Publication Date: 12/03/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Krista Davis on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest
Excerpt from Murder She Barked, courtesy of Barnes & Noble
The Sugar Maple Inn in Wagtail, Virginia, is the country's premiere vacation hot spot for pet owners who can’t bear to leave their furry friends behind. But this tourist town smells trouble when a killer goes on the prowl....
Holly Miller's life has gone to the dogs. She has no job, her boyfriend's former flame is sniffing around, and a scruffy but loveable Jack Russell Terrier is scattering crumbs all over her borrowed car. Just when she thought things couldn't get worse, a troubling phone call about her grandmother sends her rushing home to the family inn on Wagtail Mountain.
The staff—and a frisky Calico kitten named Twinkletoes—adopts Holly and her new dog on arrival. But someone in this friendly town is bad to the bone. One of the employees at the inn has been killed in a hit-and-run accident—which is looking anything but accidental. Now Holly and her furry companions will have to nose out the murderer before someone else gets muzzled.
Cozy mysteries resident Domestic Diva, Krista Davis is going in a new direction with the first book in her new Paws and Claws Mystery series, Murder She Barked. Wagstail, Virginia is a very special town, dedicated to pets and their persons. Davis does a fantastic job of making this little town a place that pet owners and their pets will love. From restaurants that allow pets, and even give them their own menu's to activities designed just for cats and dogs, there seems to be a lot going on, including murder!
I was really delighted to see where Krista Davis would take readers with her new series. Considering that I am an animal lover as well, this series was right up my ally. Can you imagine a town that caters to animals in every way possible? That's Wagstail. What a great setting. Davis makes readers believe that a place like Wagstail and The Sugar Maple Inn could really exist and I'm sure most of us wish it did after reading this book.
Twinkletoes and Trixie were the stars of the show in this book. I know that my little dog can get into some pretty good messes, but these two take the cake. They really added a lot of humor and comedy to the novel. What amateur sleuth wouldn't want this pair helping them figure out the clues? I thought Davis did a great job with them and then I read that they were patterned after her own dog and cat. I can totally see that, they are so realistic, but over-the-top as well. I loved these two and can't wait to see what they get into next.
I think that Davis balanced her love of animals well with her love of baking and cooking in this book and the recipes at the end of the book are an added bonus. Pet lovers and mystery readers a like will all find something they like in this first book. Davis sets up the background for the town and it's eccentric shop owners quickly and doesn't rely to heavily on that part of the story to carry the book. The mystery may be the main focus of the novel, but the little details are what sets this one apart.
The mystery aspect of the book was very cleverly done. Who would want to kill one of the Sugar Maple Inn's employee's? What's really going on around there? I thought Holly was a great lead character and I liked the way her mind worked as she figured out each clue and found the killer. I figured this one out shortly before the big reveal. There were plenty of suspects and motives, but Davis was quick to keep the reader off balance and grasping for their own clues.
A great first book in a series, that I think will take the cozy sub-genre by storm. I loved it and think I like the way Davis thinks. There should be a lot more fun to come from the Sugar Maple Inn as we get to know Holly and furry friends.
Murder She Barked is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Krista Davis is the national bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Multiple books from that series have been nominated for Agatha Awards and have hit the New York Times extended list. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with a brood of cats and dogs, including a snoopy Jack Russell Terrier and a nosy Calico cat. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices that they keep coming back for more.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Murder She Barked by Krista Davis.
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