I hope this post finds you well. 2016 was a year filled with illness for me, so I focused on my health. This post is the beginning of a new phase in which I can enjoy life outside my room again. Enough about me, though. Let’s talk about what we came here for, which are new releases in the world of literature.
I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of “Death by Chocolate Lab” by Bethany Blake through a partnership with Netgalley and Kensington Books. My followers know I don’t pull any punches when sharing mqy opinions.
This book is the first title in the “Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries,” mainstream cozies centered around animal loving philosopher Daphne Templeton. This feisty heroine loves all living creatures, but she is not fond of Blue Ribbon K9 Academy owner Steve Beamus, who broke her sister Piper’s heart. The problem? Beamus is found murdered and newcomer police detective Jonathan Black zeros in on Piper as the most likely suspect from a long list of people. What’s a girl to do? Daphne and her canine companions Socrates and Artie set out not only to find the real killer, but to locate Axis, Steve’s award-winning Labrador Retriever who vanished the same night of the incident. Can she do so before anyone else gets hurt, or are she and the rest of her pals in the small town in danger?
The target audience for this novel is readers age 12 and above, but aside from a few references to Karma, there is no objectionable content. This debut is perfect for fans of Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden. These characters, both human and animal, are a delight, and the puzzle is not easily solved. Those captivated by light crime fiction can count on Bethany Blake for an intriguing adventure. I would be glad to critique any upcoming manuscripts. My one criticism? The sleuthing came to a bit of an abrupt halt for my taste, but otherwise I consider it a solid debut. I would give it four and a half out of five stars. It is available now wherever books are sold, so pick it up when you get a chance. Until we meet again…