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Pretty Is As Pretty Dies (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  319 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Bingo, bridge-and a dead body in the church sanctuary? Life in this small Southern town just got ugly . . . and exciting! No one in Bradley, North Carolina, is exactly crying into their sweet tea over the murder of Parke Stockard. Certainly not retired schoolteacher Myrtle Clover. Upon discovering the corpse, Myrtle is struck-not with grief, but a brilliant idea! Solving t ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published August 8th 2009 by Midnight Ink
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A Killer Plot by Ellery AdamsGlazed Murder by Jessica BeckA Slice of Murder by Chris CavenderBuried in a Book by Lucy ArlingtonSmoky Mountain Tracks by Donna Ball
North Carolina Mysteries
15th out of 120 books — 10 voters
Southern Mystical Moments by Patricia H. GrahamMoonlight on the Nantahala by Micheal RiversGhosts of the North Carolina Shores by Micheal RiversHillbilly Tales from the Smoky Mountains - And Other Homespun... by Patricia H. GrahamPast, Present, and Promises by Patricia H. Graham
North Carolina Setting and/or Author
203rd out of 253 books — 131 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,066)
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Ingrid Parker
Apr 15, 2014 Ingrid Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give this book and a!
OMG...can't stop laughing. this woman is the best. She is "Ms Marple" come to life, with a family that is great in personality, vitality and humor. I can SEE them. This is what reading is all about.

Chapter 15 took a while to complete due to the laughter. I put the book down a number of times to compose myself, and waited for my laughter to subside to continue.

This book ROCKED!!! Please continue to create many more Mrtyle Clover mysteries.
Karen B.
Mar 24, 2015 Karen B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had read one of the later Myrtle Clover books and liked it so I went back to the beginning.
This was a wonderful laugh out loud book. Myrtle is an octogenarian who has the sharp mind and clever wit of a much younger woman. She establishes herself in this book as a great amateur sleuth. But what I liked most was her feisty personality. I laughed so hard that I was crying and had to stop reading for a few minutes. I especially liked her attitude toward the book club. Her neighbors and friends are
This book has been declared the first in a series (currently seven books with an eighth waiting in the wings) of murder mysteries starring a southern-American take on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple character, with Myrtle Clover as the aged but indomitable sleuth. I say "declared" because it would appear that A Dyeing Shame was originally published three years earlier (in 2006) but the author herself provides a chronological order to read the series in (should you so wish) on her website, so you c ...more
Laura Cushing
Apr 24, 2014 Laura Cushing rated it it was amazing
The very first book in the Myrtle Clover series - I read this series a bit out of order, as I had picked up other books while they were on sale on Kindle. This one I had to pay full price for- but it was worth it, because I really wanted to see where the story began.

Here is where Myrtle meets her sidekick Miles for the first time, and where you get to meet many residents of her small town. This is a great start to the series, and octegenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover is well worth the read.
Dec 09, 2015 Annette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great reading

I enjoyed reading this book very much. I've read several other books about Myrtle before reading this one. Myrtle is quite a character and so feisty for an 80 something. The book I read had duplicate pages in chapters 17 and 18 so chapter 18 was really missing. I was still able to enjoy the book. I highly recommend this series about Myrtle Clover.
Melissa Mayhew
Jun 10, 2013 Melissa Mayhew rated it liked it
This book was just ok for me. I read it mostly because the summer reading program (for prizes) said I had to read a mystery. This is not usually my genre, but the librarian recommended it. I found the story to be a little slow for me, but it was set in the south, so that makes sense. I did skip to the end to check my prediction about the murderer, and I was right.
Jun 14, 2014 Casceil rated it liked it
Shelves: ylto-toppler
This book has some very funny moments, and I'm glad I read it, but I'm not sure I will read any more of the series. The protagonist/detective is Miss Myrtle (an obvious take on Miss Marple), an octogenarian in a small town who solves crimes by collecting gossip and interrogating her neighbors. Her son Red is the chief of police and is always trying to find other things to keep her occupied so she will stay out of his cases and not put herself in danger. Red lives across the street from Miss Myrt ...more
Addison Bates
Jul 20, 2016 Addison Bates rated it really liked it
I LOVE the Myrtle Clover mystery series! I read several of them on Wattpad, then ended up buying this one and others in ebook form. They can be a tad predictable, with obvious suspects and a classic whodunit setup, but the characters are endearing enough that it doesn't matter! Who doesn't love an octogenarian sleuth with a skeptical police chief son in a cozy mystery? I definitely ship Myrtle and Miles, though I doubt I'll ever see it come to fruition. Can't wait to read all the Myrtle Clover b ...more
Nov 15, 2009 Mason rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
Pretty Is As Pretty Dies
A Myrtle Clover Mystery
By Elizabeth Spann Craig
Midnight Ink
2143 Wooddale Drive
Woodburg, Minn.
ISBN: 978-0-7387-1480-6
Paperback, 214 pages, $13.95

Retired schoolteacher Myrtle Clover is not ready to be shuffled off to an assisted living home in her small Southern town.

