Review of Bite The Biscuit

Synopsis:

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. (Goodreads)

 23364540  Review:

Carrie Kennersly is a very busy lady.  She works as a vet technician part time and she is the new owner of a human and pet bakery.  She is used to making healthy pet treats for the dogs at the vet clinic and now she is able to provide these treats for the canines in the community.  This is a dream come true for her and she is so excited at her grand opening.  She is happy to see how many people have come to help her celebrate and are showing an interest in her shops.  But when Myra Ethman shows up at the grand opening, that happiness disappears.  Myra and her husband own another pet supply shop and Myra is not very happy about the competition.  And she is very vocal about her unhappiness.  Carrie tries to be nice and explain that the two businesses could compliment each other, but Myra continues to verbally attack her and her store.  Before the grand opening is finished, many people have witnessed Carrie and Myra arguing loudly and both threatening the other.  When Myra is found dead with a biscuit from Carrie’s shop right next to her, Carrie becomes the prime suspect.  This is so not how Carrie wanted to start off her new business.  Carrie must try to find the real killer before she is behind bars instead of behind the counter at her bakery.

The characters are well developed and well rounded.  They have many human traits that we all have, including flaws and and problems.  This made them more realistic in my opinion and I enjoyed that.  There are a lot of characters introduced and it will be fun to watch them grow and develop relationships in upcoming books.  I like the small town feel to the setting and the fact that everyone wants to be in everyone else’s business.  This makes for some humorous moments.

The mystery is well plotted and carried on throughout the book.  There are many different suspects and with several twists and turns thrown in, it is difficult to figure out who the killer is.  I did not know until it was revealed at the end, even though I consider myself good at solving mysteries,  I also enjoyed that fact.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  I think the author is very talented  and uses the written word in describing the mood or the food or the action taking place.  Sometimes I feel there is a little too much detail and repetitiveness about certain aspect of her daily routine.  Numerous times it is mentioned about washing her hands and not petting any animals if she is going to be working one the human side of the bakery.  And numerous times it is mention how she would tie up Biscuit (her dog) or how she would hug and pet him.  Now I am a believer in good hygiene and I love dogs as much as anyone, but I just feel like this is overkill.  I got it after reading about it the first ten times, I did not need to be continually reminded.  This is my opinion and it may not bother any other reader  but I found this a little tedious.  I will say that this was the only thing that distracted me from my enjoyment of the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone enjoys a well plotted cozy mystery, and if you enjoy animals then that is a plus.  I have read other series by this author and I have enjoyed them all.  The same can be said for Bite the Biscuit.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see what will happen next.

Interview With Susan Bernhardt

Today I am being interviewed on authors, Ken Hicks’ and Anne Rothman-Hicks’ blog. The introduction is awesome with lots of photos! Please join us!

We are very happy to welcome Susan Bernhardt to our blog today, all the way from Wisconsin! Ken had an uncle, aunt and cousin from the Lake Como area of Wisconsin and has many wonderful memories of…
RANDH71PRODUCTIONS.COM|BY KENNETH HICKS

Review of In The Woods

Synopsis:

A relaxing camping break for Iraqi war vet Harper Jennings and her husband takes an unpleasant turn when Harper stumbles across a dead body”

Harper Jennings mother, Iraqi war vet and archaeology graduate knows she should be counting her blessings that she s able to enjoy a child-free camping trip with husband Hank. Hank s recovery from a brain injury after falling from their roof is nothing short of miraculous. But . . . Harper misses baby Chloe. And she worries that, in being so wrapped up in her toddler, she s lost her own identity.

But her worries pale into insignificance when she stumbles across a body in the woods. Accident? Harper doesn’ t think so, and nor does Ranger Daniels, who seems to blame local militia known as the Hunt Club who will do anything, it seems, to protect the land they see as their birthright.

Harper wonders what exactly she s doing, in some dark state forest, tripping over corpses, when she could be at home with her little girl but when a fellow camper s husband goes missing, she finds herself reluctantly sucked into the hunt, and into a waking nightmare . . .  (Goodreads)

 22256808  Review:

Harper Jennings and her husband are all set to have fun relaxing camping trip.  They deserve it after all they have been through.  Her husband survived a horrific accident, she has survived her tour of duty in Iraq, and they are able to get some time alone without their young daughter.  But things do not go as planned because she misses Chloe more than she thought she would.  She also  did not expect to find a dead body or learn that another camper is missing.  It does not look like this is going to be the relaxing vacation that she envisioned, what with have a murder to solve and a missing person to find..

This is the first book I have read by this author and I thought it was a pretty good read.  There were humorous parts that had me smiling and there were suspenseful parts that had me afraid to turn the page.  I thought there was a lot of different things going on and at times I felt like there was maybe a little too much.  At times I wanted to focus on just one problem, not a multitude of them.  But that is just my opinion and other readers may enjoy the variety of issue to deal with.

The writing style flows smoothly and I think the author is very talented in descriptive writing.  There were many times that I felt like I was right there watching the action first hand.  I enjoyed the characters and the relationship between Harper and her husband.  I thought that the mysteries were carried out well throughout the book and there were enough twists and turns to keep me guessing.  In my opinion, the author is also very talented when it comes to writing mysteries.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted mystery suspense.  I plan on starting the series from the beginning so I will be able to know the characters even better.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Severn House for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Review of Heavenly Honeymoon

With their wedding (and all the complications that came with it) over, Zoe and Zak are on their honeymoon on Heavenly Island.  And in true Zoe and Zak fashion, it is not your typical honeymoon.  For one thing,  they did not go on their honeymoon alone.  They took Charlie, Zoe’s dog, and their young friends Alex and Scooter with them.  For another thing, Zoe ended up in jail on the second day of their trip, a suspect in a murder.  She was released from jail but told not to leave the island.  She was also told not to do any investigating on her own, but if you know Zoe, you know she will never listen to that order.  So Zoe and Zak spend their honeymoon spending time with the children that went with them, spending time alone (after all it is their honeymoon) and trying to find the killer to clear Zoe’s name.

