Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!
I am excited to tell you about Linda’s new series as part of her Great Escapes Book Tour!
Why a Barkery?
by Linda O. Johnston
My new Barkery & Biscuits Mystery series has now started. The first book is Bite the Biscuit, and it was released in early May.
In the series, protagonist Carrie Kennersly is a veterinary technician who also gets to realize her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Her good friend Brenda Anesco has to sell her bakery, Icing on the Cake, and move away because her mother is ill. Carrie buys it from her and converts half of Icing into Barkery and Biscuits, a store that sells handmade dog treats made from healthy recipes Carrie developed for patients as a vet tech.
Lots of people enjoy cozy mysteries where the background theme involves cooking and food. People also enjoy cozies that focus on animals. I’m hoping that people have fun with my Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, which have both.
When I first came up with the hint of an idea for this series a couple of years ago, I was aware that there was an emerging industry of small shops that catered to home-cooked meals and treats for pets but it wasn’t very popular–then.
Now it’s a different story. In my area of Los Angeles, for example, such kinds of stores, often chain stores, keep opening. In some, the employees are the cooks and bakers as well as sales help, using stoves and ovens and more to create the foods right there. In others, the employees sell to customers boxes, bags and other containers of food and treats that are made locally with the best of ingredients and then sent to stores for sale.
I buy samples most places I visit. But I’m limited on what I get and give to our dogs, Lexie and Mystie. They both have health issues. Mystie is on prescription dog food and Lexie has a somewhat limited diet. Yes, I understand that the kinds of healthy things that these stores sell and that Carrie comes up with might be good for both of them. But they’re each doing okay in their own ways and I’m concerned about rocking that particular boat. So, I don’t intend to change their diets now.
I don’t even mention the possibility of such amazing diets to Lexie and Mystie. They already give me enough orders that involve providing them treats I know are okay for them. And also don’t tell Mystie, but Lexie sometimes does get fun new treats from some of those stores, as long as they’re limited in number and content.
In the meantime, Carrie’s dog Biscuit gets to hang out in the Barkery and sample all the wonderful dog treats. I hope she doesn’t tell Lexie and Mystie, either.
And it’s certainly fun to write about the Barkery. I hope you enjoy reading about it!
Bite the Biscuit
(A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
Setting – California
Publisher: Midnight Ink (May 8, 2015)
Paperback: 312 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00VXK6CTY
Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician, has become known for offering healthy and popular dog treats at the clinic where she works. When the local bakery’s owner moves away, Carrie jumps at the chance to convert it into the Barkery, a shop to make and sell her canine delights.
But Myra Ethman, co-owner of another pet product store, hates the new competition. At the Barkery’s opening party, she badmouths Carrie’s homemade dog biscuits, insisting she’ll find a way to shut the place down. So when Myra is found dead with a Barkery biscuit beside her, Carrie must prove she didn’t do it before she’s collared for murder.
Linda O. Johnston loves her pets and that truly shines through in her writing. In Bite the Biscuit she introduces us to Carrie Kennersly who has so much energy it is absolutely amazing. She works at a local veterinary clinic as a tech and has just bought a local bakery and added on to include a “barkery” where she bakes and sells yummy treats for dogs. Her own dog, Biscuit, goes almost everywhere with her. She is at her shop by 5 a.m. each morning baking and her day continues on in her store until it is time for her to work at the clinic and then she goes back to close up her shop. She did inherit 2 assistants when she purchased the bakery but she enjoys doing both things and plans to continue that as long as she can.
Her grand reopening is all set and people are showing up in droves, including the owners of a local pet supply store, her closest competition. Myra Ethman owns the store with her husband and she doesn’t make a quiet entrance. She is bad mouthing Carrie’s treats to everyone and threatening to put the new barkery out of business. She and Carrie exchange a few heated words but Carrie is not about to let one cranky customer ruin her day. But it does ruin the next day and week when Myra is found dead and the police are trying to find enough evidence to collar Carrie for the crime. So now Carrie’s busy days also have to include time for snooping, sleuthing and solving the mystery of who made Myra Bite the Biscuit .
This was a fun story with some very entertaining characters both 2 and 4 legged. We not only meet Carrie and her store clerks, we also meet her brother, Neal, Dr. Arvus Kline, the vet that helped Carrie buy her bakery/barkery, and Dr. Reed Storme and his dog Hugo, plus many more.
The mystery was very well written as well. Myra wasn’t the most liked woman around town so there were plenary of suspects. I saw where the story was headed and was still surprised by the way things actually played out in the end.
The author also includes some doggy treat recipe in the back of the book too.
This is a great start for this new series!
About This Author
Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.
Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries also from Midnight Ink, kicks off in May with BITE THE BISCUIT.
Praise for Bite The Biscuit
Bite The Biscuit by Linda O. Johnston is a pawsitivly fantastic read for anyone who loves well written cozy mysteries where it isn’t easy to figure out who-dun-it!
Linda has done it again. She has created a captivating cozy with great characters who truly love animals.
~Melina’s Book Blog
It ‘s full of interesting and fun characters, cute animals, there’s quite a mystery to solve, and also an interesting relationship almost love.
I loved this adventure and mystery. I have loved every book written by Ms. Johnston she is really a great writer…
Be sure to check out the other tour stops!!
May 8 – WV Stitcher – Review
May 9 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview
May 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
May 10 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
May 11 – Community Bookstop – Review
May 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
May 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Cozy Wednesday
May 14 – Musings and Ramblings – Review, Guest Post
May 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
May 16 – readalot – Review
May16 – Laura’s Interests – Review
May 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview
May 18 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review
May 18 – View from the Birdhouse – Review
May 19 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review, Interview
May 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – Review
May 21 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”