Dog Friendly by Victoria Schade – #Audiobook Review – #feelgoodfiction

Dog Friendly by Victoria Shade

Book Blurb:

A burned-out veterinarian takes a much-needed beach vacation, where a charming surfer makes waves in her love life, and a unique foster pup renews her passion for her work.

Exhausted veterinarian Morgan Pearce is feeling overworked and under-thanked, so when two favorite clients ask her to watch their special needs senior dog in their Nantucket home, she jumps at the chance for a summer break. She hopes her time on the island will be a reset from the stress of her everyday life, but her chill vacation vibe takes a hit when she gets roped into fostering a challenging, anxious dog and helping plan the local rescue group’s glittery annual fundraiser.

Her trip starts to feel more like a vacation when Morgan begins falling for Nathan Keating, an irresistible entrepreneur who thinks every problem can be solved on a surfboard. Just as the summer is shaping up to be the magical refresh she needs, thanks to a fling that feels like the beginning of something real and Hudson, the foster dog who reminds her how much she loves her job, a visit from her estranged brother and the discovery of who Nathan really is changes everything. Morgan finds herself at a crossroads, trying to determine if mistakes from the past must define the future, or if she should forgive, forget, and grab hold of a chance to finally rescue herself.

My Review:

How can you NOT love that cover? And really, the implied promise is delivered.

Not the first time this year you’ve caught me reading/listening to a romance. I know, I know, but in my defense, I just saw the dogs and read enough to know the storyline included dogs and I’ve been needing a feel-good doggy story.

I’ll bet you didn’t know “Feel-Good Fiction” was a real genre—I certainly didn’t. It’s summer and this is termed a “beach read.” Most definitely as it is located on Nantucket, descriptions of which almost had me packing for a beach read destination of my own.

This novel drips with sweetness–don’t get me wrong—it’s something we all need right now.  

Dog Friendly by VIctoria SchadeThe main character is a burned-out vet and although I’d had no clue being a veterinarian could be so stressful as to actually cause stress-related suicide, I could almost understand the problem of being a corporate vet as a major stress-inducer. Sounds like the same constraints placed on most corporate doctors these days—profit over practice.

But here is Morgan Pearce. She loves the animals. She loves most of the humans who bring their animals in for the expectation of care for their pets. She has seen it all; reactive dogs, lack of training, decent food, inappropriate discipline. It’s no wonder she jumps at the chance to get away and take care of one of her regulars with special needs for the summer. His humans are going on an extended trip and he’ll need the one-on-one care while they’re gone. They have a beautiful place on Nantucket Island, who wouldn’t go? Nope, she won’t go as a vet—she’ll go as a dog sitter/walker.

Okay, here comes the tension: she meets a gorgeous guy selling a proprietary homemade health juice from a push cart. Oh, and he’s a surfer. Did I mention Nathan is gorgeous? And dang—he has a dog! They’ll do dog walks!

And Tension #2: she can’t find a way to say no to a pooch who has been badly misunderstood by his human. He seriously needs to be retrained into being a real proper dog. (She’s now suspected of being one extremely savvy dog walker.) The fun here is the interaction with the dogs, dog personalities, introducing dogs to each other, insights into behavior, and body language.

Morgan’s family background is tenuous and ergo Tension #3 may be the catalyst for the Morgan and Nathan breakup. I’m not one for violins and roses, but this romance is handled pretty well. As a realist, however, I’d have some serious questions about the viability of the relationship.

The conclusion is handled sensitively and probably, for most readers, as expected, but still—it’s nice and I must say a sweet, fast, and engaging read.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts and I honestly think I’ll look for other titles by this author.

Book Details:

Genre: Feel-Good Fiction, Animal Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley

  • ISBN-10: ‎ 059343739X
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0593437391

ASIN: B09HH3B81R
Listening Length: 8 hrs 29 mins
Narrator: Patti Murin
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Dog Friendly [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Victoria Schade - authorThe Author: Victoria Schade has been a dog trainer and writer for over twenty years. During that time her dog duties have included working behind the scenes on Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl as the lead animal wrangler, appearing on two seasons of the Animal Planet show Faithful Friends, and creating dog training content and appearing in educational videos for a variety of pet-centric web sites. Victoria’s favorite way to share her dog knowledge is though her books, whether in a how-to manual like “Bonding With Your Dog” or woven into her novels like “Who Rescued Who” and “Lost Found & Forever.”

Victoria shares her 1850’s always-in- need-of- renovations home with Millie the Smooth Brussels Griffon (who wants you to know that she is not a skinny pug), Olive the mixed breed dog, the occasional foster pup, and her incredibly tolerant husband, Tom.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

happy thursday!

