Daphne Templeton’s sister Piper is getting married—and their mother is getting carried away. She insists on hiring Sylvan Creek’s top event planner, Abigail Sinclair, who proposes an Independence Day theme complete with Statue of Liberty-inspired bridesmaid dresses. With all the bickering among the families, Daphne’s glad her only duty right now is pet-sitting for Abby’s cat, Ms. Peebles. But there are some fireworks coming that aren’t part of the ceremony. The Poconos will never be the same . . .
At a tension-filled dress fitting, the abrasive wedding planner is found strangled by a garter—a weapon both borrowed and blue. Now Daphne’s services are required not just for organizing the big day, but for figuring out whether one of the in-laws is an outlaw . . .
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
As June rolled toward July in the quaint, pet-centric town of Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania, the whole community rallied to prepare for the annual weeklong Wags 'n Flags celebration of our nation's independence, a tradition that dated back farther than even the oldest old-timers could remember.
As always, the balcony of the historic Sylvan Creek Hotel was draped with old-fashioned bunting, the gazebo in Pettigrew Park was strung with red, white and blue lights, and nearly every storefront featured patriotic, often pet-related displays, like the one at Fetch! pet emporium, where owner Tessie Flinchbaugh had dressed her shop mascot, a life-sized plush Irish wolfhound, exactly like Uncle Sam, right down to his cottony beard.
Unfortunately, the patriotic decor was being carried a bit too far at one local Pocono Mountains establishment: the mansion that housed Artful Engagements & Events, where, for better or for worse, my sister, Piper Templeton, was holding her wedding rehearsal dinner on the night before her marriage.
The ceremony, which would unite my sensible veterinarian sibling and her compatibly pragmatic, sweater-vest-loving fiancÉ, Roger Berendt, had originally been planned for October. However, the date had changed when Roger, a professor at nearby Wynton University, was offered a last-minute opportunity to guest lecture for the fall term at Manchester University — in England, not New Hampshire.
Deciding they'd rather start their temporary long-distance relationship as husband and wife, instead of postponing the wedding until Roger returned in late December, the two had announced that they would tie the knot in early July, right before Roger left for Europe, where he would have just a few weeks to settle in and prepare to teach.
As Piper's maid of honor, I was scrambling to help plan the nuptials, which was a challenge, given that my pet-sitting business, Daphne Templeton's Lucky Paws, was booked solid, and my bakery for pets, Flour Power, had just been commissioned to bake three hundred cookies shaped like hot dogs and flags for the annual dog-friendly Fourth of July All Paws on Deck Rowboat Regatta on Lake Wallapawakee.
I probably should've been happy that Piper's and my mother, Realtor Maeve Templeton, had teamed up with Roger's mom, Beverly Berendt, to bring in reinforcements, in the form of wedding planner Abigail Sinclair, of Artful Engagements. But as I stood with Piper and my best friend and fellow bridesmaid Moxie Bloom in the heart of Abigail's garden, where she often hosted catered affairs, I couldn't help thinking that Abigail had gone a tiny bit overboard, like half the costumed dogs in the regatta would eventually do.
"I feel like I'm an extra in Yankee Doodle Dandy!" Moxie exclaimed, gazing around the candlelit garden, where guests mingled, chatting and eating hors d'oeuvres under a canopy of American flags, which were suspended among the trees. Several wrought iron tables, clustered on a brick patio, were bursting with shiny centerpieces inspired by exploding rockets. And each chair was festooned with a big, star- spangled bow.
Even the large fountain that gurgled at the center of the lush landscaping had been decorated in patriotic fashion. A trio of once-naked cherubs, who poured water from cement casks into a wide, low basin, now wore blue- and-white sashes and top hats, while the water had been dyed a bright shade of red that was actually a little off-putting to me.
"I half expect Jimmy Cagney to come bursting in, dancing a jig to 'You're a Grand Old Flag'!" Moxie added, clasping her hands in front of her chest. As a fan of all things vintage, from the film she was referencing to the 1950s sleeveless cocktail dress she was wearing, Moxie was obviously delighted by the prospect of a flag-waving chorus line stomping through the shrubbery. "It's like the musical has come to life — only with more pageantry!"
