BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blog Tour Review of A Biscuit, A Casket by Liz Mugavero

Publisher: Kensington
Series:Pawsitively Organic Mystery #2
Format Read: paperback 
Source: from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

The small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, has wholeheartedly embraced Kristan "Stan" Connor's new business--preparing quality organic treats for dogs and cats. On a healthy diet, the animals may live longer. . .but one local farmer won't be so lucky. As Halloween approaches, Stan is asked to cater a doggie costume party hosted by the Happy Cow Dairy Farm. Part of a local co-op, Happy Cow specializes in organic dairy products, and farmers Hal and Emmalee Hoffman have started opening up the farm for parties, offering a "haunted" corn maze as an added attraction.

When Hal's lifeless body is found in the maze, the police at first suspect his wife, but Stan soon learns the dairy farmer had plenty of enemies--from bitter family members to shady business associates. If Stan can't extract a kernel of truth from the labyrinth of lies, she may be the next one to buy the farm. . .

Bea's Thoughts:

Dogs! Cats! New England! How could I resist? And the cover is cute. Another blogger said it reminded them of those paintings with dogs playing poker and I can so see that. It's an enticing cover with an enticing back cover blurb. I hadn't read the first book but that wasn't a problem while reading this one.

I've spent most of my life in one small New England town or another so I'm finicky about stories set in them. I'm happy to see that Mugavero gets it right. Well, I do have one quibble. The dairy farm is awfully close to the town common which is unlikely. At least in my New England state, the zoning laws would not permit a farm with animals to be that close to the town center. They're usually a bit more decentralized, what with the smell, the noise, and the land requirements. It was convenient for the story but it didn't ring true.

But the politics, the gossip, the attitude towards tourists and out-of-towners, the board meetings, all rang true. I was surprised to see that Frog Ledge still has an independent local newspaper, that's unusual, but not impossible. I enjoyed learning about dairy farms as I knew pretty much nothing when I started the book. Mugavero weaves in the information in a natural manner and kept it interesting. Although the pace is a little slow at times, and a good deal of time is spent on Stan's personal life, the story was engaging and kept me reading.

Stan (a nickname for Kristan) is a newcomer to Frog Ledge, she's only been there a few months. She wasted no time getting involved and when her neighbor Hal, a dairy man, is killed, she gets involved with his family and in investigating his murder. Interestingly, she's in denial about her participation in investigating Hal's death, lying both to herself and her friends that she's not involved.

Stan grinned. "Touche. I'm trying to stay out of this one."
Amara snorted. "I see you walking over there every day. How is that staying out of it?"
"I'm just helping with some paperwork. Keeping my nose out of everything else"

Well, everything else except digging into his laptop and asking a friend to hack into protected documents, trying to pin down the exact whereabouts of Hal's wife Em at the time of his death, meeting with some seemingly shady business associates of Hal's but otherwise, she's minding her own business. She manages to do all this without being overly nosy or a busy body and she cares about her friends and acquaintances. Stan is interesting, smart, funny, passionate about her beliefs, and compassionate.

The characters and their interactions feel real and not convenient as you sometimes find in cozies. I'm intrigued by Stan's relationship with her mother and why she's actually there in Frog Ledge. We also get a little romance between Stan and Jake, a local bartender and business man. Watching them dance around each other was fun and I hope things work out for them. The mystery kept me guessing and the killer took me completely by surprise. When I looked back, it made sense, but reading the book I missed it completely so bravo Ms. Mugavero.

"A Biscuit, A Casket" is engaging, funny, and a good entry in this series. I'll be back to read the next one.


About The Author
Liz Mugavero has been writing stories since she could hold a pen. Before that, she would tell them to anyone who would listen (not many at the time). After deciding early on she would write books for a living, she practiced by writing bad, angst-filled poems, short stories and even a storyline for a soap opera–all by age 15. She never wavered from her goals despite all the usual questions including, “So are you going to be an English teacher with that degree in English?” or, “That writing thing sounds nice, but how are you REALLY going to make a living?”

She went on to get a master’s in writing and publishing and spent time in journalism, PR, and presently, corporate communications. And she’s confident this writing thing IS the way to make a living.

Aside from writing, she loves animals (has a houseful), the beach, reading other writers’ masterpieces and Starbucks coffee.

Find Liz Online:



  1. This is a very good book. I have read both of the books in the series

  2. The cover is so adorable! I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

  3. I really want to read this book! I've heard great things about it. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  4. It is nice to get a good solid mystery and beliveability in a cozy, that is my issue with the genre. I like it but don't like that it isn't always realistic.

  5. I read the first one in this series and loved it. I can't wait to read this one.

  6. I haven't heard of this series, but I'm intrigued! I love mysteries, so I'm thrilled to hear this is one that is both well-done and unpredictable. :) Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  7. I just finished reading this book. I didn't read the first one, but I think I need to. I just feel like I'm missing something. I love the dog treat recipes.

  8. I love the cover and the setting really intrigues me. I'm a Texas girl now, but I spent the first third of my if in a small villiage in upstate New York (surrounded by dairy farms, including one my grandpa ran) and I think I could enjoy being transported back to that setting. You're very right about the zoning too - but I can overlook that. Great review :)

  9. Great review, Bea! You're right on the money about Stan - her good qualities and her denial. I wondered about how close the dairy farm was to the town, too; it seemed a little too near, but if it was grandfathered in, maybe not? I enjoyed the book and I'm definitely watching for the next one!

  10. That cover is awesome and I love small town New England! I want to move back there! I am adding the first in this series to my wishlist!


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