DiscoverMystery & Crime

The Dime Box


Loved it! 😍

When Ian Giffen is found dead in his palliative care bed, his daughter, Greta, is the prime suspect. Greta has a story that reveals all!

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Karen Grose. for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Interested in some Canadian crime fiction, I thought that I would tackle Karen Grose’s book to see if it held up to all the hype. Greta Giffen is all of nineteen years of age and already an orphan. When she is seen rushing out of her father’s palliative care room, the nurses know something is up. Ian Giffen is dead in his bed and the authorities can only wonder if and how Greta might be responsible. While being interviewed, Greta takes the detective (and reader) back through her life, one in which she was forced to live under the controlling thumb of Ian Giffen. She reveals much about her home life, something she tried to get away from at every turn. As the story progresses, the reader learns more about the hardships that befell a young Greta and how she coped, with a small dime box as her most trusted companion. When the investigation heats up and Greta seems certain to be guilty, she adds new layers to her story in order to explain things away. However, there is no disputing that Ian Giffen is dead and that she was the last person to see him alive. Where the investigation will end up is anyone’s guess, though the reader will have to travel this long and twisted route to get to the truth. A well-paced debut novel by Karen Grose, sure to pique the interest of the curious reader.

Recommended to those who enjoy novels with flashback/forward narratives, as well as the reader who likes to read books set in rural Canada.

I love books set in Canada, particularly when I can somewhat relate to their setting. There is so much to take away from them, rather than flipping through yet another book situated on the gritty streets of America or even into Europe. Grose does well in her development of the setting, but it is the evolution of Greta Giffen that steals the show. Nineteen going on fifty, or so it seems, Greta has much to tell the reader in this ever-revealing story that tells a story in quite the jagged fashion. The reader learns much about the life of this young woman, from foibles to heroic struggles to define herself and find out the truth that might set her free. Other characters throughout offer a wonderful dose of grit and determination, leaving the reader wondering what awaits them in the next chapter or two. The story was decent and told in a unique way. While I love the flashback/forward used in the book, at times I thought it got to be too much; the lines of the narrative too fluid for me to truly grasp where things were headed. Grose has developed this thriller effectively, but I had wished for a little more grounding. The short chapters and numerous cliffhangers kept me wanting to read on (which I did) to learn just what Greta had been doing and how things fell into place. Well-written and easy to read, I will keep my eyes open for more by Karen Grose in the coming years!

Kudos, Madam Grose, for a nice debut that kept me thinking. I hope others trip upon this piece and offer similar praise.

Reviewed by

I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention. While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.


About the author

Karen Grose was born in Canada and lives with her family in Toronto. After a long career as a teacher, principal and superintendent, she turned her attention to writing. The Dime Box is her debut novel and she is currently working on a second. view profile

Published on December 05, 2019

Published by Notebook Publishing

70000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by