All at once, I heard a rumbling sound, very reminiscent of a groan, coming from near my feet. Looking down, I saw that my taciturn basset hound sidekick, Socrates, was hanging and shaking his big, dappled head, like he disagreed with Moxie and thought the spectacle was too much. Socrates was not a fan of ostentatious events. Nor was he happy about the fact that, as honorary "grooms-dog," he would have to wear a bow tie during the ceremony at the stuffy Sodgrass Country Club. And, last but certainly not least, he really didn't like mingling — especially since his "puppy love," a poodle named Snowdrop, was home with doggy sniffles.
"This whole thing is a train wreck," Piper said grimly, scanning the party, which was also bigger than the average rehearsal dinner. Being Sylvan Creek, where everybody knew everybody, the shindig had taken on a life of its own, and the garden was full of people and dogs, all of whom shared some sort of history with the bride, groom, and usually me.
Looking around at the guests, too, I quickly spotted Moxie's boyfriend, groomsman Mike Cavanaugh, and his mischievous little pug, Tiny Tim, as well as Tessie and Tom Flinchbaugh, who were gathered around Roger. Although he still had a bachelor party to attend that evening, Piper's reserved hubby-to-be already looked exhausted to be the center of attention. His smile didn't quite reach his brown eyes, and he kept rubbing his neck, messing up the collar of his dress shirt.
"The whole thing is completely over-the-top — an overpriced scam, in Roger's opinion," Piper noted, as thunder echoed ominously in the distance.
"Scam" was a harsh term for a normally mild-mannered man like Roger, and I winced at the word, and at the noise from above.
"I will never understand how we got roped into having a theme wedding," my understated sister added, picking at a plate of too-colorful canapÉs. Even the food, supplied by Snowdrop's person, chef Daisy Carpenter, was on theme, and in some cases, appearance had taken priority over taste. "It makes no sense!"
"Really? You don't know how this happened?" I asked, glancing over at the buffet, where our mother was laughing it up with Beverly — not that either of them was actually smiling. The two women eschewed wrinkle-causing expressions. Instead, they conveyed whatever mirth they felt by tossing back their heads so their matching angular bobs swung and lightly touching each other's arms. They were also remarkably similar in terms of wardrobe. In spite of the heat, both had chosen to wear black pencil skirts and white shirts, accented with blue-and-red silk scarves — the Fourth of July, as interpreted by Ann Taylor.
"I thought they would hate each other," Piper noted, watching them, too. "I mean, Beverly is practically a rival. And Mom crushes rivals. Yet they've been inseparable since the engagement party."
"Maybe they bond over having one 'perfect' and one 'wayward' child," I suggested, balancing my own plate and popping a cheesy wonton "firecracker" into my mouth. The appetizer — one of the less patriotic, and more tasty, choices — was aptly named. Herbed and spiced cream cheese burst out of the crisp wrapper, and I covered my mouth as I spoke. "Speaking of which, is Roger's supposedly 'rebellious' sister coming tonight? Because I am dying to meet the missing bridesmaid."
"Ooh, me too," Moxie agreed, her green eyes glimmering with interest. As the owner of Sylvan Creek's unique salon for people and pets, Spa and Paw, she was also the chief conduit for local gossip. "Dorinda Berendt sounds like a very intriguing person!"
"She's a very troubled person," Piper clarified. "And I don't expect her to show up tonight. From what I understand, Dorinda had a run- in with Abigail when she came here to pick up her bridesmaid dress yesterday." Piper rolled her eyes behind her wire-rimmed eyeglasses. "And don't even get me started on those hideous things —"
"Smile, bride and company!"
For a second, I thought someone honestly wanted Piper, especially, to cheer up. Then, as Moxie took me by the shoulders and spun me around, dragging me next to her and my sister, I realized that we were about to be photographed.
Before I could even steady my plate full of tiny nibbles, a flash blinded me. And I was still blinking when Abigail's official photographer, Laci Chalmers, turned her camera around so we could all try to see the image she'd captured.
"Talk about a 'magical memory,'" Laci said, sounding a touch sarcastic when she alluded to the Magical Memories scrapbook that came with every Artful Engagements wedding package.
