Review of Death by Chocolate Lab


Death By Chocolate Lab

Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery, Book #1

Bethany Blake

5+ Stars


Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.

Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.

Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim? (Goodreads)


I really enjoyed this book a lot.  It had everything I look for in a cozy: great characters, a realistic setting, adorable dogs  and a intriguing mystery.

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  I loved Daphne, she was spunky and full of life.    She was willing to do anything to prove her sister’s innocence. I enjoyed the bickering and banter between her and Detective Jonathan Black.  I really enjoyed her sarcastic comments and thoughts and I was laughing out loud a lot when I was reading this book.

I loved the fact that all of the dogs had their own distinct personalities.  Socrates, the basset hound, is above the normal doggie behaviors, he is much too sophisticated.  He does laugh at some of the things that Daphne does but he is always prim and proper.  Artie is a bundle of energy and doggie exuberance. Artie has not been blessed with good look, with him missing an ear and his protruding tongue.  But what he lacks in looks he more than makes up for in his behavior and antics.  I loved the way Daphne was always talking to them and asking their opinions.  They were as real of characters to me as the people were.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick easy read.  The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and I felt like I was right there, watching all the action take place.  I could picture all of the animals in my mind, watching them in action.  The mystery was well crafted and there were enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until the reveal at the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  And if you love animals, you definitely need to read this book.  I am really looking forward to reading more adventures with Daphne and her lovable dogs.

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