by Eileen Brady
Poisoned Pen Press
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Dr. Kate Turner is back. Doc Anderson is still on his world cruise, but that is ok with Kate. She has settled in nicely in cozy little Oak Falls. They need a competent vet while Doc was off on his adventure and she needs the tranquility of small town life in upstate New York.
Most of the people she comes in contact with have become fast friends or quirky acquaintances, but they all value her expertise as the person that takes loving, skilled care of their pets and farm animals. It isn’t the animals that are causing the problems in Oak Falls, it is humans.
Claire Birnham is found dead of an apparent suicide. She was a well-liked, talented artist with a bright future that gave no indication of distress or worry, certainly nothing that would sound an alarm with her friends and family.
Kate cannot believe her friend would kill herself. There were so many reasons for her to want to live. First and foremost, Claire’s love and devotion for her dog Toto. Named after the famous pooch in The Wizard of Oz, Toto is a dog with an attitude. He is a pussycat with Claire, but is intolerant of almost everyone else.
Lucky for Toto he was at the veterinary clinic at the time of his mistress’ demise. And lucky for Kate, her kennel helper Eugene is one of the few people Toto doesn’t try to eat.
Kate starts digging deeper into her friend’s death with the unwilling help of her friend and sometimes boyfriend, police officer Luke Gianetti. Her grandfather, a retired law enforcement officer, is much more willing to help. He even comes to town to do a bit of probing for Kate.
Unfortunately, Kate was right. Her friend Clair was murdered. There are more suspects entering the picture than Kate could have imagined. Line up an ex that is a Rock Singer, an awful alcoholic mother, a vindictive, overbearing gallery owner and someone very near and dear to Kate.
The clock is ticking while Kate immerses herself in the local art scene and investigation. Either one can get her killed. She has to keep looking for the real killer before an innocent person is convicted of the crime.
Eileen Brady has done it again. Wrap a mysterious death in a cloak of critters and quirky characters and you have the makings of a great cozy mystery. Brady writes dialog and descriptions that pulls the reader into the old beat up truck of Doc Anderson’s and takes you along for the oftentimes bumpy ride.
Some of the characters from her first novel Muzzled make a welcome appearance. Both animals and humans have distinctive attributes and voices, all mixing together making a perfect cast for Brady’s cozy mystery. The witty prose with the underlying knowledge of a practicing veterinarian brings a depth to this novel that some cozies are missing. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.