At least, Mom had touted the binder as a selling point when she'd unleashed Abigail on Piper.
"You all look marvelous," Laci added, with a wink that said otherwise.
Moxie, who did look great, took the compliment seriously. "Why, thank you," she said, lightly touching her hair, which she'd dyed a quirky, cool color she called "something blue."
While not pushing any fashion boundaries, Piper also looked nice in a crisp, sleeveless sheath, so I was pretty sure Laci's wink had been aimed at me.
In the split second before she turned the camera back around, I saw that my grayish-green eyes had been closed and my dirty-blond curls were going crazier than usual, thanks to the rising humidity. I also noted that my floral sundress, which I'd purchased at the Tuscan equivalent of a flea market, was wilting in the heat, so it looked only a notch above Laci's fitted black T-shirt and cargo pants.
I assumed that Abigail allowed the young photographer to wear the casual outfit because Laci moved around a lot and carried a lot of gear.
Or maybe Laci was breaking the rules because she was a short-timer.
"You are shooting the wedding tomorrow, right?" Piper asked, so I knew she was thinking the same thing as me. Which was rare, given that my sensible sibling and I were complete opposites. "You'll be there, right, Laci?"
"Only as a favor," she said, absently rumpling her dark hair, which was cut in an extremely short pixie that accented her high cheekbones and blue eyes. "I collect my last paycheck from the wicked witch of the Poconos tonight — assuming I can pry the cash out of her grasping hands."
Laci was grinning, but the comment was still pretty harsh, though justified.
"Lucky for you, you're friends with my new boss, so I am happy to help out," she added, jerking her thumb in the direction of Gabriel Graham, who was owner of and formerly sole reporter at Sylvan Creek's Weekly Gazette.
Gabriel, whom I used to date, off and on, had his arm around his more serious girlfriend, gorgeous television executive Elyse Hunter-Black.
"Of course, we'll pay you," Piper promised Laci. "We don't expect you to work for nothing!"
Laci, who had an acerbic personality that would dovetail well with Gabriel's edgy wit, was already backing away, and she waved off the offer with a wry grin. "I'm just happy to be free of these gigs, and Abigail's clutches, forever. This one's on the house. In fact, my presence at the wedding, which will kill Abigail, will be payment enough!"
"Wow, no love lost between Laci and her boss," Piper said quietly as Laci disappeared into the crowd.
"I guess not," I answered my sister, but my attention had already shifted back to Mom and Beverly Berendt, who had their heads bent together, like different witches. Ones who might be brewing up some scheme to take over the world. Or at least dominate the local real estate market.
"What are the odds you'd marry the son of a bossy, scarf-wearing Realtor from the next town over, huh, Piper?" I mused, shaking my head. "It's like you're getting a double dose of Mom!"
Down by my feet, Socrates huffed softly. Given that he avoided my mother whenever possible, I suspected he was already dreading future family gatherings.
"I didn't know Mrs. Berendt sold real estate, too," Moxie said, sounding delighted by the terrible coincidence. She plucked a cocktail in the party's signature colors from a tray carried by a passing server. "Where?"
Piper slipped a blueberry from a skewer that also held chunks of watermelon and feta. The appetizer was festive, and contrasted with my sister's glum tone when she told Moxie, "Beverly has an office in Zephyr Hollow."
"Oh, I love that town!" Moxie cried, missing the point — which was that Piper's mother-in-law would be way too close for comfort. "It's so artsy and weird!"
All at once, lightning flickered in the distance, drawing my attention to the darkening sky.
"Friar Tuck over there would fit right in at Zephyr Hollow," Moxie added, seemingly apropos of nothing. But when I looked at my best friend again, I saw that she was pointing to a balding, bearded man who wore a brown robe that did appear monkish, if only because it was tied with what appeared to be a rope, albeit a colorful, decorative one. A pair of Birkenstock-style sandals added to his monastic mien.
The strange man, whom I didn't know, stood near a rose-covered arbor, chatting with my part-time, nearly certified accountant, Fidelia Tutweiler.
Abigail's young assistant, a dark-haired young man named Dexter Shipley, who probably shouldn't have been mingling, rounded out the strange trio.
