A Midwinter’s Tail
By Bethany Blake
Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #4
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!
Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play IndieBound BookBub
This series by Bethany Blake is one of my favorites, and A Midwinter's Tail carries on the clean, joyful entertainment. From the quaint shops of Pennsylvania’s Sylvan Creek and its Pocono Mountain backdrop, to the appealing ensemble cast, this story has all the essential elements for the best of quality cozy reading. The well-written narrative is filled with the most delightful gentle humor, and I’m pretty sure I had a smile on my face the whole way through. Each story stands alone, but following the series gives a better understanding of the regular characters.
A series is only as good as its characters, and the whole cast shines here. Daphne Templeton, pet sitter and bakery owner, has a heart for animals, as well as friends and family - and willingly takes risks for them. Detective Jonathan Black, who I hope ends up being her sole romantic interest, is definitely a favorite of mine. A “handsome, enigmatic former Navy SEAL,” he believed in helping former convicts transition back into society … “If you put people away, you probably have a responsibility to help them when they get out.” Two different ways of connecting - friend vs. detective - add complexity to their relationship.
I don’t know if it’s possible for a community like Sylvan Creek to actually exist, but I love to imagine walking down the streets of this quirky, pet-friendly town and shopping at leisure. In fact, it might be the most pet-friendly town ever, with the Bark the Halls Christmas ball being just one example. And second only to my attraction for the detective is that for Daphne’s basset hound, Socrates. I love how the author imbues him with human-like senses, and I often found myself waiting to see what his reaction might be.
The mystery theme itself is well crafted, with elements going back in time to the characters' senior year in high school. As much as I wanted to discover the solution, I hated to reach the conclusion. May this series continue with many more stories.
I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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.
Webpage │ BookBub │ Twitter │ Facebook
In addition to the Rafflecopter tour giveaway below, Bethany Blake is offering a print copy of A Midwinter’s Tail to one of my readers!
To enter the drawing, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here, letting me know that you shared. And if you do something special for or with your pet(s) at Christmas, please share that also.
BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Thursday, December 6. Winner will be chosen by random.org and contacted by e-mail.
Eligibility: US residents