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.