Shaking her head, Moxie made a tsk-tsking sound. "Too bad the monk is messing up the Yankee Doodle party with an outfit that's totally off theme."
"Let's just hope he doesn't mess up the vows," Piper said, handing her empty plate to another passing server. "Because, believe it or not, that guy — 'Brother' Alf Sievers, from Graystone Arches Gateway to Eternity 'monastery' — is performing the ceremony."
I hesitated for a long moment, not sure if I should give Piper even more reason to worry. Then I took her by the arm and said, "I really think we should talk. In private."
However, before I could tell Piper that I knew a perhaps troubling bit of information about the man of the burlap cloth, Abigail Sinclair, who'd been absent all evening, suddenly burst onto the scene, telling me, in no uncertain terms, "Daphne Templeton! Maid of honor! I need to see you right now!"CHAPTER 2
"I'm completely booked for the next two weeks," I told Abigail, who hadn't summoned me for a wedding-related emergency. Rather, the imperious, forty-something event planner was trying to compel me to watch her accident-prone little cat, Ms. Peebles, starting the very next day, when Abigail, of all people, knew I'd be preoccupied. I followed her as she strode through the dark first floor of the mansion where her business was headquartered, trying to protest over the click of her four-inch stilettos. "I am really sorry, but I'm overcommitted, due to holiday travel, and I have to bake for All Paws on Deck." All at once, I was struck by what I thought was a good idea. "Why can't Dexter watch Ms. Peebles? He is your assistant."
We were in a narrow corridor leading to the commercial kitchen, which glowed ahead of us, and Abigail spun to face me for a moment. "While Ms. Peebles and Dexter could do just fine, Dexter's roles are very defined, and do not include pet care," she said firmly. Her steely blue eyes, which made all local florists, DJs and bakers bow before her, glittered in the dim hallway. "Meanwhile, I'm sure it only takes a professional like yourself a few minutes to feed Ms. Peebles and change her litter."
"But it's at least a fifteen-minute drive here, each way, for me," I pointed out, talking to the back of Abigail's dark red sheath and sleek, blond chignon. She'd wheeled around and resumed walking. "That's a half hour every day. And we both know that Ms. Peebles is prone to getting into trouble. It usually takes another half hour to find her, rescue her and get her calmed down."
Abigail's response was a dismissive waggle of her fingers, over her shoulder, as she passed into the kitchen. A big diamond I'd never noticed before glittered even more brightly than her eyes. "You'll figure it out."
Whatever argument I'd been about to mount fizzled when I entered the softly lit room to discover Daisy Carpenter working at a huge island with a durable quartz countertop. While the room was homey, decorated in country French style, it was also oversized and equipped with restaurant- quality appliances for the various caterers who worked Abigail's events.
"Hey, Daisy," I said, abandoning my one-sided discussion with Abigail for a moment to greet the young woman who was practically my in-law. I was certain that, if canine marriage was ever a thing, Socrates and Snowdrop would be the first dogs to get hitched. "How's Snowdrop feeling?"
Daisy was wiping down the countertop, which was already cleared of bowls and cutting boards, and she didn't immediately look up. Shrugging, she said, "I think she'll be good for the wedding tomorrow. She was eating her dinner when I left."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Something Borrowed, Something Mewed"
Copyright © 2019 Beth Kaszuba.
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
so very good. read straight through cause I couldn't put it down . now I have to wait for the next book.
Celebrating the 4th of July in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania, means a weeklong pet-centric Wags ’n Flags affair complete with fireworks, patriotic decorations, dogs in costumes, and the canine All Paws on Deck Rowboat Regatta. This year pet-sitter and pet bakery owner Daphne Templeton and her Basset hound sleuthing sidekick Socrates are immersed in solving crimes. Daphne’s sister Piper is engaged to be married. The wedding planner has multiple bookings set up at the same venue and at the same time and has plans to abscond with all the bridal payments. Murder ups the ante on the scam. Who is behind all the nefarious shenanigans? On the personal scene in Something Borrowed, Something Mewed, Daphne and her detective boyfriend Jonathan seem to be getting emotionally closer at a time when physical separation is imminent. Daphne’s fun and a little wacky friend Moxie is Daphne’s support throughout it all. Humor is injected as Daphne has interesting, but fairly one sided, “conversations” with Socrates throughout the book as she tries to solve the mysteries swirling around Sylvan Creek’s celebration. I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
I haven’t read the other books in this series yet but they are now on my list of books I have to read. I loved the story. Even though I have read the other books, I was easily able to figure out who was a regular in the series. Daphne’s sister Piper is getting married and Abigail Sinclair is hired as the wedding planner. Abigail doesn’t mesh well with the mother of the bride or groom. She is found murdered and it’s up to Daphne to figure out who the culprit is. Perfect cozy.
