Sunday, June 12, 2016
To Catch a Treat - Barkery & Biscuits #2
AUTHOR: Linda O. Johnston
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
PUBLISHING DATE: May 8, 2016
FROM GOODREADS: When a Dog-Snatching Scheme Leads to Murder, Carrie Must Sniff Out the Truth
Carrie Kennersly, veterinary technician and owner of the Barkery and Biscuits bake shop, agrees to a day of hiking with her brother Neal—mostly because she wants to meet and critique his latest romantic interest, Janelle Blaystone. But instead of judging her, Carrie feels only sympathy for Janelle, whose beloved black Labrador, Go, was recently dognapped.
Janelle thinks the culprit is Ada Arnist, a wealthy homeowner spotted at the dog park where Go was stolen. Soon after Janelle confronts Ada, though, the woman is found dead. With Janelle and Neal on the suspect list, Carrie must solve the mystery before the police bark up the wrong tree.
I knew soon after reading "Bite the Biscuit" I would need to dive into "To Catch a Treat" so some of the information would stay fresh and also because it's an ARC which I really should have read in May. I will say this installment was a nice continuation to the first book and while you wouldn't per se have to read "Bite the Biscuit" first, this one's going to make a whole lot more sense if you do.
Carrie continues her jobs as business owner of the local bakery/barkery and as a vet tech at the local vet office. Once again she finds herself in the middle of a murder, but this time she isn't the suspect, her brother Neal's girlfriend Janelle is. I really like the characters in this quaint little town and it's nice to see Carrie and Neal's close relationship explored more. And not only is there a murder mystery to solve, it all revolves around a dognapping ring so there are dogs galore in this installment. The usual cast of characters is present, and we learn more about Carrie's love life, but new players are also introduced and it's nice to see the overall town dynamic grow and evolve.
I highly enjoyed the plot of this book as well as the first one in the series. Johnston managed to again keep me guessing about the identity of the perpetrator while also throwing in a few twists and turns throughout the pages. I adore the quaint mountain setting and as I already mentioned, am attached to many of the characters. Yet that being said, I am still finding something off with the way this series is written. Maybe it's Johnston's writing style, and I anticipate I will soon discover if that is the case as I have 2 more books to read by her this year. I can't quite pinpoint what it is that is annoying me but it may have to deal with the fact that Carrie thinks a lot and the story is in first person so when she is thinking through things, there is a lack of dialogue and lots of repetition. Also, again it seems like Johnston is using Carrie to get across dog ownership points she wants to make. For example, Carrie's friend wants her to adopt a rescue dog named Sweetie and several times Carrie mentions she wants to but thinks to herself she could never take time away from Biscuit. So, can't a person love multiple animals at once? Don't some dogs thrive with another companion? Am I a bad person in the author's eyes because I have more than one dog? I wouldn't necessarily draw these conclusions but since Carrie seems to think the same thought numerous times in the book, I don't know what message, if any, I am supposed to get.
So enough ranting. I still gave this book 4/5 because I love the characters, the plot is good and the setting/town is perfect for a cozy mystery series. Plus...DOGS! I am sure if there is another in the series I will want to read it as well and hopefully I can either adjust to the writing style or it becomes less bothersome to me over time.
RATING: 4 Paws