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Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass

(Exotic Pet-Sitter #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  131 reviews
When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .  
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—
Kindle Edition, 194 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Lyrical Underground (first published June 2019)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Jan)
The first book in a new exotic pet sitter cozy mystery series.

Belinda Blake is a quirky, delightful character who works as an exotic pet sitter in Greenwich, Connecticut. She has just rented a carriage house next to a huge estate which is the home of the Carrington family.  It won't be long until she meets Stone Carrington the Fifth, the adult son of the family. She immediately melts a little bit.

Belinda is pet sitting a ball python for the moment and this made for some fun encounters. There
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert is the first book in the new cozy Exotic Pet-Sitter mystery series. As with most cozy mysteries readers will get a fully solved mystery within each book with only a bit of character building carrying over to the next.

Belinda Blake has taken up a rather unusual job in pet sitting, but not only the average dog or cat, Belinda specializes in exotic pets so that she can expand her business. Along with her business Belinda has just rente
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this wonderful cozy mystery by Heather Day Gilbert. This is the first book in a new exotic pet sitter mystery series (Wolf in Sheeps’ Clothing available now and Birds of a Feather releasing in 2020). Belinda Blake is such lovable character - made we want her life. An adult who sits for exotic pets, who also plays and reviews video games for a living in Greenwich CT. While pet sitting a ball phyton, a murder or two complicates her peaceful existence living in a perfect carriage ho ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this kindle e-book version in a Goodreads Giveaway. It is the first in a series by Heather Day Gilbert. Belinda Blake has two jobs. She is an exotic pet-sitter and a video game reviewer and has just arrived at her new rental; a carriage house on an estate in Connecticut. Before she is finished unpacking, she finds a dead body in a flowerbed at the back of her house. With this start, we are off and running.

The cozy mystery has quirky characters, humor, a ball python, murder, a little romanc
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Heather Day Gilbert is an author that I trust without reservation. I’m not a big reader of cozy mysteries by any stretch. Would I ever think, hey, let me look for a book that has an exotic pet sitter as the protagonist, no, but Belinda is one, and I am here for it as long as Gilbert keeps adding to the series. I’m not sure if excellent character development is a typical feature of cozy mysteries, but it is of a Gilbert novel. Belinda Blake is such a charming character; I’d love to be her friend ...more
Karin Kaufman
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This fast-paced, fun, and well-written cozy mystery was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved Belinda Blake, the book's original and endearing amateur sleuth, I liked the setting (Greenwich, Connecticut), and the identity of the killer came as a total surprise. All major pluses that make this a great mystery. Now I'm dying to read book 2 in the series!
Trina (aNovelReader)
I think you need to really like snakes to feel totally comfortable reading this one. All of the details that Belinda goes into to take care of her pet sitting snakes were a bit much for me. It was a distraction and took the focus away from the murder mystery. If you have no aversion to snakes than you will most likely enjoy it.

I had so much fun reading this cozy mystery. I loved the no-fuss, introverted, snake pet-sitter character of Belinda Blake. For me, this cozy mystery had the perfect balance of humor and mysterious details and it kept me flipping the pages with sheer delight. I guess you could say that I am officially a huge fan of Belinda Blake and I can’t wait to read the following novels in this unique and endearing series.

Oh, I also want to mention that certain parts of the book felt “bookish” to me since r
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Introverts Unite! Belinda Blake is (a mostly) self-assured Exotic-Pet sitter where dead bodies keep piling up in her backyard! This was a cute, cozy (pun-intended) mystery. I loved Belinda's blunt, fresh, and friendly personality. Her family is an important aspect of her life, and I liked how they supported her. All of the characters were well drawn out and that made for a great story. I will definitely read more of Belinda Blake!
Chatting About
The protagonist is an exotic pet sitter and a video game reviewer. I found the mystery to be good. I’m not a fan of snakes, however, I do like trying new cozy series.
Jocelyn Green
What a fun new cozy mystery from Heather Day Gilbert! Belinda Blake is the kind of heroine we all wish could be our friend. The story kept me guessing to the end. I'm ready to tag along for Belinda's next exotic pet-sitting/murder mystery adventure.
Lady Delacour
Belinda is offbeat
lovable and funny.
Snake feeding is
cringe worthy laughable.
Characters entertain you.
Mystery keeps you guessing.
3.5 Humorous Stars.
Listened with TTS.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good!

I was a little worried about reading this because of my fear of snakes, but I really enjoyed it! I really liked Belinda and can’t wait to read about her next adventure!
Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is a lighthearted cozy mystery. Belinda Blake earns her living minding exotic animals (no dog or cats for her) while their owners are out of town and writing video game review articles. She wanted to expand her pet sitting business and thought Greenwich would be the perfect locale. Belinda was looking forward to a quieter life and getting her hands dirty in the gardens surrounding her cottage. While doing a little weeding, Belinda finds a body. She is sud ...more
Erin Laramore
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars for this clean cozy mystery. I first discovered this author with her Murder in the Mountains series and expected a similar dynamic in this one. They are not at all the same (just in case anyone else goes in with the same expectation). This one, while a clean read, is not one I would classify as Christian Fiction. It also reads more like a young adult novel (though the main character is in her 20s).

Belinda Blake has finally found her wings and has moved in to the perfect little carriag
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am always game to try the first book in a cozy mystery but of late have not had much luck with them. This book might be the indicator of a change in that trend. It remains to be seen.

