Even an experienced pet sitter like Daphne Templeton can be fooled by animal behavior: how can an adorably tiny fuzz ball named Tinkleston be capable of sudden flying leaps with cat claws bared? But human behavior remains even more mysterious, especially when Tinkleston’s owner is murdered on the night of a gala fundraiser for Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue.
Accompanied by her unflappable basset hound, Socrates, Daphne plans to take charge of Tinks the Terror and leave the crime-solving to handsome detective Jonathan Black. But while luring the prickly Persian out of hiding, she uncovers clues that might take suspicion off her own mother. Maeve Templeton already has a reputation as a killer—in real estate. How far would she go to bag Sylvan Creek’s most coveted property, the Flynt Mansion?
To expose the truth, Daphne finds herself donning a deranged clown costume on an autumnal adventure that might just be crazy enough to work—if it doesn’t get her killed.
Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!
“Doggone charming from start to finish!” —Cleo Coyle, New York Times bestselling author on Death by Chocolate Lab
About the Author
Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she's not writing or riding horses, she's wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Visit Bethany at www.bethanyblakeauthor.com.
Read an Excerpt
Flynt Mansion sat high upon a hill just outside Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania, its twin turrets stabbing at a huge October moon that was obscured now and then by passing dark clouds. Local legend said the sprawling Victorian house, which overlooked Lake Wallapawakee, was haunted, but the evening of the Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue gala fund-raiser, the place was spirited in a different way.
"This is so cool," my best friend, Moxie Bloom, said as we passed through tall, iron gates that had concealed most of the property from the road. The gates clanged shut behind us, and I jumped, nearly dropping a big, plastic tub full of pet treats I'd cooked up for the party, which would support my favorite local charity. "Wow," Moxie added. "It's spooky gorgeous."
I had to agree. The curving stone pathway that led to the house was lined with at least fifty glowing jack-o'-lanterns, their flickering faces carved into leering grins, grimaces of agony, and threatening scowls. The twisted branches of the property's many crabapple trees were strung with twinkle lights, while three ornate, black-iron chandeliers — each holding at least twenty candles — were suspended from the sturdier oaks, so the grounds were bathed in a soft, mysterious light. More grim-faced jack-o'-lanterns were propped on the railing that surrounded the house's wraparound porch. It looked like the pumpkins were guarding the mansion, which was dark inside, with the exception of single, lit candles that burned in most of the many tall, narrow windows.
The estate was already movie-set eerie, but the Fur-ever Friends decorating committee — chaired by my perfectionist sister, Piper Templeton — wasn't finished yet. A few people still bustled around the lawn, setting up chairs and lighting even more candles.
Standing just inside the fence with Moxie and my canine sidekick, Socrates, I took a moment to drink in the scene. Then I frowned and turned to Moxie. "Umm ... Why are we the only people in costumes?"
"I'm not wearing a costume," Moxie said, sounding confused. She looked uncharacteristically demure in a vintage, mint-green, wool suit with a high-collared jacket and a pencil skirt that hit midcalf. A string of pearls circled her neck, and she'd dyed her hair from flame red to a soft blond. "Why would you think that?"
"I thought you were Tippi Hedren, from The Birds." I resumed watching the volunteers, most of whom wore sweaters and sweatshirts, then I adjusted a tall, pointed hat that kept slipping off my long, unruly, dirty-blond curls. I didn't see one other witch, not to mention any ghosts or ghouls, and I began to get a little sweaty under my polyester cape. "I'm the only person who dressed up!" I glanced down at Socrates, taking some comfort in the fact that he was also in costume — only to discover that he looked like he always did: like a contemplative, sometimes morose basset hound. "Where is your wizard hat?"
"Didn't you see that fly out the window of the van, halfway up the hill?" Moxie asked, answering on behalf of Socrates, who was pretending he hadn't heard me. He stared straight ahead. However, I noticed that the very tip of his tail twitched the way it did when he felt guilty. "I assumed you noticed," Moxie continued, "and just didn't want to turn around, because we were running late."
I'd heard Socrates shuffling around in the backseat of my distinctive 1970s, pink VW bus, which advertised my business, Lucky Paws Pet Sitting, and featured a large, hand-painted dog that was often mistaken for a misshapen pony. I'd thought he was cranky about losing the front seat to Moxie, and I'd ignored him.
"I should've known you'd never really wear the hat," I complained to Socrates, who had started snuffling. The sound was very reminiscent of a snicker. "You were far too agreeable about putting it on. I should've guessed that something was up."
