Groomed For MurderGood morning, fellow humans. And I do mean morning. My best friend and business partner, Izzy McHale, insists on getting moving at the crack of dawn. No one in Merryville lets me forget that I have quite a mouth on me, so I’d give Izzy heck if I really cared about the long hours. Honestly, though, I’m having the time in my life. Turns out baking organic pet treats satisfies something in my soul. Plus, I get to work with Izzy.

Right now I’m enjoying a leisurely walk from my dad’s house on the wrong side of the tracks (literally) to the heart of Merryville, 801 Maple Avenue, a sprawling Victorian building that houses Izzy’s apartment and our store, Trendy Tails. I’ve got a pan of my famous pecan sticky buns in my messenger bag, and I can almost smell Izzy’s coffee from across town. Hey, we work hard, but we take time out for the finer things.

Lately, the finer things have included gossiping about Daniel Colona, the darkly handsome man who has moved into the second floor of 801 Maple. He says he’s a writer, but that’s all we can get out of him. And, believe me, we’ve tried. Izzy’s aunt Dolly and I have been the most persistent. I try to be discreet, subtly drawing out clues to his past. Dolly takes a more forthright approach: “So, tell me about your life.” Neither of us has had any success.

So, while Izzy knits pug-sized argyle sweaters and stitches zippers into cat parkas, I dust the display shelves and keep an eye on my baking treats, and the two of us speculate—in careful whispers—about the man on the second floor. Thankfully, we can always hear him coming because his Weimaraner Daisy May tumbles down the steps, all legs and energy. Daniel may as well sound a bullhorn when he exits his apartment.

In any event, my personal theory is that Daniel was in the mob. Somehow he’s retired—maybe he’s in witness protection? that would be so cool!—and he’s writing his memoirs. Izzy thinks he’s a novelist. Yawn. Izzy’s had stars in her eyes for the past few months. I’ve never seen a girl so ready to meet a boy. (Actually, she’s met a couple, but nothing much is happening with either one.) Anyway, Izzy’s convinced he’s hiding himself away while he recovers from a broken heart.

So which story do you like better? The mobster in witness protection or the lovelorn novelist? Any other possibilities you want to toss around?

You can read more about Rena in Groomed For Murder, the second book in the “Pet Boutique” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Paws For Murder.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on September 4 for the chance to win a copy of GROOMED FOR MURDER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
Annie Knox lives in North Texas with her husband and three spoiled felines (who refuse to wear clothes).

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