Murder Most HowlDo you remember the commercial in which a woman said, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful?” Yecch. Well, don’t hate me, after you hear about my life. There are some perks that I never could have imagined.

I used to work in Washington, DC. Got up in the morning, squeezed into pantyhose, dressed, grabbed a piece of toast or a yogurt, and then sat in traffic for an hour. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t all bad. I liked DC.

But my Oma (German for grandma) needed help at the The Sugar Maple Inn on Wagtail Mountain. I have always loved that place. She didn’t have to twist my arm too hard to convince me to move there and become her partner.

My apartment on the top floor spans the width of the inn. In the front, my bedroom has a balcony that overlooks the tiny town of Wagtail. Village would be a better way to describe it. There’s a wonderful green space with sidewalks along both sides where most of the stores and restaurants are located. Did I mention that dogs and cats are welcome everywhere? There are even special menus for them in the restaurants!

On the other side of my apartment, a larger balcony overlooks Dogwood Lake. It’s the perfect place to relax. Not that I do much relaxing but life here is pretty nice. Oma hired Mr. Huckle, a wizened old butler who was down on his luck. Before I wake, he sneaks into my apartment with hot tea or coffee, a chocolate croissant, a dog treat, and a cat treat. And then he slips out again, like a little silent fairy. And I wake to a tray of goodies!

After I shower and dress, I feed my calico kitty, Twinkletoes. Then it’s my Jack Russell Terrier’s turn. Trixie adopted me and probably saved me from continuing in my old routine in DC. She’s a delight, but I have to admit that she has a nose for trouble – and for dead people. After I take her out, we go to the dining area and feast on the kind of breakfast I used to only get on vacation. Eggs Benedict, pumpkin French toast, chocolate chip pancakes, asiago cheese omelets and heavenly home fries. And that’s just a start! I balked at first, thinking I would balloon, but I do so much walking in Wagtail that it hasn’t been a problem.

Please don’t assume my life is just a big festival of pigging out. Running an inn means you’re on call 24/7. Most of the time the guests are great, and I can’t believe how lucky I am. Unfortunately, we’ve had a couple of murders in the last year. Shh, we try to keep that quiet because we live off tourism. But I’m sure those were flukes. Right?

Oma is finally taking a much deserved vacation. I thought she would never get to the point where she trusted me enough to leave me in charge of the inn. But it’s finally happening. While she’s gone, Wagtail will be hosting a murder mystery weekend called Murder Most Howl. Pretend murders! Now that I can handle. I hope.

You can read more about Holly, Twinkletoes, and Trixie in Murder Most Howl, the third book in the “Paws and Claws” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first two books in the series are Murder, She Barked and The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 2 for your chance to win a copy of MURDER MOST HOWL. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Krista Davis is the News York Times Bestselling author of the Paws & Claws Mysteries for animal lovers. Murder Most Howl is in bookstores now. She also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her 9th Domestic Diva Mystery is The Diva Steals A Chocolate Kiss, a chocolate mystery in bookstores now. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs, two cats, and a hidden stash of chocolate.

Visit Krista at,, on, and on Facebook. Krista also blogs at and Killer where the characters do the blogging!

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