Pick and Chews
By Linda O. Johnston
Barkery & Biscuits #4
Midnight Ink, 2018
Carrie Kennersly tries to help her veterinarian boyfriend when he’s under suspicion of murder…Is he a keeper, or should she let him go off-leash for good?
As a technician for a local vet and the owner of the Barkery & Biscuits dog bakery, Carrie Kennersly is excited to host a rescue animal adoption event. She’s also excited to be in a relationship with veterinarian Dr. Reed Storme, despite his pleas for her to butt out of the murder cases she keeps finding herself involved with. Yet when Reed is accused of killing his former veterinary colleague, he seems a lot more agreeable to having amateur detective Carrie butt back in. Can Carrie clear Reed, or does she care too much for a killer?
Includes recipes for dog treats and people treats!
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Pick and Chews, set in the Knobcone Heights community in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, is a cozy mystery that should especially appeal to animal lovers. Everything revolves around the local veterinarian clinic and its staff, which includes part-time technician Carrie and her veterinarian boyfriend, Reed. Pride, envy, and vindictiveness all factor into the mystery theme, and there’s no love lost for the murder victim.
Love for animals is a well-developed theme, and I wanted to cheer for the pet rescue efforts between the vet clinic and the Mountaintop Rescue facility run by Carrie’s friend. That Carrie isn’t 100% certain that Reed didn’t commit the murder also adds tension to the narrative.
As far as the mystery goes, Pick and Chews easily stands alone. However, the characters lacked a certain depth and relatability that reading the series from the beginning would probably have given. I was also uncomfortable that Reed and Carrie had an intimate relationship without any serious commitment to each other. And one other thing that would have made this story much better? Omit the profanity.
Overall, I enjoyed the veterinarian world and emphasis on animal rescue. The murderer’s identity was a surprise and it was fun to look back at clues that I had missed.
I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, currently writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series for Midnight Ink. She has also written the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Pet Rescue Mystery Series and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime.
Linda also writes the K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, as well as a paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. And all her current stories involve dogs.