Socrates finally looked up at me and blinked his droopy, brown eyes, as if to say, Indeed, you should have known that I would never deign to don a costume.
"Maybe I should go home and change," I said, starting to turn around.
"You're not going anywhere," my sister called, hurrying across the lawn. She took the tub of snacks from me, like she couldn't wait one more minute to get her hands on it. "You're a half hour late! There's no time for you to return to Winding Hill, change clothes, and come back before the gala starts."
Of course, she was right. It would take me at least twenty minutes to drive to Winding Hill Farm, where Piper — a successful veterinarian — let me live rent free in her gorgeous, restored 1860s farmhouse. Well, actually, I was moving into a cottage on the property. The adorable tiny house had recently become available when the former tenant, Winding Hill's caretaker, was arrested for the murder of Piper's ex-boyfriend. I'd solved the crime — not that anyone would give me credit.
"This is Fur-ever Friends' biggest fund-raiser of the year," Piper added. "People and pets will start arriving in less than an hour. You need to set up the snack table for the dogs...." She finally looked me up and down. "No matter how silly you look." Then she turned to Moxie and knitted her brows. "And who are you supposed to be? Tippi Hedren?"
Moxie's cheeks flushed, just slightly. "It's more of an homage than a costume," she said, lifting her chin high. "The woman was Hitchcock's muse. An icon!"
She was in costume. I'd known it.
"What happened to you?" I asked, thinking Piper was being a little judgmental for someone whose blouse was soaking wet.
My sister brushed ineffectually at a dark stain on her sleeve. "Pastor Kishbaugh and I were trying to move the apple-bobbing tub. Water sloshed everywhere."
I located Pastor Pete Kishbaugh, who was across the lawn attaching fake ravens to the branches of a crabapple. If he was also soggy, his black shirt hid the problem.
"All three of you, come with me now," Piper added, leading the way down the path. Temporary stain aside, she was dressed appropriately in dark slacks and a rust-colored top that hinted at fall, but didn't scream "Halloween," like my getup. Her straight, shiny, brown hair — the polar opposite of the chaos on my head — was smoothed back and held in place with a pretty peach and brown patterned headband. "There's still plenty to do before the guests show up," she informed Moxie and me, over her shoulder. "Let's go."
We all followed Piper, who lugged the plastic bin, while I tried to keep a grip on the billowing fabric of my cape, which kept flapping perilously close to the gauntlet of jack-o'-lanterns. The last thing I needed was to make a bigger spectacle of myself by catching on fire. The tag on the cape had warned that the fabric wasn't flame retardant.
"This is where you'll set up," Piper said, stopping in front of a table with a placard that advertised Howling Good Dog Treats in a spooky, drippy script. The tabletop was already decorated with two life-sized ceramic black cats, their backs arched high and their tails sticking straight up. Cute orange and black platters featured similar hissing felines, in a vintage design. The table was also scattered with dog-appropriate bones, all real and available for the munching. Piper set the bin on the grass. "As you can see, I did most of the work, in your absence."
"Why are you so grouchy?" I asked, because Piper, always type A, was even more tense than usual. "This is supposed to be fun."
All at once, my sister's shoulders slumped. "I'm sorry. I'm just worried because Lillian Flynt, who is supposed to be hosting this event, is nowhere to be found. I've somehow ended up in charge of the whole thing. And to make matters worse, the power is out in the house, for some reason. These candles aren't all just for show."
"Miss Flynt isn't here?" Moxie asked, looking around, like she might locate the older woman, who was semi-affectionately known as Sylvan Creek's "professional volunteer."
Gray-haired, never-married heiress Lillian didn't lack for money, so she'd made charity her life's work. The local Weekly Gazette's About Town society column almost always featured at least one photo of Miss Flynt in her signature knit cardigan, doing good things for others. One day, she'd be pictured delivering meals to folks even more elderly than she was, and the next, she'd be accepting an oversized grant check on behalf of the public library or ladling stew at a church soup kitchen. But while Lillian might have appeared kind and grandmotherly, she had a spine of steel. I'd worked with her quite a bit on behalf of Fur-ever Friends, and she always acted like she was my boss, and I was an intern.
As I bent to open the bin, I flashed back to the day she'd approached me about "volunteering" for the gala.
"You are aware of the upcoming Fur-ever Friends party, correct, Daphne?" Miss Flynt had said, stopping me on Sylvan Creek's main street by slamming a cane in my path. She couldn't have been more than sixty-five, and she was probably in better shape than me, so I didn't think she needed the stick for support. I was pretty sure it was a tool to keep others in line.
