Paws for MurderPaws For Murder by Annie Knox is the first book in the new “Pet Boutique” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, January 2014

Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But at the store’s opening, it turns out it’s a human who’s dressed to kill.

Izzy’s own beloved pets are dressed to the nines for the grand opening of Trendy Tails. Feisty feline Jinx is large and in charge, and happy mutt Packer is lapping up the attention. Izzy and her best friend Rena have their hands full meeting Merryville’s menagerie and serving tasty pupcakes and kitty canapes from their “barkery.” The last thing they need is Sherry Harper, the town’s local activist, scaring off customers and getting tongues wagging by picketing the event.

The two manage to stop Sherry’s protest in its tracks, but the trouble for Trendy Tails is just beginning. Sherry is found murdered in back of the shop, and Rena is immediately named as the lead suspect. Now Izzy and her furry friends have a new pet project—collaring a killer.

As many cozy mysteries that I read, I liked this one as it was quite different in that you never really saw the police investigating this murder, but instead you had Izzy, our heroine and Sean, the lawyer, looking for others with a stronger motive to have murdered the local activist than Izzy’s best friend.

This was a fast-paced, action-filled drama that once I started I could not put down. I love the comfortable tone and the ease at which each chapter flowed from one to the other. The author did a great job in keeping the suspense going and it was fun narrowing down the list of suspects as each clue gathered kept the pages turning in this wonderful tailor-made mystery.

It was fun getting to know each of the main characters including their four-legged friends, from Izzy, to her sisters, and family and friends. The author description of the animals outfit had me looking for a picture of Packer in his cute little Hells Angel’s outfit.

With a lovable, yet quirky cast of characters, witty and engaging dialogue and a feel good atmosphere, this book is full of tailor-made charm and I can’t wait to see what adventures awaits Izzy and her friends in this wonderful addition to the cozy genre field.

Annie Knox is the pseudonym of Wendy Watson.

FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book, in hopes I would review it.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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