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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mini Reviews of Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane Stone & Escape Claws by Linda Reilly

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Stay Calm and Collie On, Lane Stone
Series: Pet Palace Mystery #1
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review 
Release Date: November 7th, 2017 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* iBooks* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Buckingham Pet Palace is known for treating dogs like royalty—until murder dethrones its good reputation!

As owner of an upscale doggy daycare and spa, animal-lover Sue Patrick pampers pooches for the most elite clients in Lewes, Delaware. Surely she can survive a week-long visit from Lady Anthea Fitzwalter, her well-to-do business partner from England. But before Sue can serve her guest a spot of tea, she discovers more-than-a-spot of blood inside the company van—and all over the driver’s dead body . . .

Someone abandoned the van full of dogs at the Lewes ferry terminal and got away with murder, leaving Sue and Lady Anthea pawing for clues. With a fundraising gala approaching and Buckingham Pet Palace facing scandal, can two very different women work together to fetch the culprit from a list of dodgy suspects—or are they heading toward a proper disaster?

My Thoughts:

I admit it, the collie on the cover totally sold me on the book. I've never known an actual collie but I've had a soft spot for them since the TV show, "Lassie", and reading (many times), "Lassie Come-Home". I did read the blurb, and it sounded appealing, so I requested the book.

Sue and Anthea, owners of the Pet Palace and the leads in the story, were interesting and Anthea was a bit mysterious, though I did predict some of what would happen with her. They worked well together, trying to keep their business from going under and solving the mystery. The ending did somewhat come out of the blue but I enjoyed the mystery and the story. I loved the setting and seeing how the doggy daycare and spa worked. The animals themselves were not a major part of the story, which was disappointing. "Stay Calm and Collie On" was a solid story and a good start to the series.

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Escape Claws, Linda Reilly
Series: Cat Lady Mysteries #1
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository*  | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Here, killer, killer, killer . . .

For the first time in sixteen years, Lara Caphart has returned to her hometown of Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. She wants to reconnect with her estranged Aunt Fran, who’s having some difficulty looking after herself—and her eleven cats. Taking care of a clowder of kitties is easy, but keeping Fran from being harassed by local bully Theo Barnes is hard. The wealthy builder has his sights set on Fran’s property, and is determined to make her an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Then Lara spots a blue-eyed ragdoll cat that she swears is the reincarnation of her beloved Blue, her childhood pet. Pursuing the feline to the edge of Fran’s yard, she stumbles upon the body of Theo Barnes, clearly a victim of foul play. To get her and Fran off the suspect list, Lara finds herself following the cat’s clues in search of a killer. Is Blue’s ghost really trying to help her solve a murder, or has Lara inhaled too much catnip?

My Thoughts:

Again, I was sucked in by the cover. I only have one cat at the moment (pats Claude), but I am a cat lady in waiting, lol. Cats, estranged family, cats, a hint of paranormal, cats, and a hint of romance all added up to a story that was fun to read. The cats were a delight, even Lara's ghost cat Blue. I loved Lara's idea for a cat shelter and can't wait to see how it works in future stories. Lara's investigation was believably amateurish and she used her brain. With her aunt as a possible suspect, Lara 's motivation was completely believable. Less believable was how much time, and how easily, Lara was able to take off from work. It also was annoying how much she fussed about how she'd come up to visit Fran, even when obvious solutions were staring her in the face, nor did she make much effort to research options.

One thing I loved was how Lara's aunt Fran had a realistic view of Lara's investigations:

"But you have to remember something-we don't know everything the police know. Whatever information we have is limited. Please, let the do their jobs, okay?" 

Of course, Lara keeps investigating but I was delighted to see that acknowledgement as so often in cozies, the police's work is ignored or downplayed. "Escape Claws" made good use of the animals and the mystery was tricky enough to keep me guessing.

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