"Yes, I know about it," I'd told her. Then I'd cut right to the chase. "What do you need?"
"Treats for at least twenty dogs. From your pet bakery."
She always acted like I had a storefront, and I always corrected her. "Um, I just cook for fun, at home. I don't really have a bakery... ."
Miss Flynt had answered the way she always did. "Well, get to it, Daphne! What are you waiting for?" Then she'd nodded briskly to Socrates, nearly dislodging her wiry, gray hair from its bun. "Good day to you, wise Socrates!"
A few moments later, Miss Flynt had moved on down the street, and I'd stood there with Socrates, both of us needing a second, as usual, to recover from the very direct, almost curt, exchange. Yet, I admired Miss Flynt. She had a different approach from me, but she was a big supporter of Fur-ever Friends.
"It is odd that she's not here micromanaging," I told Piper, as I removed containers of home-made goodies from the bin. Prying the lid off one tub, I began to place Tricky Treats on a platter. The snacks were "tricky" because they looked and tasted like peanut-butter cups, but I'd substituted dog-friendly carob for the chocolate, which could be lethal to canines. "Where do you think she is?"
"I have no idea," Piper said. "And, as if things aren't bad enough, when Tamara Fox went into the house to get some matches, she accidentally let Lillian's prized Persian cat, Tinkleston, run out the door. Now we can't find him."
Moxie and I shared a look, then we both started snickering.
"What is so funny about a missing cat?" Piper demanded. "Especially since I'm sure I'll get blamed for his disappearance."
"I'm sorry," I said, slipping Socrates a Tricky Treat. He feigned disdain for a few moments, then accepted the sweet from my fingers. "But what kind of name is Tinkleston?"
"It's a horrible name for a horrible cat."
We all turned to realize that we'd been joined by none other than Tamara Fox, who made a mock shudder, so I got the impression that she wasn't upset about the feline's disappearance.
Tamara, whom we'd all known since high school, didn't bother to really greet us. Kind of like she'd snubbed us back in school, too. Tossing her long, dark hair over her shoulder, she gave Moxie and me a skeptical once-over, then didn't ask about the costumes, either. It was almost like she assumed we'd misread — or lost — our invitations, as I had done.
In my defense, though, who wouldn't assume that a "gala" held in late October at a haunted mansion would at least be costume optional?
"Have you seen the cat?" Piper asked Tamara. "I'm dreading telling Lillian that he's gone."
"I hope I never see that beast again," Tamara said. She adjusted a large tote that was slung over her shoulder, and her adorable little Maltese, Buttons, poked out her beribboned head just long enough to blink. Then the dog disappeared back into the bag, like something was spooking her. "I swear that cat was stalking Buttons and me the whole time we were inside."
"Most people think cats are aloof, but they actually like company," I told Tamara. I felt like I had some authority on the subject since I was a professional pet care expert. "He was probably just lonely in that big, dark house and wanted to be friends."
Tamara shot me a look that said she wasn't interested in my credentials or my opinions. "There's nothing friendly about that animal. It's evil."
Giving her hair one more dramatic toss with a hand smothered under heavy rings, Tamara took her leave of us without another word. We all watched her sashay off with the same hip-swaying stride she'd had back in her cheerleading days. Soon after graduation, she'd surprised all of Sylvan Creek by marrying much, much older — and very, very wealthy — attorney Larry Fox. Tamara hadn't worked a day in her life and was considered heiress-apparent to Lillian's informal title of "professional volunteer." On days Lillian wasn't in the Gazette, Tamara could usually be found smiling for the camera.
"What does she have against cats?" asked Moxie, who had a wide-eyed kitten tattooed on her wrist. "They're adorable!"
"Actually, Tinkleston — née Budgely's Sir Peridot Tinkleston — is a difficult animal, to put it mildly," Piper informed us. "I've had to give him shots, and I have the scars to prove it."
I didn't think it was fair to judge a cat based upon his behavior while getting stuck with a needle, but I didn't mention that to Piper.
"We'll keep an eye out for the runaway and finish setting up the table," I promised, waving my fingers to dismiss my sister. "You go oversee everybody else."
"Okay, thanks," Piper said. "I actually need to track down an old CD player Miss Flynt promised we could use to play spooky music. That thing's missing, too." My sister eyed the table warily as she backed away. "You two do a nice job, okay?"
