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, May 18, 2015

Review & Giveaway - Bite the Biscuit by Linda O. Johnston

Publisher: Midnight Ink
Series: Barkery & Biscuits Mystery #1
Format Read: paperback
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 8, 2015
Challenges:  Cruisin' Through the CoziesMay 2015 Clean Sweep ARC ChallengeWhat An Animal |
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:

Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician, has become known for offering healthy and popular dog treats at the clinic where she works. When the local bakery's owner moves away, Carrie jumps at the chance to convert it into the Barkery, a shop to make and sell her canine delights.

But Myra Ethman, co-owner of another pet product store, hates the new competition. At the Barkery's opening party, she badmouths Carrie's homemade dog biscuits, insisting she'll find a way to shut the place down. So when Myra is found dead with a Barkery biscuit beside her, Carrie must prove she didn't do it before she's collared for murder.

Bea's Thoughts:

"Bite the Biscuit" had such a cute cover that combined with the blurb, I couldn't resist. I don't think I've read this author before but I'll be back for more of this series. Full of interesting characters, dog care information, a well-constructed mystery, and lots of yummy food for both humans and dog, the story kept me engrossed. I read it in one sitting.

Carrie was a busy lady- she was up at 5AM or earlier to start work at the bakeries she purchased then would put in time as a vet tech then back to the bakeries. I don't know how she did it; I had to admire her work ethic. She's working hard to make her new business viable and I loved that we saw her making mistakes and wondering if she should try this or try that, it made her more relatable. Also much appreciated was how realistic her involvement in trying to solve the murder of her business competitor was. She's a prime suspect, due to a public argument, and the actions she takes to find other suspects with viable motives felt real and believable. I also enjoyed her interactions with the police, who came off as very hard-nosed and stern. We only saw them from Carrie's perspective and she wasn't a fan of them but Johnston gave them depth and they seem like decent people when not harassing a murder suspect.

The mystery as to who might have killed Myra kept me guessing, there were lots of viable suspects and red herrings. I guessed at who the killer was but wasn't positive until the end of the story. The end of the story, where the killer is revealed and eventually the police show up was bit,convenient. It felt too neat and tidy and I couldn't buy it. IT weakened the story a bit but the mystery was strong otherwise. The only other thing that bothered was the love story. Carrie is single and uninvolved at the start but picks up admirers and love interests, practically by the dozen. That did detract from the story, for me. It was too many, too quickly. And one of them had a nasty habit of going all cold rude on her when he thought she'd done something wrong. He came around and apologized but that it kept happening lowered him in my estimation. Points thought to Johnston for not making him a stick figure but giving warts and making him real.

"Bite the Biscuit" was entertaining and engrossing and I'll be looking for the next book in the series.

About Linda ~

Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.

Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries also from Midnight Ink, kicks off in May with BITE THE BISCUIT.
Find Linda Online ~

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  1. What a cute cover! This sounds like fun...A busy MC and a mystery that you can play among with without it being too obvious!

  2. I was curious about this one but wasn't sure what I thought about the whole pet treat store concept. This does sound fun despite the jerk of an admirer. I'll definitely have to check it out.

  3. This sounds like fun! Though I think the too-many-admirers-too-fast thing would bother me, too. I'll keep it in mind next time I'm looking for a light cozy.


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