This was the first book in the brand new Cozy Mystery Bookshop series by Tamra Bauman whose bio says she’s normally a romance writer. I liked how she handled the romance in her first cozy, very nice job! I was undecided on which guy to root for, but by the end, I think I had an idea of what way this might go. But then again, who knows, the next book may surprise me.
I am anxious to read the next book, however I really hope that the author stops using present tense. It did make it a bit harder to read smoothly, but I will say that the rest of the book helped make up for it. The dialogue is some of the best and most normal-sounding (not stilted and too formal, like some I’ve read) that I’ve read. Oh, I can’t not mention little Cooper! That pup has won my heart, he got to be a hero, but over the course of the book, he was helping his mommy’s heart heal.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book via NetGalley, and my opinions are completely my own.
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a great mystery, awesome characters and one of the cutest dogs I’ve read about in awhile. I’ll say upfront that I wasn’t a fan of the present tense style and can’t quite figure out why it was used, unless it was supposed to be like Sawyer looking back and writing her memoirs. But even then, it’s kind of annoying, but honestly, I’m glad I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying a great story. The riddle, clues and puzzle aspect really kept me intrigued.
Other than the constant present tense, it was well-written as far as vocabulary, and the dialogue was actually believable–and real-sounding. The author did a great job of painting the nasty uncle as a total snake, because I absolutely couldn’t stand him–am I awful to wish he’d been offed? But then they’d have thought Sawyer did it lol. At first, I wasn’t sure about Brittany, the store employee, but she grew on me more and more. I just love what good thing happened for her eventually! I liked the romance aspect a lot. It was just the right amount. At first I was one team, but by the end of the book I was ready to switch teams. I won’t say, so I don’t spoil it 😉 The other supporting character of Madge was a lot of fun! I got such a kick out of how she and Sawyer would compare case notes, but Dylan the sheriff knew what they were doing all along. Renee, Sawyer’s best friend was a hoot! She was a happy-go-lucky free spirit and dated a new guy almost every week
I can’t leave out the sweet Admiral! Every mystery needs a fun and quirky character. The author nailed it with the Admiral. I hope he’s around for a very long time! (Can I help it if I pictured him as the famous white-haired star of the old Diagnosis Murder series?) 😉 As far as the killer, I was going back and forth on that one, so it was a little bit of a surprise. But it led to an awesome showdown where little Cooper the mini Goldendoodle got to be a hero, and his mommy wasn’t too shabby either! The sheriff showed up just as my nerves were giving out lol. I thought the ending was satisfying as far as the main mystery, but it was kind of fun to leave a couple of little threads dangling. I’m definitely enticed to read the next book!