Sunday, June 5, 2016
Bite the Biscuit - Welcome to the New "Bark"ery Series
AUTHOR: Linda O. Johnston
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
PUBLISHING DATE: May 8, 2015
FROM GOODREADS: 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.
MY THOUGHTS: I have had this book sitting on my Kindle for quite some time so when I received an ARC of the second in the series, I figured it was about time to get it started. I love dogs and enjoy cozy mysteries from time to time. I usually find them quick, engrossing reads and this one was no different.
Carrie is a part-time vet tech as a local office. When her friend has to leave town to care for her ailing mother, Carrie buys her bakery and splits it into two stores - a bakery and a barkery. While Carrie may be learning the ropes of baking for human patrons, she is a pro at making healthy dog snacks and she is determined to make her businesses thrive. She does have the help of two assistants she inherited from the previous owners, so it is pretty much smooth sailing until one of Carrie's competitors, Myra, ends up dead on the night that she had Carrie had a terrible rift at Carrie's new store. Since Carrie is the #1 suspect, she takes it upon herself to try to prove her innocence before she gets arrested.
"Bite the Biscuit" has all the elements of a good cozy mystery - engaging and often quirky characters, a small town setting, and a wide array of suspects. The mystery kept me guessing and although I almost had it figured out at the end, it wasn't who I initially expected. I adore Carrie's dog Biscuit and Johnston does a great job of showing how important Biscuit is to Carrie. Carrie also has a really good relationship with her brother, which is a nice added aspect. I really only found two irritating issues with this book. First of all, Carrie, while not necessarily looking for a man, has no shortage of suitors which I found overwhelming. I mean, I started to wonder if there were any other eligible women in town. And secondly, I found Johnston's writing style a tad off. At times, she would take important messages such as "Dogs should eat healthy food" and reiterate them so many times that it interrupted the story. However, both of these issues did not take away from the overall plot of the book and I am interested to see where this series goes.
If you like cozy mysteries and animals, this is definitely a book for you to consider.
Look for my review of book 2 - To Catch a Thief - coming up in June!
RATING: 4 paws
BOOKER T'S THOUGHTS: I didn't really learn a whole lot about Biscuit in this book. She sounds cute enough and is really loyal. However, the best thing ever is that she gets to go to work each day with her human, whether it's at the vet daycare or at the barkery. I wish I could go to work with Mom and Dad each day - even if I did have to bring Cassius along!