Her son Red, who’s also the police chief, decides to sign her up for the Altar Guild and United Methodist Women to keep her busy. But, Myrtle wants nothing to do with that.

Over night a village of a hundred gnom
Clarissa Draper
Jun 26, 2010 Clarissa Draper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other-mysteries
Genre: Cozy Mystery
How I read it: Kindle for PC

What attracted me to the book: The title and the awesome cover! Love the gnomes. Maybe because I love the TV show Amazing Race.

Who should read this book: If you love cozy mysteries set in small American towns with great characters and witty banter... it's for you!

Summary (from amazon): No one in Bradley, North Carolina, is exactly crying into their sweet tea over the murder of Parke Stockard. Certainly not retired schoolteacher Myrtle Clover. Upon d
Dec 19, 2014 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The main character, Myrtle Clover, is a hoot! She's an octogenarian and the town snoop. Her son is the chief of police and lives across the street from Myrtle with his wife and child. Of course, there's a murder and Myrtle gets involved in spite of her son's wish that she stay out of it. And, naturally as in these cozy mysteries, Myrtle saves the day and catches the killer. This is the first book in a series and I look forward to reading the others.
Aug 22, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing
A fun beginning for what I hope is an ongoing series!!! I want more Myrtle :-)
Myrtle is a woman of a "certain age" who finds herself with way too much time on her hands and of course manages to find some trouble (or more trouble) along the way.
Ms. Craig's character development is sharp and fun. You are instantly drawn to Myrtle as well as no doubt reminded of a grandmother, aunt or the lady from church that everyone knows!! The love her son Red has for her is tempered with his absolute frustra
Jenifer Rosenberg
Aug 26, 2015 Jenifer Rosenberg rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, for-fun
This was an amusing story with a non-standard sleuth. Instead of the dainty, proper elderly lady, the protagonist is a force to be reckoned with. It was good, light-hearted fun, but I figured out whodunnit within a chapter of the body being discovered. It was still entertaining, and a good read between more serious fare.
Nov 19, 2015 Paulaj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute and confusing

This was a quick,light read. The clues kept me guessing to the end. The confusing thing was that page 170 and 196 have the same chapter. I felt something was missing on page 196 because of the repetition and no explanation to the previous chapter after Althea answered the door.
Judy King
Jul 24, 2012 Judy King rated it liked it
It's been a long time since I've read a cozy mystery -- Pretty is as Pretty Dies didn't disappoint! Myrtle is the Red's mom and he's the police chief and lives just across the street in this small town. You might think that would keep this Methodist Altar Committee member walking the straight and narrow -- instead she just can't help herself and is driven to get the inside info on the murder of the town's rich, pretty, snobby newcomer. So off she goes to visit shut-ins, lay on another plate of g ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Beatrice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book

