Friday, January 3, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Paws for Murder

Paws for Murder (Pet Boutique Mystery - Book 1) by Annie Knox

Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0451239504
ISBN-13: 978-0451239501

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Annie Knox on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from Paws for Murder, courtesy of the author's website.

Synopsis:

Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But at the store’s opening, it turns out it’s a human who’s dressed to kill…

Izzy’s own beloved pets are dressed to the nines for the grand opening of Trendy Tails. Feisty feline Jinx is large and in charge, and happy mutt Packer is lapping up the attention. Izzy and her best friend Rena have their hands full meeting Merryville’s menagerie and serving tasty pupcakes and kitty canapes from their “barkery.” The last thing they need is the town’s local activist, Sherry Harper, scaring off customers and getting tongues wagging by picketing the event.

The two manage to stop Sherry’s protest in its tracks, but the trouble for Trendy Tails is just beginning. Sherry is found murdered in back of the shop, and Rena is immediately named as the lead suspect. Now Izzy and her furry friends have a new pet project—collaring a killer.


Thoughts:

Annie Knox begins her new Pet Boutique Mystery series with, Paws for Murder. As a new author on the cozy block Knox brings readers a book that will appeal to both the pet lover and the mystery buff. Knox does a fantastic job of introducing readers to Merryville, Minnesota and it's colorful inhabitants, including the furry population. Readers who think of their pets as one of the family will love this one, as well as, readers who are looking for a new favorite heroine this year. Izzy McHale definitely fits the bill!

What I liked:

At my house in the country we have outside dogs and little indoor diva. I love animals and the theme for this was a little over the top but totally understandable for those who really get attached to their pets. I liked the fact that Izzy's shop, Trendy Trails was all about the pet, from clothing to their own bakery, serving pet food with posh. I imagined it as a spa for animals and I thought it was interesting theme and played well to both mystery and pet lovers. Knox came up with a series theme that a little out of the ordinary and that's a tough job in the cozy genre.

The victim in this one is an activist that has a hard time keeping her opinions to herself. I liked the fact that Knox starts out the series with the opening of Trendy Trails and that, that is the first time we get to see the victim and possibly the killer. From the get go I found myself reading the descriptions of the people in Merryville closely, trying to figure out whic one was the killer. Knox drew me in quickly, and the pace of the story rocketed from there. I thought the mystery aspects of the book were spot on, and that Knox had obviously done her homework.

The set up for the series tends to take over in the first book, but not so with Paws for Murder. Knox does a great job of balancing the series vs. the story in this one. She keeps her background to a minimum and lets the reader infer a lot of information as the story itself unfolds. She had a very good grasp of what was important and what the reader needed to get interested in this town and these people. She had a good hook and her writing was concise and well done.

Izzy McHale is a great new cozy heroine. She has the curiosity of her pets and can't seem to stay out of trouble when her best friend Rena is accused of the murder. I liked the fact that Izzy doesn't rely on her pets to solve the crime, but does understand their intuition. Jinx and Packer were a great part of the story and readers will instantly love them. 

What I didn't like:

I liked this one a lot but I did figure it out early on, whether that was because I read a ton of cozy mysteries or because it was obvious remains to be seen. I think it's one of those books where the journey was just as important as the big reveal.

Bottom Line:

Overall this was a great first book in a series. It was well balanced, had a great heroine and an interesting theme to work with. I look forward to seeing what Annie Knox has in mind next, and the preview at the back of the book gives me a pretty good idea, I'm going to like it. 

Paws for Murder will be available to booksellers on January 7th. However, pre-ordering is available now.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:

Annie Knox doesn't commit--or solve--murders in her real life, but her passion for animals is 100% true. She's also a devotee of 80s music, Asian horror films, and reality TV. While Annie is a native Buckeye and has called a half dozen states "home," she and her husband now live a stone's throw from the courthouse square in a north Texas town, in their very own crumbling historic house.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Paws for Murder by Annie Knox.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, January 17th.

1. Please leave a comment describing your own adventures at a pet boutique, groomer or even a pet store.
2. Please fill out the FORM.

29 comments:

Nancy Luebke said...

I'm afraid I don't have any. We usually get our pet food at Wal-mart.Big bag stuff.

