Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: Not a Creature Was Purring

Not a Creature Was Purring
By Krista Davis
A Paws & Claws Mystery #5
Berkley Prime Crime, 2017


Inn owner Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia.

Inspired by her German heritage, Holly's grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly's mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancee home--and she'll be staying at the Sugar Maple Inn...

A love triangle becomes the last thing on Holly's mind when her Jack Russell Trixie's nose for trouble leads her to the corpse of a pet clothing tycoon. Now Holly and her dedicated detectives--Trixie and Twinkletoes the cat--must sniff out the killer to keep Christmas from going to the dogs...

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!

My thoughts

Not a Creature Was Purring is every bit as precious as the cover indicates. From smooth writing, to appealing series characters (including pets), to the town of Wagtail itself, this story is all that a cozy mystery should be and Krista Davis is fast becoming a go-to author for me. It's also a clean read, something I very much appreciate.

Christmas is simply magical in Wagtail, Virginia – just like in a Hallmark movie – and the setting is beautifully conveyed. Christmas lights, the Christkindl Market, the Sugar Maple Inn run by Holly and her grandmother … If I could visit this town, I’d probably never leave.

I knew I was in for a great read when the story opens with Holly and some other “elves” leaving anonymous gifts for a family in need. This story has heart, reflecting in caring about and helping others, and that makes it special. On the way home, they encounter an inflatable “Grinch” set out by a Grinch-like character, and the story takes off from there. I regret not yet having read the previous books because I’m drawn to the series regulars and eager to learn more about them.

And then there’s the guests at the inn, the dysfunctional Thackleberry family. There’s a lot of them and relationships can get a little confusing, but a character list at the beginning really helps. Let’s just say that they add a lot of color. The murder doesn’t take place until about a third of the way in, which set the stage well and greatly helped in getting to know the characters. Suspects and motives abound, and I just enjoyed going along for the ride. There’s also a gentle humor throughout and a little romance in the background, striking the right balance.

Not a Creature Was Purring is delightful in every way. Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book from the author and Cozy Mystery Review Crew. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Krista Davis lives and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She lived in Northern Virginia for many years and resided for a time in Old Town Alexandria where her Domestic Diva Mysteries take place.

Krista also writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries, which debuted with MURDER, SHE BARKED. They are set in a resort town that caters to people who want to vacation with their dogs and cats. Alas, charming Wagtail Mountain, Virginia, where dogs and cats are welcome everywhere is fictional.

She likes to cook and bake (okay, what she really likes is eating) so it was only natural for her to include recipes in her mysteries.

Her three dogs and two cats have inspired the animal characters in her books.

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