I didn't dignify that with a response. I just started arranging Batty-for-Pumpkin Cookies on a plate — a task that absorbed me until Moxie tapped my shoulder.
"Hey, look," she said. "Somebody else dressed up, as a priest!"
"That's not a costume," I corrected Moxie. "That's Pastor Pete Kishbaugh, the guy Piper was just talking about. He always wears a black shirt and a clerical collar. Don't you know him?"
"No," she said. "He's completely bald. How would I know him?" Moxie was the owner of Spa and Paw, Sylvan Creek's unique salon, which catered to people and pets. She seldom met anyone who didn't have hair. Or fur.
"He's kind of cute," Moxie noted. "Some guys can pull off the shaved head."
"He's also involved in a scandal right now," I whispered. "You've probably heard the rumors about his church, Lighthouse Fellowship." Moxie might not have recognized Pastor Pete, but she was the motor that turned Sylvan Creek's busy gossip mill, and I knew she'd at least be familiar with the stories surrounding him. "I don't know the details, but I heard something about embezzlement, or misappropriated funds."
"Oh, he's that minister?" Moxie mused, just as Pastor Pete — thirty-something, with a gleaming white smile and kind eyes — noticed me and waved. I sometimes watched his golden retriever mix, Blessing, while Pete was on mission trips. He was a very peripatetic man of the cloth. "Yeah, I've heard about that mess," Moxie added. "That's probably going to be fall's big story. I can just tell."
Feeling guilty because the subject of our discussion was still smiling at us, I told Moxie, "You know, Socrates — the logician, not the dog ..." I often quoted the ancient Greek scholar, who'd been central to my doctoral dissertation, so I was always making that clarification. "Socrates once said, 'Strong minds discuss ideas'— not people. I kind of wish I hadn't even brought up the rumors."
Moxie waved off my concerns with a gloved hand.
Why had I believed for a minute that she wasn't in costume?
"I've seen pictures of that old philosopher," she informed me. "He could've used a haircut. And I bet he would've dished on Plato for hours, if he'd ever sat in my chair."
At my side, the canine Socrates lifted his big head and rolled his baleful eyes, as if he disagreed. At least, it appeared that way. Or maybe he was just sniffing the air, which smelled wonderful. The night was crisp and the breeze off the lake was fresh, but tinged with the bittersweet aroma of falling leaves. And somewhere inside the mansion, a fire burned in a fireplace. The smoke, coiling from the chimney, gave the air a distinctly autumnal tang. Raising my slightly upturned nose, I sniffed, too, and I was pretty sure I could also identify the scents of apple cider, cinnamon, and pumpkin.
Excerpted from "Dial Meow for Murder"
Copyright © 2017 Bethany Blake.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful series for pet lovers, as well as cozy mystery lovers. When Daphne shows up at a Hallowe'en fundraiser for Fur-ever friends, she should have known it was going to be a tough night. She was the only person in costume having lost her invitation. When Lillian Flynt's body is found electrocuted in the upstairs bathroom, the party is off and Maeve Templeton, Daphne's mother is the prime suspect. Of course Daphne gets involved in trying to solve the crime as well as getting the opportunity to spend time with Detective Jonathan Black. Once again the pets are front and centre. Lillian's pedigreed cat Tinkleston is left to Daphne in her will and it takes a while to warm up to each other, along with several bandages to cover Daphne's scratches. The dogs get to march in a parade, Jonathan's ex-wife moves to town and Daphne moves into the cottage on her sister's property. I liked Daphne a lot better in this book. She did not seem as scattered or clueless. She still is not the most organized but that makes her more realistic to me. This is a fun story with some different characters that had me moving through the story quite quickly. Another great cozy mystery in this series.
I'm loving this series!! This fast paced, well put together, cozy is perfect for your next beach read! Filled with frolicking animals, a protagonist who is smart, curious, and funny, and well thought out mysteries strung throughout the pages - the only thing this book will leave you wanting, is the next story in the series (and maybe a puppy to keep you company while you read)! I love the setting, the characters are interesting and I am always intrigued by the subtle clues into Daphne's past, adventurous life, throughout the world. Maybe we can look forward to a future story introducing us to some of these trips Daphne found herself on when she acquired certain belongings mentioned throughout the series!
