Cozy Cats and Dogs
By Peg Cochran
Many cozy mysteries are “pet themed” and most cozy mystery protagonists have pets—cats or dogs or both. I was already well into the first book in my Gourmet De-Lite series, Allergic to Death, when a dog in need of adoption suddenly appeared! Of course my protagonist, Gigi, couldn’t resist. I hadn’t planned it—it just happened. It also happened to be a Westhighland White Terrier or a “Westie.” Funny, because I happened to be “owned” by a Westie myself. What to name him? Hmmmm….how about Reg? Even funnier, because my dog is named Reg, too!
There are differences though—the Reg in the book is slimmer and better groomed than my Reg who needs to lose a few pounds and is currently in need of a haircut. But they both have that same spunky spirit Westies are famous for. According to the American Kennel Club, the Westie “is known for its friendly, strong-willed personality and a remarkably bright white coat. Said to be "all terrier," this breed possesses a large amount of spunk, determination and devotion stuffed into a compact little body.” Or, as my husband and I like to say, Reg is a big dog in a small dog’s body!
Reg keeps Gigi company and goes along with her on her errands whenever possible. He’s a bit of a bed hog, but she doesn’t mind. He has even saved the day once or twice! As a writer, I have to remember that he needs to be walked and fed at regular intervals, and I can’t have Gigi leave him in the car in really cold or really hot weather.
In Steamed to Death, the second book in the series, Detective Bill Mertz acquires a cat, Whiskers. Fortunately Whiskers and Reg get along just fine.
Who are your favorite cozy pets?
Iced to Death (Gourmet De-Lite Mystery - Book 3) by Peg Cochran
Publication Date: 03/04/2014
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
Peg Cochran on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Allergic to Death (2012), Steamed to Death (2013), Iced to Death (2013)
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, Iced to Death, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.
Gigi Fitzgerald, owner of Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite, knows how to put her clients’ cravings on ice. But catching a slippery killer is more of a challenge…
Gigi’s business may be hot, but her home life is leaving her cold. Her sister, Pia, has dropped in for an unannounced visit and, much to Gigi’s chagrin, has immediately fallen for handsome bar owner Declan McQuaid. So when Declan asks Gigi to help him prep for a big engagement party, she’s not only dealing with the heat of the kitchen and her own feelings for Declan, but Pia’s jealousy.
However, Gigi’s rising temperature quickly chills when the host of the party is found stabbed to death with an ice pick in back of the pub. Now, as Gigi’s beau, Detective Mertz, hones in on Declan as a possible murderer, Gigi will have to shave down the growing list of suspects quickly, before Pia’s newfound love interest finds himself locked in the cooler…
The third book in Peg Cochran's Gourmet De-Lite Mystery series, Iced to Death will have readers on the edge of their seats with not only the whodunit but the happenings in main character, Gigi's personal life as well. Cochran's trademark for exceptional character development continues with the addition of a few new faces in the series, including Gigi's sister Pia. The red herrings abound and with more than one murder victim Gigi has her hands full with this mystery. Readers will love it when the suspects start to multiply and the motive is still allusive. A great addition to the series!
What I liked:
In the Gourmet De-Lite series there is always a great whodunit, that has been well thought out and executed with precision. There are always intriguing characters that will draw the reader in and usually there is a lot of drama surrounding the heroine Gigi. Iced to Death is no different. Cochran once again does not disappoint. Her writing it always sharp and concise. Her theories are believable and she always does her homework on whatever interesting elements she adds to each book to make it distinct and interesting. You can't go wrong with this series it is a de-lite.
I always enjoy reading about Gigi and her gourmet door to door business. Delivering meals three times a day can get a bit hectic, especially when her sister Pia decides to make a surprise visit and a murder occurs quickly after. Gigi's personal life is often just as interesting as the mystery itself and that's true in this novel as well. In Iced to Death, Pia's visit causes all kinds of situations to develop. First, Pia falls for bar owner Declan McQuaid. Gigi has some pent up feelings which she refuses to admit for Declan and ends up with Pia being jealous of her, Gigi's boyfriend Bill Mertz jealous of Declan and so forth and so on. It was quite a mess but definitely an entertaining one, especially when a someone is murdered with an ice pick that happens to belong to Declan. I think Cochran does a great job of making everything about Gigi interesting. She is so full of life it isn't any wonder that everything around her is chaotic.
The mystery itself had some punch as well. Gigi is helping Declan when an engagement party that gets out of hand. The father of the would be groom storms out and is later found dead. Declan gets accused of the murder because the ice pick found in the body is one of his. But he's not the only one who could have been the culprit. There are plenty of suspects to do around, from the son who needed money to the woman who didn't get the promotion and it's up to Gigi to clear Declan and figure out whodunit. I loved the way Cochran kept me guessing with this one. I always know I will get a good mystery with her books, one that might take me a while to put together. Iced to Death was definitely a puzzler.
The addition of Pia's character showed Cochran's strength in character development. She is of course, Gigi's sister, but Cochran didn't stop with just those kinds of details. She gives Pia a back ground story of her own. She's up to something and Gigi can't quite figure out what it is. I think we will see more from this character in later additions to the series and I'm looking forward to seeing what secrets Cochran has in store for us with her.
As usual Cochran keeps readers guessing until the very end. About not only the mystery but about these feelings Gigi seems to have for Declan. Though she blushes in his presence and definitely thinks he's hot, I think detective Mertz is still her number one, at least for now. I love the way Cochran balances all of the aspects of Gigi's life. Her love life, her career and her sleuthing. It's always a pleasure to read more about Gigi.
What I didn't like:
There were a few grammatical errors in the finished copy that stood out, but I'm not a stickler for those kinds of things. There are still come inconsistencies in the timing throughout the book. For someone with her own small business Gigi certainly seems to have more time on her hands that expected. Neither of these things is a turn off to reading the book, just little things that could easily be fixed.
This is a great series, and Iced to Death is a great addition to it. I like spending time reading about these characters. I want to know what's going on in their lives and what mystery that Gigi is going to find herself in the middle of next. If you're looking for an author who knows how to write good characters, you can't go wrong with Peg Cochran.
Iced to Death is available NOW from your favorite book seller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Peg Cochran is the author of the bestselling Gourmet De-Lite series, including Allergic to Death and Steamed to Death. She lives in Michigan with her family.
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