This was the first book in the Creature Comforts series by Arlene Kay who is no stranger to writing regular mysteries. I would call this a cozy with some edge to it, but I still enjoyed it. Babette, Perri’s friend was such a hoot! I meant to add her to my other review, but I can’t go without mentioning her. She’s super rich (she’s a three-time widow and divorced once), loves nice clothes and amenities (hence a huge motor home with all the comforts of an actual home) she’s very sweet and loving to Ella, Perri’s guy’s little girl, loves her dog to the moon and back. In other words, I would definitely want to be friends with her. She seemed very loyal to the people and dogs in her life.
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an awesome start for a new series, a well-plotted and well-written book, lots of intrigue and a nail-biting showdown too! I like that the jobs of the main character and her boyfriend were different than usual. Perri was a leathersmith who sold high-end dog collars, leads mainly to rich dog show clientele via the dog show circuit, and she was formerly an Army sergeant. I thought that part was especially cool! And her two dogs had the Schutzhund training–after reading about it in another cozy, it sounds like the perfect thing for a mystery main character to have, dogs trained in that method. Perri’s main squeeze as she calls him was Wing Pruett, a well-known investigative journal who was very popular with the ladies, although Perri knew he only had eyes for her now. Ella was his adorable 7-year-old daughter who was learning about dog showing by raising her Pointer, Guinnie.
There were quite a few good suspects and at one point I had absolutely no idea who the killer was, but one small clue pointed me in the right direction, then another clue. The showdown was a little nerve-wracking, but as always, the perp went down. I guess one thing this book was pointing out was that there is almost always a shady underbelly to even a family-friendly event like a dog show. Everyone there had their share of secrets. I won’t say who, but there was one person I was especially relieved was not the killer. You’ll know when you read it! There’s a chapter preview of the next book which looks like it’ll focus on horses instead of dogs.