Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book Review: Murder, She Barked

Murder, She Barked (A Paws and Claws Mystery)Author: Krista Davis
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Series: Paws and Claws Mystery # 1

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.

The calico kitten sat at the midway landing of the stairs and regarded the dog regally, twitching her tail to demonstrate mild annoyance. She didn’t budge, though. The kitten stared down the impish dog, who scrambled to a stop and wisely retreated a few steps.

When I finally rested my head on the down pillow, the dog crept up onto my chest. I ran my hand along the rough fur on her back, wondering if I would be able to sleep with a dog on top of me.

Adorable stores and restaurants lined the sides of the walking area. Wide sidewalks provided ample space for pedestrians, benches for the weary, and outdoor tables at restaurants. In the center, a green grassy section stretched away from me. Trees lined the sides, and a charming gazebo graced the center.

This book is for the pet lover in all of us! I was anxious to see Krista Davis, the author of the fabulous Domestic Diva series, take a new direction and just knew that I had to get a copy of this book and check it out. This is the first book in her new Paws & Claws mystery series which is set in Wagtail, Virginia, a town dedicated to pets and their owners. She really did a great job of making this feel real and seem very relatable. Holly Miller is our new leading lady and amateur sleuth. She receives an urgent call from her grandmother early on in the book, and is forced to head back to Wagtail Mountain. This is where the journey begins!

I have to give most of the credit to Twinkletoes, a frisky calico kitten, and her sidekick Trixie, a loveable Jack Russell Terrier. These two really do steal the show. They are fun-loving animals that Krista Davis said she modeled after her own cat and dog. They add so much humor to the story, and any animal lover is sure to enjoy their presence. Furthermore, they bring out a fun-loving side of Holly as well. I don’t know if I am more anxious to continue the series because of Holly or because of these two mischievous, yet heartwarming animals!

I loved the setting that Krista Davis has created in this book, but of course I already knew that she was the diva of detail! Everything seems so believable. She must base a lot of her stories, settings, and characters off of her actual life experiences because it all feels like I could reach out and touch it. I think this is what makes her writing seem so wonderful to me because the towns and people she creates could be right down the road from me. I am looking forward to the next book in this series!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley Trade in exchange for my honest review***

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