Sep 032014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

Today I am so dog-gone excited to welcome Annie Knox to Escape With Dollycas!!

Annie_Knox_lg

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 groomed for murderstarted 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.”

paws for murderMore 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 annieknoxauthor@gmail.com.

Find out more about Annie and her books on her webpage here.

groomed for murderGroomed For Murder:
A Pet Boutique Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (September 2, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451241122
E-Book File Size: 1939 KB
ASIN: B00IOE3NJ4
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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….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I reviewed the first book in this series, Paws For Murder, last week and like I told you then us Dolly’s have to stick together. So you can bet I was hanging on every word of this story.

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.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 5 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 17, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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.”

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Aug 302014
 

paws for murderPaws For Murder:
A Pet Boutique Mystery

First in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (January 7, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451239501
E-Book File Size: 1643 KB
ASIN: B00DGZIB2A
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But at the store’s opening, it turns out it’s a human who’s dressed to kill…

Izzy’s own beloved pets are dressed to the nines for the grand opening of Trendy Tails. Feisty feline Jinx is large and in charge, and happy mutt Packer is lapping up the attention. Izzy and her best friend Rena have their hands full meeting Merryville’s menagerie and serving tasty pupcakes and kitty canapes from their “barkery.” The last thing they need is the town’s local activist, Sherry Harper, scaring off customers and getting tongues wagging by picketing the event.

The two manage to stop Sherry’s protest in its tracks, but the trouble for Trendy Tails is just beginning. Sherry is found murdered in back of the shop, and Rena is immediately named as the lead suspect. Now Izzy and her furry friends have a new pet project—collaring a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story was a fun start to the Pet Boutique Mystery series. We have tried costumes on our pets over the years. None of them were ever too happy about it but it is a very cute idea and practical for those pets that venture outdoors in the cold winter months.

I enjoyed the way the author tied the story to my home state of Wisconsin too, with a dog named Packer, and characters that went to college or moved from Madison.

All he characters both two legged and four legged were introduced to us quite well in this first installment. I have a soft spot for Aunt Dolly, of course, us Dolly’s need to stick together. I love the way she supports Izzy both with helping her open Trendy Tails and in any other way she can. She even dons 4 inch platform sandals and “dresses up” to catch the eye of a crotchety store owner trying to make trouble for Izzy. Aunt Dolly is a hoot!!

Izzy is a strong protagonist too. Her life was turned upside down by a man. They had their whole future planned but just when they were supposed to be a making the move to New York, he changed his plans and left her behind and took another woman with him! She had to pick herself up, dust herself off and get on with her life.  She does that with Trendy Tails. At least she was in her hometown surrounded by friends and family. Going into business with her best friend Rena was the perfect choice. Hopefully she can patch thing up with her old friend Sean too. Their friendship had added rather abruptly but now that they are both back in Merryville she are going to constantly bumping into each other.

There are many more interesting characters who reside in Merryville. It is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone or they have heard gossip about each other. A perfect setting for this cozy mystery series.

I did see the writing on the wall a bit before the guilty party was revealed, but this still a wonderful mystery. I enjoyed the story so much I have already started reading Groomed For Murder. It hits store shelves next week!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Annie Knox and her books on her webpage here.

I am giving my review copy away!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

 

Be sure to stop back next week when
Annie Knox will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday!

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.”

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For a Good Paws (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery) by Linda O. JohnstonOrder Your Copy Today!
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