Sunday, October 16, 2016

REVIEW: Deadly Dog Days

Deadly Dog Days
Author: Jamie M. Blair

**I voluntarily read an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book provided by Midnight Ink via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.**

Cameron Cripps-Hayman is having a rough time. She's separated from her husband, the sheriff in Metamora, IN. Not only that, but her pushy mother-in-law wants her out of the house, her knee hurts, she's turning 40...AND she finds her husband's rumored new girlfriend dead in a canal.

When Metamora residents start looking sideways at her thinking she may have bumped off her hubby's new love interest, she brings home the woman's five dogs in an effort to show she is innocent. Her estranged husband, Ben, is also a suspect. In order to clear both their names, Cameron pulls together her rag-tag bunch of call center volunteers to help investigate the murder.

This cozy has a little bit of everything. Dogs. A mysterious cat. Estranged husband. Gossipy locals. Horrid mother-in-law. Cranky teen step-daughter. 40th birthday. Poor Cameron has a lot on her plate.

The mystery portion of the plot was well-paced, funny at times, and interesting. I enjoyed the antics of the dogs and the call-center volunteers -- who are all working off community service hours. I found the main character and her husband to be a bit annoying though, mostly because of the things the mother-in-law was allowed to do without being put in her place. Portions of the story line were difficult for me to read because I would have told the old lady where to stuff it. I did find it hilarious how the handyman jumped in for some passive-aggression to aggravate the high and mighty MIL. Take that, ya pushy old broad!

Technically, the characters were more formula stereotype than developed.  But, it's a cozy mystery-- formula is pretty much the name of the game. Cozies are meant to be light, enjoyable mysteries with humor and fun added in. Deadly Dog Days has plenty of humor, fun and mystery! There were plenty of suspects, eccentric locals and lots of amateur sleuthing,

All in all, this book was an enjoyable read! I laughed out loud several times while reading about Cameron and her crew's exploits. And the mother-in-law, angsty step-daughter and husband elicited an emotional reaction in me most of the time. Annoyance is an emotion, after all. It added to my enjoyment of the book because I could sympathize with Cameron's tired, exasperated state of mind.  She's fed up with her life, the town and her situation -- but she loves her life and the town despite all of it. I grew up in a small town, so I totally understand that love-hate relationship. And I know how small town gossip works....guilty until proven innocent.

Deadly Dog Days will be released by Midnight Ink on November 8th! It is the first book in the Dog Days Mystery series. I will definitely be reading more of this series to see how the characters develop. Pre-order a copy and support a new cozy series!

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