Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.