25474576 This book was a little different than the other books in the series.  The book starts out with Zoe already in jail and the crime already committed.  Since they are not in Ashton Falls, Zoe does not have her family and Levi to help with the investigation (Ellie does eventually join them on them island).  She also did not have her friend Sheriff Salinger to compare notes and share information with.  And the way the murder was solved was not done in typical Zoe fashion (I do not want to say anything more about this because I do not want to give anything away).  I enjoyed these differences and thought it added a nice variety to the series.

As is usual with any books written by Kathi Daley, the characterization and the descriptions are top notch.  I feel that her books are character driven and she is so talented in the way she brings all of her characters alive.  They all seem so realistic and well developed that they feel like people you know and care about.  I always enjoy reading about Zoe and Zak and what is happening in their lives.  Some issues that were facing Ellie and Levi seem close to being resolved, which is good to know.  As far as descriptive writing goes, Kathi Daley has again taken me somewhere that I could completely picture in my mind.  Even though I was not reading about their home town, I felt like I was right there on the island, watching everything that was happening first hand.  I think this is awesome when reading a book.  The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick, easy, clean read.

I cannot recommend this book (and this series) enough for anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  If you have not read the Zoe Donovan series, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning.  I am sure you will enjoy them all.  If you are familiar with the series, you are sure to enjoy this latest installment.

The Real Kathi Daley?

Check this out!

Random Thoughts and Meaningless Musings

Because this is my first blog I wanted to introduce myself. I invited the readers who hang out at my Kathi Daley Books Group page on Facebook to ask me questions that I would answer. There were almost a hundred questions asked, so I decided to consolidate them into general categories rather than answering them all individually.

KathiEdit

Who am I outside of my life as a writer?

I grew up in Lake Tahoe, where I met and married my high school sweetheart. We moved to Sacramento, California, so I could attend college. I received a master’s degree in psychology and then worked with teens at risk for five years. My husband and I then moved back to Tahoe, where we owned our own business. I have two grown sons in their thirties and six grandchildren. I love to hike, bike, kayak, snowshoe, and pretty much anything else I can do…

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REVIEW OF EMBELLISHED TO DEATH

When Faith Hunter agrees to be a vendor at a scrapbooking conference, she just thinks that she is helping her grandmother, who owns a scrapbooking store. She does not expect to be involved in a murder investigation, but that is exactly where she finds herself.  She decides that she needs to investigate the murder and with the help of her boyfriend that is what she does.  But with so many people attending the conference, there are more suspects than she knows what to do with.  Who knew that scrapbooking could be so deadly?

22537663  The characters are decently developed and three dimensional but in my opinion, they could have been even better developed.  One problem I had with the characters is that there are so many of them.  I had a hard time keeping everyone straight in my mind.  I have not read either of the two previous books in the series, so that may have helped with my confusion.  But I just wish there would have been a little more of a backstory with the characters.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.   The mystery is carried on throughout most of the book and there were many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.  I really liked the fact that this book revolved around scrapbooking, which I really enjoy doing.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted, well plotted cozy mystery.  If you enjoy scrapbooking, then this book is a must read.  But I would advise reading the books in order because, I suspect, the character growth and development will be much more obvious.  I will definitely be reading the first two books in the series to see if I am right.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Henery Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

REVIEW OF DOWNTON TABBY

Caro Lamont is an animal therapist who lives in Laguna Beach.  When an officemate, Cash, asks her to watch his tabby cat for him, she readily agrees.  But when she goes to his house to return the cat, she finds his business partner floating in a pool, an electrical cord wrapped around his neck.  That makes it pretty obvious that the death is no accident.  And to make matters worse, Cash is no where to be found.  Caro does not know if Cash is dead or alive, has been kidnapped or if he is the person responsible for his partners death.

25420149Caro also has other problems to deal with.  Her cheating ex is back in town, trying to get back into her good graces.  She has a pesky investigative reporter dogging her every step, looking for a story.  She notices a dark SUV that seems to be following her and there is a feisty senior citizen, Betty, trying to involve herself in the investigation.  And last but not least, the feud between her and her cousin has not been resolved.  She definitely has a lot to deal with.

The characters are well developed, well rounded and realistic.  One of the things I like best about this book is that Caro did not do foolish things while helping with the murder investigation.  In so many of the series I read, the protagonist goes off by themselves and do foolish things (they even think to themselves it is foolish but do it anyway).  Caro did not do this but still was able to get clues to help the detective solve the murder.   Betty is a quirky crazy character and she added a lot to the story.  The secondary characters also added a lot to the book.

Another thing I like about this cozy is Caro’s occupation.  I enjoyed reading about all the different animals and the behavioral problems that they had.  I also enjoyed reading about the training techniques that Caro suggested to her clients.  They are helpful and informative and would be useful for pet owners.  It is also interesting reading about the different breeds of cats and dogs.  I learned things that I never knew before.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The writing is descriptive and at times I felt like I was right there watching the action instead of reading about it.  The mystery was carried on throughout much of the book and there were many twists and turns that kept me guessing.  There are enough suspects to keep it interesting.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy with enjoyable characters.  This is the first book I have read in the series but it definitely will not be the last.  I already have the other books to read.  I am mad at myself that I waited this long to start reading this fantastic series.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Bell Bridge Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.