Book Review: Death Comes to Dogwood Manor by Sandra Bretting

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Death Comes to Dogwood Manor is the 4th book in the Missy DuBois cozy mystery series, written by Sandra Bretting and published in June, 2018. I won an ARC of this book through a cozy mystery group I subscribe to and have previously read the 3rd book in the series. At some point, I’ll go back to read book one and two once my TBR is a bit shorter this year!


In this book, Missy, a milliner in Louisiana, is distracted and accidentally sideswipes another car. She attempts to do the proper thing by notifying the owner, a rich man sweeping up local mansions and converting them into mini-hotels. She’s met him before, and he’s not a very kind person, but in this instance, he himself seems distracted by the renovation going on at the house. A few days later… she finds him dead. At the same time, Missy’s trying to build up her business and lands a potential big win when a magazine wants to publish an article about her shop. As she stumbles upon several people connected to the deceased man, and works with a designer to freshen up her shop before the photo shoot, everything starts to fall apart and come together in very interesting ways.

I see great improvement from the third book to this fourth book in the series, particularly around the writing style and assemble of the potential suspects. There is more balance and less formal language around Missy’s dialog and relationships, which is a great step forward for the series. I enjoyed reading each of the pages and consumed the whole thing in about 2 hours one evening. Missy is very likable and doesn’t put herself in harm’s way to try solving the case. She is a bit nosy, but its endearing and often just part of who she is rather than an issue of getting in the way of the police. She works with them, as the detective is an old-friend.

Lots of detail, descriptions and research went into building the setting for this edition. Between the various wedding veils and hats Missy’s designed, the decor in her own renovated shop, and the design style of the homes-converted-into-hotels, we can see a wonderful backdrop of southern architecture and beauty. There’s also a few steps forward in Missy’s relationship status, as in the last book, there were two potential suitors. It’s a nice small arc rather than a major piece of the story, but seeing her friendships is also one of the more sweeter aspects in these books, too. Bretting’s settling in well with this series and I will definitely be interested in reading the first two and the next when it comes out.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


18 thoughts on “Book Review: Death Comes to Dogwood Manor by Sandra Bretting

    The Cozy Pages said:
    June 6, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    Yet another series to check out I see. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    bettylouise31 said:
    June 6, 2018 at 10:42 AM

    A good review. I have read the earlier books. I found in each book as the series continue. I have mixed feelings about this book. Miss does annoy me at time by her actions. There is cliff hanger at the end. I recommend this book and series.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 6, 2018 at 2:04 PM

      I know what you mean. I was iffy on the last one but this made it more easy to like them!


    Carrie Rubin said:
    June 6, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Great cover too!

    Liked by 1 person

    I love the cover! Thanks to you and Carrie I think I’m going to need to make a separate tbr just for cozies!😁

    Liked by 1 person

    E. Michael Helms, writer said:
    June 6, 2018 at 2:51 PM

    Another good concise, in-depth review. Welcome back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    robbiesinspiration said:
    June 7, 2018 at 1:50 PM

    The cover reminds me of Agatha Christie, Jay. A nice review of this book.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 8, 2018 at 8:24 AM

      Thanks. The series is typical cozy but has a nice southern charm. Not too far off from English! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    June 7, 2018 at 8:25 PM

    I have a couple of these on my kindle. It sounds like one I should get to. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 8, 2018 at 8:24 AM

      thx! too many cozies, huh?


        carhicks said:
        June 9, 2018 at 1:29 PM

        Too many of everything. I have some good thrillers coming up as well so tick tock, I just need more time.

        Liked by 1 person

    Cozynookbks said:
    June 7, 2018 at 10:29 PM

    Thanks for reviewing, Jay. I don’t believe I’ve heard of this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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