Tuesday, August 1, 2023

This Is Just So Cute!


TITLE: Shady Hollow (Shady Hollow #1)
AUTHOR: Juneau Black
PUBLISHER: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
PUBLISHING DATE: January 25, 2022
PAGES: 222   
SOURCE: Library


The first book in the Shady Hollow series, in which we are introduced to the village of Shady Hollow, a place where woodland creatures live together in harmony--until a curmudgeonly toad turns up dead and the local reporter has to solve the case. 
Reporter Vera Vixen is a relative newcomer to Shady Hollow. The fox has a nose for news, so when she catches wind that the death might be a murder, she resolves to get to the bottom of the case, no matter where it leads. As she stirs up still waters, the fox exposes more than one mystery, and discovers that additional lives are in jeopardy. 
Vera finds more to this town than she ever suspected. It seems someone in the Hollow will do anything to keep her from solving the murder, and soon it will take all of Vera's cunning and quickness to crack the case. 

MY THOUGHTS: I would definitely consider this book a hidden gem.  I believe it was actually published around 2015 but has recently been talked about some on Booktube and other arenas and I'm so glad I decided to seek it out.  And seek out I had to.  I only found one of my 5 library systems I regularly use have these books on Libby and the wait for each installment has been rather long.

So Shady Hollow is a quaint woodsy town where lots of animals live together in harmony - for the most part. A raven owns the local bookstore, law enforcement consists of two bears, the local coffee shop is owned by a moose and his son, and the paper is run by a skunk named B.W. (Black and White). In this first book, Otto Sumpf, a curmudgeonly toad, is found face death is the local pond.  Vera Vixen, ace reported for the paper, takes it upon herself to investigate the death because she has little faith in the police chief, who would rather fish than work.  During her investigation, she engages lots of the townsfolk and teams up with the Deputy to uncover what really happened to Otto.

I've seen this book described as Zootopia meets Gilmore Girls and that's pretty accurate.  It's a wonderful cozy mystery, only with animals which you all know I am totally down for. I'm not sure the covers do this series justice, but I found some older ones for it, and I can say these are definitely an improvement over the originals. I would highly recommend this book to readers who love mystery, animals and cozy settings.  



  1. Ashley over at The Rustic Reading Gal loves this book (and series), too. It does sound very fun.

  2. It sounds very cute. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. So many people love this book. I'm glad you did too! One of my goals is to read more "happy" novels, and this one has been on my radar.

  4. This one is new to me but it sounds fantastic! I wonder if my library has a copy.