A Midwinter's Tail by Bethany BlakeAbout the Book:

A Midwinter’s Tail (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717333
ISBN-13: 978-1496717337
Digital ASIN: B07B7C8XQY

Book Blurb:

To bark or not to bark . . .

Professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton loves the holidays in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. And nothing gets her into the spirit more than the town’s annual Bark the Halls Ball. The whole community will be there to wag their tails, especially this year’s special guest—Celeste “CeeCee” French, founder of a national chain of pet care franchises, who’s returning home to announce plans for a bright new flagship store.

But not everyone’s celebrating CeeCee’s homecoming. Daphne’s friend Moxie Bloom, owner of Spa and Paw, a unique salon for people and their pets, has plenty to growl about. So when CeeCee is found face down under Sylvan Creek’s town Christmas tree, stabbed with a distinctive pair of professional-grade pet shears, suspicion lands squarely on Moxie. Despite Daphne’s promises to Detective Jonathan Black, she quickly reprises her role as amateur sleuth. Ably assisted by her basset hound sidekick, Socrates, she must hurry to prove her friend’s innocence before a killer barks again . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

4.5 Stars – I have read all the books in the Lucky Paws Pet-Sitting Mysteries and each one seems to be better than the one before. The village of Sylvan Creek is a quaint small town that adores its pets, and includes them in all parts of their lives. This time, the town is in the middle of their Christmas preparations which include a local take on The Christmas Carol, and a ball for pets, the Bark the Halls Ball. Daphne, our protagonist, meets up with the handsome Detective Jonathan Black at the local park where they unfortunately discover a dead body beneath a large pine tree. The victim just happens to be a former resident who has come back to Sylvan Creek to open a large pet retail store? Would this store put the local merchants out of business? There are plenty of suspects but first on the list just happens to be Daphne’s best friend, Moxie, who had a negative encounter with her in the past.

I love so many of the characters from Sylvan Creek. Moxie is that quirky, unique character I love to see in cozies. She owns the salon that takes care of both people and pets. Daphne is a real animal lover who is always taking in stray dogs and cats. She owns the local pet bakery and runs a pet-sitting service. There are two male characters that Daphne is still trying to figure out her relationship with, but I am rooting for Detective Black. The pets are also main characters in this series. Moxie has a pet rat, Daphne has Socrates, her wise Bassett and her cat Tinkelstone while still pet sitting regularly for her favorite Detective’s dogs, Axel and Artie. And this time around we get to meet Snowdrop – the spoiled poodle of the deceased whom Daphne ends up caring for. Finally we meet a sneaky little pug named Tiny Tim, who runs around town in a Bah Hum-Pug sweater sharing clues along the way.

The book is full of clues, hints, and a few red herrings. I kept changing my mind about who I thought the murderer was. The reveal of the culprit did make sense, although I wouldn’t have minded a few more hints in that direction. This book has a lot of twists and turns, that kept me reading page after page. I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and great pacing. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you like a good mystery, one that is hard to solve, wonderful pets, great characters and set in a quirky town, you can’t go wrong with this series. I am anxiously waiting to see what the next book in this series brings to Sylvan Creek. The publisher, Kensington Publishing Corporation, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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Bethany Blake - author

About the Author:

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

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