Linda Kish said...

My son and DIL used to work for a pet store. My son was a manager and my DIL is a dog trainer. Four of our dogs are rescue dogs and three are from pet stores.

Michelle Willms said...

My dogs suffer from severe separation anxiety. My malti-poo would literally climb me like a monkey when we walked into the groomer's shop, crying pitifully the entire time. Once separated from me, she would begin howling. All my other dogs (5 at that time) would join in. Once I was out of sight, the howling would stop immediately. Apparently, my dogs were the source of great humor.

Lexie said...

Los Gatos has a fantastic pet boutique . I love shopping for that special toy and for gift items for friends. I always enjoy browsing all the cat toys and speciality items.

Angela Holland said...

I always like going into pet boutiques and looking for new treats for my dog.

Booklady said...

I've never been to a pet boutique, but I do like to look at the puppies in the pet shop window. Though I always feel sorry for them and wish they would all find homes.

Barbara T. said...

I spend way too much time and money at PetsMart .

Karen B said...

I've only been to a large pet shop once - Petsmart? - and that was just to see what it was all about!

Rita said...

I don't have a pet anymore. So I haven't been to a pet store in awhile.

traveler said...

I haven't been to a pet boutique lately. Just Petsmart. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books said...

I remember taking a dog that we had to PetSmart to pick out a new bed for him, and he loved trying it out right there in the store!

Barbara Thompson said...

My Mom and I live together and Mom has a peek-a-poo named Prissy. She's a diva!! Prissy will be 11 years old in April and she thinks I'm her servant. She loves her groomer, but by the time they're finished, she's ready to come home. Usually she's exhausted so she has to rest whatever is left of the day.
Barbara Thompson
barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I went to get bird seed and saw a cockatiel rush towards me. He followed all around the big cage. I thought, one is enough but couldn't get him out of my mind. When we got home and were relaxing my husband said, "Let's go get him" and that is how we got Speckles". He and Squeaky have been great friends, sometimes there is a squabble but mostly they play together.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Dotty Kelley said...

When my nephew was little we used to go to the mall to look at the puppies in the pet store.

Renee G said...

We have a local pet store that does both grooming and sales of pets. As a kid, we loved to go and check out puppies anytime we were in the area.

cyn209 said...

since I do not have pets, I do not have any reason to go to a pet store, pet groomers, etc......

thank you for the giveaway!!!!

Anonymous said...

We spend way too much for my dog's grooming.

Tammy Cuevas said...

The pet store near our home always has cats from the local shelter for adoption, and I cannot just walk in, buy the cat food and ignore the pretty kitties. One day, my obsession had a happy ending; while shopping for cat food, an adorable gray cat showed off and did everything he could to get my attention. My parents had recently lost their cat to old age and were lonely without him; a quick phone call to Mom, and three years later, they're still a happy family.
tcuevas@iccable.com

Natasha said...

I don't have any stories.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Sue Farrell said...

Our beagles refuse to let us cut their nails--but sit quietly for the groomer to do it.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

Our beagles refuse to let us cut their nails--but sit quietly for the groomer to do it.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Carol M said...

I've never been to a pet boutique. I got my two kitties, brother and sister, at a pet store but I get their food at a vets office. They eat two different foods. The male is dying of kidney failure and I have to be careful of what he eats.

Charlotte said...

Go Petsmart for toys. I order my food from a man in another town.i
CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

Linda Rima said...

Wonderful groomer who groomed my elderly scared cat after soiling herself during the hurricane Ike evacuation. She did it without appointment, without hesitation, and most importantly, with soothing care and love.

Tennisace50(at)yahoo(dot)com

bn100 said...

don't have any to share

lag123 said...

Sadly I have not had any adventures...


lag110 at mchsi dot com

Elizabeth Schroedle said...

When we visit Pet Smart, I have to keep my beagle in the cart. He tries to pull food off the shelves to eat if I let him walk around on his leash.

Michelle F. said...

No adventures at any of those places. I have cats and they've never visited the groomer.

Bonnie said...

My little dog always poops when she gets her nails cut at the groomers. I tell them to cut her nails before they give her a bath.