The story is filled with stressful situations caused by the upcoming nuptials of the main character's sister, and all the pressure as maid of honor. The event planner keeps pushing people and gains a lot of enemies, so when she is found dead, finding the killer becomes a priority.
Piper and Roger are getting married and both of their mothers have decided to hire and event planner to make the event something to remember. That is certainly not a problem when Abigail Sinclair decides on an over the top 4th of July themed wedding. Things go from bad to worse when Abigail is found dead and the groom and several others involved in the wedding have reason to be happy Abigail is no longer in charge of the wedding. Detective Black is working out of town and comes back just in time to help Daphne figure out some of the clues. The story has lots of suspects and many twists and turns. I was surprised when the killer was revealed and realized the clues had been there all along. I really enjoyed the personal growth of some of the relationships in this book and I very uch look forward to reading what is in store for them next.
Dollycas’s Thoughts Piper and Roger are getting married in the most over the top ceremony ever! An Independence Day theme complete with Statue of Liberty bridesmaids dresses, all thanks to the mothers of the bride and groom taking control. Too bad they couldn’t control keeping the pushy wedding planner alive. Abigail Sinclair is dead, dead, dead, floating in the fountain and it appears that the murder weapon was a borrowed blue garter. Now maid of honor Daphne takes on getting her sister wed before Roger leaves the country and finding a killer since Roger seems to be at the top of the suspect list. Will the nuptials take place? They sure will! Even if Daphne has to shoot off a few fireworks of her own. Daphne Templeton, her lovable basset hound Socrates, and her prickly Persian cat Tinkleston return in this delightful cozy mystery penned by Bethany Blake. Boyfriend Detective Jonathan Black is away on assignment working with an NCIS team in California but has promised to return to take part in the wedding. Daphne’s sister Piper is caught up in all the wedding drama as is Roger who hasn’t been a fan of wedding planner Abigail Sinclair since his mother and Piper’s hired her. Jonathan’s Chocolate Labrador, Axis, Chihuahua, Artie, along with Daphne’s best friend Moxie Bloom and her pet white rat named Sebastian also return. All the characters are well-developed and feel like old friends. Ms. Blake wraps these wonderful characters in a mystery that kept me guessing right up until the end. Abigail Sinclair ticked off plenty of people, especially with her latest fiasco so it is not surprising someone wanted to take her down. She had a grand plan until someone nixed it permanently. I enjoyed each and every twist thrown in Daphne’s path and was utterly astounded when we reached the big whodunit reveal. The author brought in some elements from the past in an interesting way that played a big part. Romance took a larger role in this installment, I mean it did include a wedding, but it was more than that. I can’t say more to avoid spoilers but the ending left me smiling ear to ear. Fabulous characters, awesome pets, and a marvelous mystery! Bethany Blake takes readers on a Perfect Escape! Something Borrowed, Something Mewed is fun and entertaining, and a great way to spend a couple of evenings. I can’t wait to return to Sylvan Creek!
Daphne's sister is getting married and their mother has gone momzilla on the whole affair. She hires the most premiere wedding planner around and they decide on a theme of Independence Day. Their is so much infighting happening that Daphne can't wait for the whole occasion to be over with, she love her sister but it is all becoming just to much. Daphne is happy to sit on the side lines and let everyone else decide on everything, she is happy to cat sit for the wedding planner. When Abby, the wedding planner, ends up dead strangled by a garter things don't look good for the wedding. Will Daphne be able to jump in and get everything organized for her sisters big day. While keeping her sisters wedding on track will she be able to figure out who killed Abby and why? Follow along as Daphne tries to track down a killer and keep her sisters big day from turning into a downer. This was my first book from this series and I can say I caught on to who the characters were easily. I was able to follow along without any trouble and look forward to going back to the beginning so my take on who everyone is and the parts they play in the books becomes keener. This was a fun read filled with wonderful characters and a lovely setting.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I love Blake's Pet Sitter mysteries. Daphne and Socrates are so funny at times that even if you are in a frump they will get you out of it. Wonderfully entertaining and fun to read. Enjoy!
