Today I am so dog-gone excited to welcome Annie Knox to Escape With Dollycas!!
Getting Away by Annie Knox
I have a hard time getting away from it all. I work full time as a college instructor which (a) takes a lot of time and energy and (b) comes with an e-mail account to which hundreds of students have 24-hour access. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job, and I know how lucky I am to have it. Sometimes I gripe about my young charges, but I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without classes and advisees.
Still, a girl can’t live on labor alone. Sometimes you just have to escape, even if it’s just for a few moments of Calgon-induced bliss. And here’s where I get really, really lucky. I get paid to escape into a book. I can slip behind a keyboard and sink right into the world of Merryville, Minnesota, my perfect vacation spot.
The Pet Boutique Mysteries were originally supposed to be set in Wisconsin – a beautiful state! But a little voice in my head kept pushing me to pick up the story’s stakes and move it to Minnesota, a state I used to call home. Finally, I gave in, and Merryville started to spring to life. The small town shops and tourist magnets began to flourish. The mix of hit dishes and farm-to-table haute cuisine, the time-honored Minnesota staples of potica and meatballs mingled with unexpected splashes of Korean barbeque, found their ways into the restaurants that lined the oak-lined streets. The drinking, the deer stands, the fishing tours, and the endless festivals filled the days in Merryville as surely as they had my old “home town.”
More importantly, though, I was able to populate Merryville with people I love (and love to hate). Izzy McHale may—just may—be a little bit like me: she’s well-meaning but not always great at follow-through, she gets a little overwhelmed sometimes, and she second-guesses herself more than she probably should. But I’ve given her the most amazing support system: a pair of grounded, old-fashioned parents and a rock-steady older sister; a wack-a-doo aunt and wicked little sister who keep things interesting; a best friend who has her back no matter what trouble comes her way; and a couple of find fella’s who may or may not be making the moves on her.
Who wouldn’t want to escape to that life now and again? Oh, sure, there are murders to solve and a business to run and the day-to-day frustrations we all face, but Izzy and Merryville are the perfect break from my own day to day … and, to think, they’re just a keystroke away!
Annie Knox writes the Pet Boutique Mysteries – Paws For Murder and the just-released Groomed For Murder. A vagabond at heart, she’s finally put down roots in North Texas with her husband and three spoiled felines. She loves to hear from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about Annie and her books on her webpage here.
Groomed For Murder:
A Pet Boutique Mystery
2nd in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (September 2, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
E-Book File Size: 1939 KB
Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But in a week of wedding bells, someone is about to hold their peace… forever.
Love is in the air, and Izzy is hard at work coordinating two special weddings at Trendy Tails. First, Izzy’s friend and mentor, Ingrid, will be tying the knot with her old flame. And a week later, Izzy will host “pupptials” for two lovable dogs.
But even with the hullabaloo, the Trendy Tails crew is intrigued by Daniel, an enigmatic writer boarding above the shop who’s caught the attention of Izzy’s zany aunt Dolly, who gossips like most people breathe.
Unfortunately, it’s Daniel who stops breathing when he drops dead at the altar on Ingrid’s wedding day. Then Dolly is found at the scene with the murder weapon, and it’s up to Izzy, her Trendy Tails pals, and her scrappy pets, Packer and Jinx, to find a killer before the two affianced doggies bark down the aisle….
I have fallen hard for Aunt Dolly, Izzy, Rena, Packer, Jinx, Val and all the rest of the human and animal characters too. I am amazed at how quickly I have become invested in the residents of Merryville, Minnesota. I like that some of them are from or have spent time in my home state of Wisconsin. Knox has created wonderful characters for us to love or love to hate. All the dialogue sounds like home and I can easily picture the settings because we have visited Minnesota several times. I am intrigued by the men in Izzy’s life as well, romance may be on the horizon for her and I don’t know which man I would choose for her yet.
Annie Knox writes a fun and entertaining mystery with plenty of misdirection to keep us readers on our toes. You have to keep your eyes on both the two-legged and four-legged creatures in this story and that just added to my enjoyment.
The author includes great descriptions of the pet apparel for sale at Trendy Tails if you are inclined to dress you pets up everyday or for special occasions, these will give you all kinds of ideas.
This book was a pure pleasure to read. I had a smile on my face from beginning to end. Collared For Murder will be out next summer and I am so ready for my next visit to Merryville.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”