I need to say that the title does not accurately describe the story but is a play of words which all separately play a part in the narrative. This does not take anything away from the tale itself. Belinda Blake is completely aware of the alliteration that is her name and is in the job of pet-sitting for exotic pet
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I hoped the title was a metaphor, but that hope was dashed with the very first line …

"The first time I saw Stone Carrington the fifth, I had a snake wrapped around my neck."

Yes, the snake is a major feature. But he (I assume it was a he) is also a great character who sets the tone of the novel and provides some much-needed comic relief.

Belinda Blake is an exotic pet sitter and videogame reviewer who’s just moved into the carriage house on the Carrington estate. She’s settling in well … until she
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Belinda Blake has an unusual career, one of pet sitting exotic pets and another one of writing reviews for video games. She wanted to move out of Manhattan and found the perfect spot in a carriage house on a family estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. Things start off bad when she discovers a body of a young woman in her back flower bed as she is moving in. It turns out to be that of a friend of the family. Margo was at a billiards party thrown by the son, Stone Carrington the fifth. In between tak ...more
Anne Rightler
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: launch-team
Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is the first book in Heather Day Gilbert's new series, An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery and I can not wait to read book #2. Having read several of this author's books before I knew I could expect a good book and I wasn't disappointed. Gilbert is a skilled storyteller and she has crafted a story that moves quickly with several unpredictable twists and interesting situations, drawing the reader in right from the start. The characters are great--colorful and a t ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cosy mysteries have never been a go-to read for me. I much prefer the faster pace and thrilling edge to a suspense novel, but as I know Heather Day Gilbert's talent as a writer, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to try the first book in her Exotic Pet Sitter Mysteries. For starters the cover is super fun, the series title unique, and the premise holds lots of appeal, and having turned the last page, I'm delighted to say it has endeared me a little more to the cosy mystery genre. Gilbert's writi ...more
Miss W Book Reviews
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Snake in the Grass is the first book in the Exotic Pet Sitter Cozy Mystery Series.
This is the first book I have read by this author.

In this book we meet Belinda Blake who has two jobs, she is an exotic pet-sitter and a video game reviewer. Yes I said EXOTIC PET SITTER! I love this unique job for the protaganist. Belinda has just gotten to her new rental house in Connecticut and next thing you know, she disocvers a body.

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. Did I mention the ball python? I will let
Susan Snodgrass
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once again Heather Gilbert shows her readers that she is a dab hand at cozy mysteries. A pet sitter babysitting a huge snake doesn’t deter Belinda Blake one bit. She is living in a small apartment on the estate of a super rich family when she finds a dead body in her yard. From then on, Belinda is in a mission to discover the killer. Readers are as well and Gilbert leads us on a merry chase, for I was completely surprised at the identity of the culprit.

* My thanks to the publisher and author fo
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very good start for a new series.
The cast of characters is well written and likable, Belinda has unusual works for a cozy mystery heroine, the plot is full of twists and turns and keeps you hooked till the last page.
The mystery was good, no plot hole, and it kept me guessing till the end.
I appreciated the style of writing and the humour.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Melissa Henderson
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interesting story. I have never read a story that included a snake. The author kept me turning the page with details of the mystery and the relationships. I will read more by this author.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: obs, netgalley
As a fan of the author’s mysteries, I couldn’t miss her first cozy. It is even better than I anticipated! Heather Day Gilbert begins with a young woman who many readers can identify with and moves her to Greenwich, CT, where she rents a carriage house. Include the mixed blessing of petsitting a ball python and a murder just outside the carriage house, and the elements are in line for a perfect read.

Belinda has taken her time finding what she enjoys doing for a living. After being in remote, inte
Becky Lewis
I love cozies. Cozies that meet the original definition as near as I can tell can be hard to come by, but Heather Gilbert’s newest had me smiling. Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Gilbert is a new favorite in this category. I don’t know that Greenwich is considered a “small town,” but the setting of a carriage house on the grounds of a mansion worked. The main character is an exotic pet-sitter. So no kittens or dogs. In this case, the snake Belinda is caring for plays an important rol ...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
What a way to start a new series - red herrings galore, hidden killers, and mysterious motives.  All of these lead to an unexpected ending.

Exotic pet sitter - someone has to do it and Belinda is up to the task.  While we learn a little bit about her past, she seems quite happy not being stuck in a traditional type job and is building up a pet sitting business for those pets that traditional pet sitters may not want to take on, like a ball python snake.  I can't even imagine taking care of  snake
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The First Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery

Belinda Blake has moved from NYC to a carriage house apartment in tony Greenwich, Connecticut hoping to garner some new clients for her exotic pet-sitting business. With her current charge, a ball python named Rasputin, Belinda meets the hunky son living in the mansion next door. Her next encounter isn't nearly as pleasant, as she discovers the dead body of a young woman in her flowerbed! Now Stone
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers of Mysteries, Cosy Mysteries
This was a fabulous beginning to a brand new series!

Belinda Blake, an exotic pet-sitter, has recently relocated to Greenwich, Connecticut to develop her business looking after peoples’ exotic pets in their absence. On her first day in her new rented accommodation, a carriage house located in the grounds of a mansion belonging to the Carrington family, she discovers a corpse – the body of a young woman who is still wearing one of her Louboutins. Can Belinda and the detective on the case find the
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HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren't afraid to protect those they love. Publisher's Weekly gave Heather's Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is "an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith ...more

Other books in the series

Exotic Pet-Sitter (3 books)
  • Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Exotic Pet-Sitter #2)
  • Belinda Blake and the Birds of a Feather (Exotic Pet-Sitter #3)

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