Daphne is back at, and this time she is ruining her sister’s wedding by finding the event planner dead the day of the ceremony. At least that is what her mother Maude Templeton says. Between you and me the planner needed to go for a variety of reasons , one being the fact that she is a swindler and other is because no one should look like the Staue of Liberty as a bridesmaid. Poor Daphne, she can’t help it if she happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or is she in the wrong place at the right time? Having a PhD in philosophy I am sure she could wax poetic about it with her trusty sidekick, the brilliant basset Socrates. Daphne certainly has enough on her plate, trying to be the best bride’s maid possible, best pet sitter possible (yes she is fostering yet another victim’s fur baby), best new business shop owner for Flour Power, and last but not least, best girlfriend. That’s right, Daphne and detective Jonathan Black are officially a couple, unfortunately there are a couple of states separating them while he works remotely for San Diego’s NCIS. This one had me on the edge of my seat all the way around. You will never guess who the guilty party is, and I’m certainly not going to spoil the surprise. Love, love, love this latest installment!
Something Borrowed, Something Mewed by Bethany Blake is the 5th book in the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series, and another great addition. Daphne Templeton keeps busy with her pet sitting business, Lucky Paws and her pet bakery, Flour Power. In this book Daphne sister, Piper, is getting married and their mother hires a event planner for an Independence Day theme. When a body is found murdered, Daphne is on the case. This book has more twists and turns, that kept me reading page after page. I love the unique people and situations in this book. I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love cozy mysteries, I strongly recommend this book/series. I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
Wedding bells are ringing for Daphne's sister, Piper, and her fiance, but when the embezzling event planner is found murdered in her backyard Daphne must help clear Roger's name so that he and Piper can begin their happily ever after. Wonderfully written, as usual, by author Bethany Blake, Something Borrowed, Something Mewed is a sweet cozy mystery that left this reader feeling warm and fuzzy and wanting to move to the very pet friendly town of Sylvan Creek. An absolute gem, a pleasure to read, and a mystery that kept me guessing! 5 stars!!!
Cozy Pocono Mystery This cozy mystery takes place in the Poconos and is filled with pets! This is a fun story that has lots of different romances woven through the plot. There are some very humorous parts that still make me smile. I plan on reading more of this author's work. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Something Borrowed, Something Mewed is the fifth book in the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries by Bethany Blake. This was the first in the series I have read but was able to get caught up quickly. You have plenty of twists and turns, romance, friendship, and humor. You are kept guessing until the end. I love all the pets in the story and the pet friendly town. I was given an ARC by NetGalley for an honest review.
