A Good Dog’s Guide to Murder (A Paws & Claws Mystery)
8th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Berkley (September 6, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593436954
ISBN-13 : 978-0593436950
Kindle ASIN : B09N6DC3XB
The great Gingerbread Dog & Cat House competition has come to Wagtail, along with another murder to solve for Holly and her supersmart Jack Russell terrier Trixie in the New York Times bestselling Paws & Claws series by Krista Davis!
Visitors are arriving in droves to spend Thanksgiving in the mountains of pet-friendly Wagtail, Virginia. Many of them are bringing dog and cat gingerbread houses to enter in the contest that will be held in the new convention center. Wagtail resident Orly Biffle bequeathed the land to the town in his will, provided that they not cut down the grand old oak tree on the property. Orly’s children are mighty miffed that they didn’t inherit the prime piece of property overlooking the lake.
Holly notices that Trixie and Twinkletoes, her calico kitty, are fixated on the big oak tree. Trixie barks at it as though she thinks it’s a corpse! Just as contestants are spicing up their sweet gingerbread creations, the majestic tree drops an enormous limb. The mayor declares that the tree is dangerous and must come down. When a bulldozer churns up some roots, the tree falls over on its own accord revealing a body inside the trunk! Initially, everyone suspects this unsavory trick was Orly’s doing. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to keep the truth under wraps. Trixie and Twinkletoes now have to help Holly sniff out some suspects and leash a conniving killer.
There is always something fun happening in Wagtail, Virginia, the idyllic fictional town that caters to visitors and their pets.
For Thanksgiving, the Great Gingerbread Dog and Cat House has come to town and the Sugar Maple Inn has a full house. Holly, Oma Liesel, Zelda, Mr. Huckle, Gingersnap, Twinkletoes, and Trixie are thrilled to welcome everyone. They are surprised that Holly’s mom has come for a visit but have no trouble finding a place for her to stay.
The competition is taking place at the new convention center. The land for the center was bequeathed to Wagtail will only one stipulation. They can’t cut down the big oak tree on the property. His children are hoping they will break the clause by cutting down the tree and then the property would revert to them. But it seems that big old tree was ready to go. First, it loses a large limb which has Trixie and Twinkletoes dancing around like there is a body in the tree. Then, when the roots are loosened, it falls over all on its own revealing a pair of shoes presumably attached to a body. Those animals are rarely wrong.
Assuming that is why Orly didn’t want the tree removed, they now have to figure out who is buried in the trunk and who was involved in putting them there. Holly steps right up to help Officer Dave solve the mysteries.
I love this series! Holly, Oma Liesel, Zelda, Mr. Huckle, Gingersnap, Twinkletoes, and Trixie are like old friends that I am always delighted to visit. They are genuine and have huge hearts. They love welcoming new people to town and always try to see the good in people. I love that the pets play a huge role in each story. This time Trixie really gets to shine with A Guide to Murder told from her point of view. After all the bodies she has found she is definitely an expert on the subject.
In addition to the body in the tree, there is another murder later in the story. Are these deaths connected? Are there two killers walking around Wagtail? There are also some surprising twists that really kept this reader totally engaged. I loved following along with Holly as she worked through the list of missing persons that could be the corpse in the tree. It really was a complex mystery with a lot of details to work through. I was kept guessing until the very end.
I always look forward to the food prepared at the Inn and other restaurants for humans, canines, and felines and that several recipes are included at the end of the book.
A Good Dog’s Guide to Murder is a wonderful cozy mystery for the holiday season. The gingerbread competition, the Thanksgiving meal, the Christkindl Market, and decorating for Christmas all together with a mystery that is so well-plotted and written is a real treat to read.
While the murder mysteries are wrapped up by the end of the story, Ms. Davis adds a little surprise at the end of the story, and it seems there are some interesting times ahead for my friends in Wagtail. All have me very excited for Book #9.
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About The Author
New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. The first book in the series is the New York Times Bestselling Murder, She Barked. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with dogs, cats, and a hidden stash of chocolate.
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.”