This is a fun humorous cozy mystery. Myrtle is full of life and entertaining. I love the relationship between Myrtle and Red and Mrytle and Miles. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.
Maria E
Jun 28, 2014 Maria E rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, hobby
Not the best cosy mystery I've read lately. I really don't see myself continuing this series mainly because I can't stand Myrtle. She gets a thought into her head and tries to prove it instead of following the evidence.
Aug 16, 2015 Arcie rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. An elderly lady trying to prove something to her son is always a good headliner. Well to me at least. This book was funny I almost forgot it was about a mystery.
Feb 11, 2014 Katherine rated it it was ok
Very long and drawn out... not very humorous.
Laura Marcella
Jul 23, 2010 Laura Marcella rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Spann Craig's cozy mystery was so fun to read! I was hooked just from the short prologue. The main character, Myrtle Clover, is a hoot! She's an eighty-something, six foot tall, cane wielding mother of the police chief, and she isn't afraid to tell people exactly what's in her sharp mind! The other characters were terrific, too; I especially liked Erma and Miles! I really enjoyed following Myrtle as she pursued one clue after another. Does she crack the case before the killer cracks he ...more
Oct 02, 2012 Jean rated it really liked it
A wonderful story with Myrtle Clover, her friends, family, and even those she doesn't like and how Myrtle strives to solve the murder mystery of her small, southern town. Myrtle who is in her early 80's, a retired literature teacher and mother of the police chief is a character you can't help but love. The woman has spunk! To quote from the back cover, "Even when another muder takes place, pround Myrtle forges on, armed only with a heavy cane, a venomous tongue, and a widower sidekick."
You're go
Rosemary Jarrell
Jan 20, 2016 Rosemary Jarrell rated it really liked it
Loved it!
Jane Kennedy
Nov 01, 2009 Jane Kennedy rated it it was amazing
If the photo of the gnomes on the front cover of Pretty is as Pretty Dies hadn’t already convinced me that I would enjoy reading this book, the very first sentence would have. I was drawn into the town of Bradley, North Carolina immediately. Myrtle and the other characters seemed so real that I felt like I’d known them my whole life, making their escapades a hoot to follow. This was an entertaining read from beginning to end. I’m looking forward to more Myrtle Clover crime solving adventures.
May 18, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Myrtle Clover is a clever, independent, smart, quick witted, octogenarian. I only hope that I can be like her when I grow old.
With the assistance of a friend and to the annoyance of her son the policeman, she is able to insert herself into investigations. She figures things out in her own way. The series is an easy read and sometimes you can see where the ending is going, but they are fun and comical. I recommend reading all of the books about the adventures of Myrtle Clover!!!
Sandra Osborn
May 31, 2016 Sandra Osborn rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading about life in a small southern town. Looking forward to more myrtle clover mysteries
Lindsay Storie
Aug 27, 2013 Lindsay Storie rated it it was amazing
I really like this series, I own 3/4 of the books in the series. Not too serious of a plot. Myrtle is an octogenarian who puts out her gnomes out in the front yard when her and her son are having an argument. She is sharper than other give her credit for and is not ready for the Greener Pastures Nursing Home. Her side kick is Miles, a sixty some odd year old who is a great catch because he still has his drivers license. Really light-hearted quirky, laughable series!
Sep 28, 2009 Sarai rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I did not finish this book. I picked it up because of the cover art - garden gnomes holding axes and looking sinister. However, I did not like the writing style. There were too many characters and the author switched POV too often and without warning, so I had to keep going back to reread something to figure out who was leading the story at that point. Because of that, I really couldn't get involved in what was happening.
Nov 03, 2009 Mendy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009
Library find... I did not read the 1st book in this series and I can't find it available at the library or at my online clubs. I wish I could because Myrtle Clover is a spunky octogenarian that likes to get in to mischief. Her police chief son tries to steer her away with red herrings but he just can't seem to keep her away for long.

Nice story about an elderly woman that isn't frail and frightened. :O)
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Jul 26, 2010 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
This was a new author for me and I truly was lead to her by reading another series that she pens under another name. I cheated and read the copyright information.

I loved this book. Mrytle actually reminds me of someone I know. I loved her schemes and ploys that were utilized to solve this crime. I won't give away any plot but it was a well-formed murder and I hope to read more in this series.
Jan 01, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I somehow came across this series, while searching for books. This reminds me of the Miss Julia books which are among my very favorite. I did find several inconsistencies that should have been caught in editing. These aren't enough to keep me from reading the series, but they do bug the English teacher in me. If you love a clean, funny mystery, then this is a series you should read.
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North Carolina Go...: P is for Pretty is as Pretty Dies 1 4 Jun 09, 2014 04:25PM  
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Elizabeth writes the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, the Memphis Barbeque mysteries for Penguin/Berkley, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently. She blogs at , which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers. Find out more about her books on her website: . Sign up for he ...more
More about Elizabeth Spann Craig...

Other Books in the Series

Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries (10 books)
  • Progressive Dinner Deadly (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #2)
  • A Dyeing Shame (A Myrtle Clover Mystery #3)
  • A Body in the Backyard (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #4)
  • Death at a Drop-In (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #5)
  • A Body at Book Club (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #6)
  • Death Pays a Visit (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #7)
  • A Body at Bunco (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #8)
  • Murder On Opening Night (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #9)
  • Cruising For Murder (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #10)

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