I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it. I just love this series, it’s one of my favorite cozy mystery series. And every time a new book arrives I am excited to follow Daphne and her dog Socrates on another adventure where they solve a murder mystery. In this book her sister Piper is getting married, but things take a turn for the worse when the wedding planner turns up death. I liked the mystery in this one. At times it felt like we had all the pieces, but they didn’t make sense yet. And other times I felt like I was missing an important piece. I wasn’t sure who to suspect as no one seemed quite right and then the reveal of who did it was great. It made sense looking back, but it was a great reveal learning how it all happened. I also liked how the whole mystery progressed with Daphne right in the middle of it and figuring out what happened and revealing secrets and uncovering truths along the way. I really enjoyed this book and I liked how besides the mystery there are also enough other plot lines going on. Piper and Roger’s wedding is an important part of this book, as well as Roger’s mysterious sister, Daphne and Jonathan hit some struggles when he has to go to another place for work, then there is the upcoming pet event where they go on the lake with boats and costumes. It’s a lot of fun and I like seeing all the plot lines progress throughout the book to be wrapped up with a great finale at the end. This series also has a great group of characters. I really like Daphne, who is curious and gets involved in the mysteries. I like how she cares about her friends, humans and animals alike. She’s great to read about. Then we have the usual cast of side character from Jonathan Black to Daphne’s best friend Moxie, as well as Daphne’s mom and sister and ofcourse Socrates and a bunch of other pets like Snowdrop, Artie, Axis and Little Tim. The amount of characters grows with each book and I like how side characters and animals we met in previous books continue to play a role. This series has an awesome amount of continuity. I also like how there are new side characters we meet in each book and some I wonder if we’ll continue to see in later books. And it has one of my favorite romances in cozy mysteries. Daphne and Jonathan are so great together and I loved seeing them as a couple in this book and how they deal with their first struggles as a couple. Jonathan will really do a lot for her and I think Daphne is slowly starting to realize that. To summarize: There’s just something about this series that’s so fun! The pet crazy town, the pets and the characters who come to life and the awesome mysteries. The mystery in this one was a great one. I really liked the reveal and how it all made sense and fell on it’s place. I had a hard time settling on a suspect in this case as none of them seemed quite right, like we were missing a piece of the story, which makes sense in the end. I enjoyed reading about Daphne again in this book and the awesome group of side characters, both humans and pets. I am quite fond of the amount of continuity and how characters that got introduced in previous books continue to play a role. I also liked the romance in this one and seeing Daphne and Jonathan as a couple finally. Besides the well done mystery, there are also a bunch of other side plot lines that are woven throughout the book. All in all another awesome read in this series and I can’t wait for the next book!
This series shows special relationships between friends, couples and humans with their pets. However, my favorite thing in this story is how it is peppered with teasers that leave you hanging for a bit but not for too long and that it is mixed with fun, romance and mystery. I have read and enjoyed all the books in this series but this could also easily be read as a stand alone. Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
As Daphne and the gang prepare for Pipher and Roger’s wedding, things quickly head south when the venue has been booked for multiple weddings on the same day by the same wedding planner, and said wedding planner is found dead after scamming so many couples. But Roger is a prime suspect and that is the biggest hurdle that needs to be cleared before he and Pipher can marry. With so many couples in the same position there are quite a few suspects, but who truly killed Abigail? Daphne won’t let her sister delay the wedding and to do that, she is going to have to figure out who the murderer is, because it’s not Roger! Daphne and Jonathan have their own challenges when he is offered a job in San Diego. But Daphne’s love for Jonathan and desire for him to be happy leads her to the only decision she can make, set him free to follow his dreams. Love, marriage and the long road to finding happiness is a theme throughout this one and you’ll be cheering, crying, and aching at various parts. But you’ll have enough suspects and red herrings to keep you guessing close to the end. Can’t wait for the next entry in the series later this year!
Bethany Blake is such a talented author that even coming into the middle of a series I didn’t miss a beat. I was sure I knew who the killer was before the crime was reported. Ms. Blake however had other ideas! Her twists and turns throughout a story of true love had me guessing until the last page! I love her canine and feline characters as much as I do her human ones. Daphne is a perfect heroine and Moxie is full of well.....Moxie! Don’t miss this fabulous book. I can’t wait for the next installment! I was provided an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
Abagail the wedding planner might have been a bad idea and a pest in general but murder? Daphne knows her sister Piper's fiancé Roger didn't do it but who did? Turns out there's a list of suspects. Daphne's own love interest Jonathan has gone to the West Coast and she's missing him. Her business (she makes pet treats and does pet sitting) is busy. Her dog Socrates- what a gem! This classic cozy rises on the strength of its characters, some of which are animals (some of the best ones, btw). It's got a few twists, some recipes (for pet treats), and a genial approach. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
I love this series and Socrates, the philosophical dog, is one of my favorite fictional pet. This means I started to read this ARC as soon as I got it. I think that Bethany Blake writes wonderful pets: realistic, endearing and funny at the same time. This book is lovely as all the others in this series: it's entertaining, engaging, and fun to read. It was great to meet again the cast of characters, I loved to read about Daphne's antics and the evolution in her sentimental situation. The mystery is solid, it kept me guessing till the end and the solution came as a surprise. I can say I loved this book and read it as fast as I could. I look forward to reading the next installment because I want more Socrates and more Daphne. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.