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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
Beth Prentice’s A Dandelion Ponds Mystery, Book One: In High Spirits starts with Daisy Montgomery waking up in an unfamiliar room. At first, Daisy thinks a friend of hers had taken her for a night on the town and she had drunk herself into a state, but then an encounter with her dog, Alfie, and a cute, unknown man makes her realize she couldn’t touch her dog or get the man to look at her. Was she a ghost? Is she dead? Thinking this is all a nightmare, Daisy tries to escape from the house but the world outside seems out of reach, and the more she grasps at it, the further away it feels. In a fit of desperation, she makes a wish for the unknown man to see her and that’s how Charlie O'Sullivan finally meets her. After the initial shock of his life, Charlie gets roped into helping Daisy find out what happened to her. Along the way, she finds out there is so much more going on in her life than she first thought.
In High Spirits is an intriguing and unique murder-mystery. Beth Prentice takes Daisy Montgomery’s seemingly perfect life and spins subtle suggestions that break her perfect life façade and give an air of mystery. With it, Prentice leaves readers with pressing questions of what happened to Daisy Montgomery and why? Daisy is a good, kind person with a loving fiancé and great friends. So far, Daisy feels like she had been living her best life but an unforeseen incident turns her into something ghostlike. Unseen by everyone except a few, she starts to see the cracks in her life and she begins to question some of her seemingly happy relationships with the people around her. The pace and tone set by the author match the plot, character exploration, and development.
The characters all leave an impression, especially Daisy and Charlie. Daisy’s inner thoughts are relatable and her devastation over her situation is understandable. I appreciated her determination to uncover what happened. Charlie is sweet and helpful. I see him as Daisy’s rock during the unexpected developments of her life. The two of them are a good team and they are the solid foundation of this distinctive plot. In High Spirits is definitely a one-of-a-kind, exciting, quirky tale that leaves me anticipating and wondering about what is in store for Daisy.