Kneading To Die1Kneading To Die by Liz Mugavero is the first book in the new “Pawsitively Organic” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, May 2013

Maybe the best thing that ever happened to Kristan “Stan” Connor was losing her high-stress public relations job. Now there’s plenty of time to spend in her sleepy new Connecticut town working on her dream: baking healthy, organic pet treats!

Before long the neighborhood dogs are escaping their yards to show up at Stan’s doorstep, begging for the kinds of special homemade treats her Maine coon cat Nutty loves so much. And Stan’s pet-loving neighbors are thrilled with the new organic options available to their furry family members. But not everyone loves Stan and her newfangled organic ways.

It seems Carole Morganwick, the town vet, is from the old school of pet care. But when Stan swallows her pride and brings a very unwilling Nutty in for a checkup, she not only finds Carole dead under a pile of kibble…but also that she’s in the dog house as the prime suspect! Finding the real killer and clearing her name will require some seriously surreptitious sniffing around…and hopefully, curiosity won’t kill this innocent cat!

All she wanted to do is live a simple life in her new small town, but instead Stan is propelled into a murder investigation, especially when she becomes the prime suspect. Looking for clues causes some strife among neighbors and friends, but a girl got to do what a girl got to do to clear her name.

What a fun and exciting read. I enjoyed meeting Stan and getting some of her backstory interspersed throughout this lighthearted whodunit. It’s well-written and the tone is as comfortable as a cuddly baby kitten. The author did a good job in planting clues and red herrings that had me thinking twice about the identity of the murderer, which I didn’t see until it was too late. I love Stan’s internal dialogue, especially how certain situations referenced popular songs that help her get through the day. I also like that Stan is her own woman and won’t back down in her search for the truth. This is a good beginning with a cast of characters that includes some eccentrically quirky residents and good conversations in a small town setting and I can’t wait to read the next book in this endearingly pleasant series.

FTC Full Disclosure – I bought this book.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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