I can never resist a good pun; therefore, as soon as I saw the punalicious title for Bethany Blake's latest Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery, I was 100% sold. The Result? Mysterious, charming, and fast paced, Dial Meow for Murder serves up an excellent mystery with a side of small town hijinks, one grouchy, aggressive cat, and a cast of characters you can't help but utterly adore. Dial Meow for Murder is actually the second book in the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series, and while I hadn't read the first book, I had almost no issues following along. Bethany did a great job of describing who everyone was as well as giving a good overall run down of what occurred in the last book. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the setting. What can I say I love a good small town setting, especially when it offers up an eccentric cast of characters. Better yet, this book is actually set in my neck of the woods (the Poconos) so that was a lot of fun to see as well. I thought Bethany did a great job of capturing the small town feel the Poconos has to offer. Daphne, the main character in Dial Meow for Murder, was someone I liked from the get-go. She was sort of a mess, especially in regards to her romantic life as well as her constant need to go sleuthing where she shouldn't, but it just made her all the more lovable as well as relatable, in my opinion. Additionally, I loved seeing her different friendships and relationships evolve as the book progressed. Her relationship with her mother was laugh-out-loud funny, especially when she got her mother going about something. I also loved the dynamic between her and detective Jonathan Black. It was a classic love-hate relationship. Now for the mystery....I thought Bethany did a great job of developing it. There were cleverly placed clues throughout the novel that constantly kept me guessing and attempting to figure out who the killer was. I completely didn't see the killer coming - I have to say that 100% surprised me! I also enjoyed that in addition to the murder mystery, Bethany introduces several other mysteries, such as who's stalking Daphne and what is is Daphne's on again/off again boyfriend is trying to tell her? All these plot lines and more made for an easy, fun read. In all, Dial Meow for Murder is a great addition to the cozy mystery world. I look forward to reading more by Bethany Blake. Grade: B
Black cats and killer clowns and a costumed pet parade all add to the Halloween holiday feel A killer plot and murderous twists will keep you turning pages until the very end. Daphne and friends are trying to do good deeds but can't avoid being drawn into a murder investigation. The victim is a secretive heiress with a grand sense of community. She does good for so many, so why does she have so many enemies? Are the clues tied up in the mansion or the town's history or can the portrait of the woman in the red dress deliver the final clue? With her own reputation, Daphne keeps being drawn further and further into solving the murder and additional mysteries. One mystery is what is up with her sometimes boyfriend , Dylan, and another is who are these new men around town, one of which seems to light up Piper's face? No heavy romance but wonderful friendship elements as well as the delightful animal antics add depth and strength to this series. The author has a nice, subtle touch which makes you stop and ponder. This can be read as a stand alone but I can't wait to read what develops from here so recommend you don't miss any books in this series.
Daphne Templeton is helping out at the fundraiser for Fur-ever Friends pet rescue when she discovers a body inside the Flynt mansion. Unfortunately, she also finds her realtor mother inside the house. Daphne has a way with animals and feels she must capture and take care of the black Persian ball of teeth and claws named Tinkleston. While she is searching for the cat she finds clues that will later lead her to discover the real killer while she is desperately trying to keep her mother out of jail. I really enjoy reading about Daphne's adventures. She is funny, smart and such a big klutz that readers never know what will happen next. I also like the unique way Daphne relates to animals that gives the reader a sense of each individual animals personality. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
Dial Meow for Murder by Bethany Blake is the second book in A Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series. Daphne Templeton owns Lucky Paws PetSitting in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. Daphne is setting up her table for the Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue gala fundraiser at Flynt Mansion which is being hosted by Lillian Flynt who is currently MIA. Daphne gets tasked with tracking down Lillian’s missing cat, Tinkleston and discovers Lillian dead in her bathroom (found the missing CD players too which explains the lack of electricity). Detective Jonathan Black is assigned the case and Daphne is happy to leave the sleuthing to him. However, when Maeve Templeton, Daphne’s mother, ends up at the top of the suspect list, Daphne has no choice but to start prowling for clues. Daphne has her hands full with her business, moving into the caretaker’s cottage, tetchy Tinkleston and tracking down a killer. Then she discovers that Maeve’s new client who wishes to purchase the Flynt Mansion is Jonathan’s ex-wife, Elyse Hunter. What is Daphne willing to do to expose a killer? Find out in Dial Meow for Murder. Dial Meow for Murder is a cozy mystery for readers who like hilarity and hijinks. Daphne is flighty, bumbling, reckless, and scattered (lost her new business cards, trouble with cell phone, daydreams frequently, stole evidence from crime scene, disregards chain of custody for evidence and so much more). Would you trust your precious pet (i.e. your baby) with this woman? I would not trust Daphne to watch a cactus. On the flip side, I do like Daphne’s interactions with her dog, Socrates. My rating for Dial Meow for Murder is 3 out of 5 stars (okay, but I am the wrong audience for this book). The killer stood out like a red wine stain on a white tablecloth. There are two big clues that provide the answer (if you need them). I wanted less silliness and more mystery (more action and less zany). I found Dial Meow for Murder to be cliché and predictable. I felt the writing lacked polish. I do enjoy light hearted stories (Seashells, Spells and Caramels for example), but Dial Meow for Murder was not one of them. Even my mother (who normally likes this type of book) found Dial Meow for Murder over-the-top.
