A Midwinter’s Tail (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery)
4th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B07B7C8XQY
To bark or not to bark . . .
Professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton loves the holidays in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. And nothing gets her into the spirit more than the town’s annual Bark the Halls Ball. The whole community will be there to wag their tails, especially this year’s special guest—Celeste “CeeCee” French, founder of a national chain of pet care franchises, who’s returning home to announce plans for a bright new flagship store.
But not everyone’s celebrating CeeCee’s homecoming. Daphne’s friend Moxie Bloom, owner of Spa and Paw, a unique salon for people and their pets, has plenty to growl about. So when CeeCee is found face down under Sylvan Creek’s town Christmas tree, stabbed with a distinctive pair of professional-grade pet shears, suspicion lands squarely on Moxie. Despite Daphne’s promises to Detective Jonathan Black, she quickly reprises her role as amateur sleuth. Ably assisted by her basset hound sidekick, Socrates, she must hurry to prove her friend’s innocence before a killer barks again . . .
Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!
The people of Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania are wild about their pets. A pet bakery, a pet clothing store, a hair salon that has human and pet clients, and right now they are getting ready for the Bark the Halls Ball where people and their pets deck out in their finest attire to dance the night away and enjoy each other’s company. Former resident, Celeste “CeeCee” French is coming home to be the special guest for the affair. She has taken her love of pets nationally with her pet care franchises. But all the tails stop wagging when they learn she is about to set up a store in Sylvan Creek. That would put many town shops out of business.
While the town is barking mad about the prospect of a big box pet store, someone has taken the matter into their own hands and presented the town with CeeCee’s dead body right under the town’s Christmas tree. The discovery is made by professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton and Detective Jonathan Black. Daphne later learns the woman was stabbed with a pair a pet shears. Pet shears that appear to have been taken from the Spa and Paw owned by her friend Moxie Bloom. The good detective asks Daphne to leave the investigation to him but a certain pet keeps dropping clues at her feet, literally. She knows Moxie is innocent so with the help of her basset hound, Socrates and another mysterious pup she sets out to find the real killer.
This is such a fun series. Daphne is a fantastic protagonist, the “conversations” she has with Socrates are very realistic. I talk to my dogs all the time, never about anything as important as murder, but dogs are attentive and great sounding boards – sometimes they can sniff and lick and bark out the perfect answer. Moxie is a true gem. The friendship between her and Daphne always makes me smile. The “relationship” between Daphne and Jonathan is moving slowly but forward with itsy-bitsy steps. We are introduced to two new canines in this story and one is a real treasure/scene stealer and the other has quite the wardrobe.
The animals bring so much to this story. They are not just pets that are fed and petted and left at home when their people go out or to work. They are involved in the mystery and play important roles. The author’s love for these wonderful creatures shines within her words. We met two very interesting and different pups this time and Socrates falls completely into puppy love. All the dogs in this series have found a place in my heart and it is now impossible to pick a favorite. There is another pet in this story that has not found a place in my heart but the owner seems very happy with it and that is what really matters.
Cleverly written, Ms. Blake gives us another mystery to sink our teeth into, full of twists and turns, suspects with motives and opportunities, and a few red herrings to boot. I loved it! I didn’t solve this one early. I was completely captivated to the very end.
I have enjoyed every book in this series. Bethany Blake is such a talented writer. Pet lovers will love this mystery, curl up with yours and enjoy this Midwinter’s Tail. You will thank your Lucky Paws that you did.
About the Author
Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.
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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.”