, there was almost nothing described or talked about as it relates to the physical locale of Dappled Hills. From the little descriptions given it sounds lovely, but I truly like to read and get into the geographic area that a book takes place in. For me it makes the reading experience that much more enjoyable.
I'm not sure I'll buy the next book in this new series (Southern Quilting), because I had hardly started reading and felt a sense of disappointment. I read a great many cozy authors, and I didn't feel that this one lived up to its expectations. Thank you for reading my review.