Title: Chained by Eileen Brady
Genre: Currently #138 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Animals
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: To be released December 5, 2017
Source: Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Chained, bear is a small part of the story
Once again, coming into a series at #3, this Kate Turner, DVM mystery, has gotten a start on me, but really could be read as a stand alone. Without a lot of back story, we know that Kate is fairly new to the Hudson Valley town of Oak Falls. When their home town golden boy disappears, everyone thinks he’s made good on his vow to go to Hollywood. Unfortunately, one of her dog patients turns up a bone deemed to be human and it proves to be Flynn. The smashed skull proves murder–but that was ten years ago.
After ten years, who can remember any details? Clues that may have been there have been buried a long time. His family want answers, but there is no real remaining evidence. In the meantime, the animal hospital, patients, and life must go on. Life for Kate includes an old college boyfriend, anthropologist Jeremy Engels, returning to the U.S. after an African dig is stopped and it looks like he might want to rekindle a romance. But then there is local boy Luke, off again after his old high school romance has reheated. Talk about timing.
Kate apparently has quite a history of her own, that includes her “Gramps” as her major caregiver after her mother and brother are killed following a hit and run. She tends to turn to the elder ex-fireman for advice and turns to him again in her forensic investigation into the death of Flynn.
The location of the Hudson Valley sounds beautiful if not frigid. The townspeople are used to battling freezing temps prior to Halloween. She is working an established hospital for a vet friend with whom she exchanged his practice and over-the-garage apartment for the approximate year he is to be on traveling sabbatical. His practice includes a wide variety of animals and she is apparently used to throwing bag and tools in an old truck with her assistant, Mari, who runs duties from prep to GPS tracker. I really liked the character of Mari. And, for that matter, the character of Kate without a lot of back story still makes for a charismatic vet who you WISHED you could have for your own beloved pet–whether pig or dog.
The opening chapter starts with only the kind of scenario that could be offered by a country vet and continues to hold interest, while slowing somewhat in the middle for the swelling of the romance–that tentative initial period into whether or not there is still a spark worthy of reawakening.
I enjoyed riding in the back seat, figuratively speaking, and looking at her patients–some cringe worthy while others downright humorous and must admit to seeking counsel on the internet recently for our own little Bichon’s problem, though certainly would have been able to tell a little prince from a princess without research. (Our vet coined the result, Dr. Google.)
Her discovery of the brown bear was definitely one of the more cringe worthy discoveries on her rounds. There are interesting little tidbits of animal handling as well as stories of thoughtless and often cruel animal handling.
Kate goes about interviewing anyone close to the victim; family, as well as local high school friends or acquaintances and teachers and gets the usual warnings to stay out of a police investigation, albeit cold case. Dialogue is believable and particularly natural between Kate and her office staff. Descriptions of the area fill in the scene and put you in the action and red herrings steer you in one or the other direction, keeping you guessing the culprit.
The climax comes as expected, if not exactly who, and all loose ends wrap up very neatly.
I downloaded this digital ebook from Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended cozy mystery (even if it does include romance) and animal stories. A slightly different bent to the plot and an enjoyable one.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author Page) A veterinarian for more than twenty years, Eileen Brady lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her veterinarian husband, Jonathan Grant and their two daughters— plus numerous four legged family members. She is busy working on the next Kate Turner, D.V.M. mystery and trying to keep the animals off her keyboard. Contact Eileen through her website. ©2017 Virginia Williams