Death By Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake
E-Book ASIN: B01GBAG2T0
About the Book:
Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.
Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.
Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim?
Includes recipes for homemade dog treats!
Daphne is owner and operater of Lucky Paws Pet Sitting. Her sister, Piper, is a local veterinarian with a farm on acreage. Piper has recently offered the use of her property for a weekend agility trial for dogs. Currently living with her sister, Daphne is surprised when one of the set up crew is none other than Steve Beamus, Piper’s ex, and they appear to have a lover’s quarrel. Daphne’s more surprised when one of her dogs locates a very dead Steve in one of the agility training areas and Steve’s prize-winning and faithful chocolate lab is missing.
Now, Piper is a suspect in the suspicious death of Steve. Daphne is bound and determined to prove that her sister didn’t have anything to do with the death of her ex. The new detective in town, Jonathan, butts heads with Daphne from the get go. It doesn’t help that Daphne fits the typical cozy mystery heroine. She doesn’t take safety into consideration or that there are certain things you might want to tell the investigating officer…
I loved this book. Daphne is a wonderful character. She is snarky, compassionate, without too many cares in the world. She has a PhD in philosophy but doesn’t really use it other than to quote Socrates and other philosophers. She’s down-to-earth, kind, and gentle and knows her sister, who’s a tad uptight and OCD, would never murder anyone, accidentally or on purpose. Daphne’s only mission now is to clear Piper’s name.
The dynamics between Daphne and Jonathan are not at all subtle. Daphne tries to deny any sparks of attraction but many people in her life know that they are there. We don’t get a whole lot in the way of Jonathan, other than what Daphne is able to scout out secondarily. Daphne’s on-again-off-again romance with a secondary character does put a damper on the chemistry between Daphne and Jonathan.
The book is engaging from the very beginning and kept me entertained throughout. There was never a dull moment and some of the antics of Daphne, her two dogs, and the rotties she acquires had me smiling. The author’s writing style is phenomenal. All dialogue was smooth, thought out, and conversational. The twists and turns kept me guessing all the way until the end. I can’t wait for book 2.
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.