Title: Stay Calm and Collie On (a Pet Palace Mystery #1) by Lane Stone
Genre: Currently #11374 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Publication Date: To be released November 7, 2017 – Happy Release Day!
Source: Lyrical Underground and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Stay Calm and Collie On – Absolutely compelling cover-definitely generates interest
Just look at that cover! It gets you, huh, pulls you in. And actually, it also conveys the plot of the book very well. The Buckingham Pet Palace has a British co-owner who comes over to inspect her investment. The Lewes, Delaware US side of the upscale doggy daycare and spa co-owner Sue Patrick, knows her business, and generally has a good crew who caters to their furry clientele. That is, until one of them goes off the puppy pad just about the time Lady Anthea Fitzwalter arrives from across the pond to investigate her asset. Henry is found deceased in a van with several dogs he was supposed to be taking home. So much for first impressions!
Okay, to start–it’s a cozy mystery and I enjoy cozy mysteries–you can skip right through them–they don’t generally bog you down, AND, bonus, this one is also about dogs. If you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m a sucker for doggy related books. In this novel, Sue charges ahead when she doesn’t wholly trust the new sheriff in town, John Turner, who she finds generally cryptic and sometimes antagonistic. He is plodding and stoic, not at all to Sue’s liking when she experiences a deafening drop in clientele at the time they are trying to promote their doggy gala. (yes, a gala–don’t ask)
Rumors are spread that the driver was attempting to abscond with the pampered pooches to Canada. Then, as rumors usually do, stories get twisted and whole new theories pop up. It’s evident Sue will need to take charge if she wants to rescue the Pet Palace reputation and save the (to date) successful co-ownership with Lady Anthea, who at this point, has begun to interject some interesting English ideas of her own. There are a few humorous scenes, LOL moments of dialogue (some attempts tried too hard), though I enjoyed Ms. Stone’s turn of phrase, style of writing. Descriptions of the rural, coastal community and inhabitants have you bobbing your head in accord.
Ms. Stone has furred out some very interesting characters, dogs as well as people, and I liked her cast of characters, including her BFF Shelby and the teenage part-time worker. Lady Anthea looks to be a good straight woman to Sue’s strong protagonist character and they balance each other out very well. Some British flavor added interest and wasn’t overdone. The “pet parents” add a believable dimension and is not difficult to identify with. It’s a cozy mystery and doesn’t race to the finish line, but is short enough to solve the whodunit in a single sitting.
On the whole, a good start to a new series that looks to be very promising.
So what drew me back from being a gung-ho Pet Palace #1 fan? Repeats, including the incidence of two characters repeating the same word(s) at the same time–many times. Even for an ARC, needed more attention to detail, but my #1 problem: Hate when the antagonist dissolves into a melt-down and confesses to every minor detail. While we might need to clean up loose ends, could we please get some of those details–maybe from the sheriff?
I was given this digital download from Lyrical Underground and NetGalley and really appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended as a jolly fun cozy mystery, easy and quick to read, and for anyone who enjoys the canine inclusion.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
The Author: Lane Stone is a native Atlantan, though she and her husband Larry and their dog, Abby (a standard schnauzer) live in Alexandria, VA during the week and in Lewes, DE on the weekend. Lewes, of course, is the setting of her new cozy mystery series, Buckingham Pet Palace. She does extensive volunteer work when she isn’t writing, being on two boards, and is the Campus Outreach Chair for the Alexandria branch of AAUW.
Ms. Stone has a Political Science degree from Georgia State University, and is currently pursuing a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime. She tweets as Abby, The Menopause Dog (@TheMenopauseDog) and her Facebook page is LaneStoneBooks (https://www.facebook.com/Lane-Stone-B…). Her website is www.LaneStoneBooks.com
©2017 Virginia Williams