It's Halloween in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania - and the ghosts are real! Dial Meow for Murder, the second book in the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery Series by author Bethany Blake is a funny, riveting and suspenseful cozy mystery. This well-crafted story takes us back into the history of Sylvan Creek....and hidden secrets which may have some bearing on the cause of the recent murder of "professional volunteer" Lillian Flynt. Daphne's philosophical take on life, and her unwavering love of all animals as well as her (and basset hound Socrates') nose for solving crimes, make Dial Meow for Murder a simply delightful book, and a true pleasure to read. Once again, yummy dog treat recipes are included! A+++
Dollycas’s Thoughts Daphne Templeton arrives at Flynt Mansion just a little late to set up for the Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue fundraiser but she and Socrates look darn good in their costumes. Wait, why isn’t anyone else wearing costumes? Daphne is going to kill her sister, Piper, okay not actually kill her but scream at her maybe. Some screaming does occur and there is a dead body, but it is not Piper. It is Lillian Flynt, owner of the mansion where the fundraiser is taking place. It is also a property their mother, Maeve, is trying to sell and she has a client willing the pay the huge asking price. Will the owner’s death halt the sale? Who killed the Lillian Flynt? The only witness appears to be a Persian cat named Tinkleston, and he is the crankiest cat Daphne has ever met. He definitely is not going to help Detective Jonathan Black find a killer. Heck! the detective even puts Maeve on the list of suspects. Daphne tries to stay out of the investigation but while trying to corral the kitty she uncovers an important clue and ends up in another costume to try to catch the mansion murderer. Daphne is an excellent protagonist. She is a strong willed woman and not shy about getting her point across with the good detective. Her relationship with her mother is another story but Daphne is getting stronger at getting her point across with her too. Maeve is a pushy woman, that is what makes her a successful realtor, but she does get on both her daughter’s nerves. I get a kick of of Daphne’s BFF and her homages to actresses in classic films too. Ms. Blake has written a twisty mystery with surprising developments. A family connection turns the case in a whole new direction. The deceased’s will provides more questions than answers and even included Daphne. Another surprise early in the story is the potential buyer of Flynt Mansion. Plenty of action to keep us readers entertained. The author has given readers a first class story. Her descriptive details bring it to life. The characters are well fleshed out. The pace of the story builds throughout to an exciting ending. I found everything I want to find in a cozy mystery within the pages of this book. I am really excited Pawprints & Predicaments coming in February 2018.
Love love love this book -- and series! Daphne and Socrates find themselves trying to stay one step ahead of Jonathan Black... and trying to figure out where and how they fit. It's an interesting mystery -- especially with all of Daphne's unfortunate missteps... one due to clown shoes. This is a fantastic series and I can't wait for more adventures from Daphne and her crew. Did I mention her Mom's haircut? :-)
This is such a fun cozy mystery. Daphne Templeton is a strong, lovable character, and her sidekick Socrates is just adorable. Halloween is fast approaching in Sylvan Lake, and when Daphne once again discovers a dead body, everyone tells her not to get involved. Naturally, Daphne can't help but ask questions and do some digging, especially when her mother is a suspect! This book is sure to get the attraction of all cozy mystery lovers, after all, who can resist the cast of colorful characters. I voluntarily read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
This book is just a lot of fun to read and kept my attention the whole time. I like how the pets play such an important role in this series and many scenes involve a pet or two or three. Daphne is a great main character with an unique outlook on life if a bit too curious for her own good. I liked reading about how she got involved in the murder and how she eventually solved it. It was a great mystery and I had no clue who the murderer was. There were some potential suspects, but things didn’t fell on it’s place for a long time. It felt like we were missing a piece of the puzzle, until toward the end when everything falls on it’s place. I liked seeing more of Socrates, Daphne’s dog and there’s a cat Finkleston that plays a role too. There is a set-up for a big change at the end of the book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in this series. This is quickly turning into one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I would recommend this to both pet lovers and cozie lovers!