Rosepoint Reviews – August Recap—Woohoo, it’s September!

I mentioned last month the fun with new gardening possibilities and while the sauerkraut was a bust, the carrots did pretty well. The rest of the veggies in the gallon fermenter got too soft. Now, I have ripe cherry tomatoes coming out of my ears and already dried the first batch. A bit too much pepper on some, but otherwise, they are like little tomato-flavored candies.

Okay, admittedly, that has little to do with books, although an excellent reason I’m slow to read this month. Thank heaven for audiobooks and the CE!

us back in 62
We don’t have any wedding pics, but I think this is in 1962.

Speaking of the CE…we will be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary on the 2nd (cue the horns!). Hoping to do a couple things; still there are issues with gas and Covid. Because I am writing this ahead of those last three review posts, the links will be to Amazon rather than my review which I will edit upon return to my computer. (Sadly, I don’t know how to get a link to a review scheduled, not yet posted. Yes, I know—don’t say it.)

Together we did read or listen to nineteen books in August, most from NetGalley as I’m still working on the 500 badge; as I’m writing this, now up to a count of 494. So close!

The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt The Last Sentinel by Simon Gervais The Final Hunt by Audrey J Cole Such a Beautiful Family by T R Ragan Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron The Girl Who Escaped by Mark Nolan Overkill by Sandra Brown Out of Patients by Sandra Cavello Miller Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart Bad Axe County by John Galligan Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin Lies She Told by Cate Holahan The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner The Double Agent by William Christie The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane

  1. The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier
  2. Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt (audiobook)
  3. The Last Sentinel by Simon Gervais (a CE review)
  4. The Final Hunt by Audrey J Cole (a CE review)
  5. Such a Beautiful Family by T R Ragan
  6. Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron (a CE review)
  7. The Girl Who Escaped by Mark Nolan (a CE 5* review)
  8. Overkill by Sandra Brown (a CE review)
  9. Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart
  10. Bad Axe County by John Gallagan (audiobook)
  11. Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo Miller (a CE review)
  12. Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves (a CE review)
  13. Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin (a CE review)
  14. Lies She Told by Cate Holahan (audiobook)
  15. Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner (my 5*)
  16. The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks (a CE 5* review)
  17.  A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)
  18. The Double Agent by William Christie (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)
  19. The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)

Reading Challenges

My challenges—promises, promises, promises. Yes, I caught it up! Not once, but twice as I lost all my input the first time. My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can always check out the progress of my challenges, if you are so inclined, by clicking the Reading Challenges page. I’m now at 73% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 132 and achieved my Audiobook Challenge of 30 and the Historical Reading Challenge of 25. I also achieved the yearly goal of 75 for Netgalley and Edelweiss, although of course, those books are all from NG.

Having to do over the Reading Challenges page taught me one thing: I’m not keeping up with it well. Not updating, nor reporting to the challenge hosts. My apologies. I think going forward I will undertake fewer challenges and not try to list individual entries to the challenge. Makes the page unwieldy and for what purpose? Tell me, honestly…have you ever looked at it?

Where the Crawdads Sing (my review of the book here by Delia Owens) starring Daisy Edgar-Jones—was excellent. Did you get a chance to view it? I’ll be doing a critical review discussing both shortly. I’d love to hear what you thought, too! Did you read the book?

We here in the upper Midwest had a beautiful August—I can’t complain—with pleasant temps during the day and cool in the evening perfect for sleeping. Did you get the kiddies off to school? We’ve been informed we are expecting our second great-grandchild. Too early to know boy or girl. In the meantime, the boy is trying to walk. He’s nine months. The fun begins…Happy old woman

Welcome to my new followers and as always I appreciate those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. Please let me know if you saw something above that got your interest.

©2022 V Williams

Granny graphic attribute: wdrfree.com

Out of Patients: A Novel by Sandra Cavallo Miller – #BookReview – #medicalfiction

Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo Miller

Book Blurb:

Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo MillerAfter practicing medicine for more than thirty years in the sweltering suburbs of Phoenix, Dr. Norah Waters is weighing her options, and early retirement is looking better and better. At age fifty-eight, she questions whether she still needs to deal with midnight calls, cranky patients, and the financial headaches that come with running a small clinic. Fighting burnout and workplace melodrama, Norah gives herself one final year to find the fulfillment and satisfaction she remembers from the early years of her once-cherished career.

As she embarks on her year’s journey, Norah grapples with a medical practice that is experiencing a concerning loss of income. She is supervising two medical students, one whose shyness hampers his development and another whose arrogance and contempt for family medicine creates major friction at the clinic. Norah’s life is further complicated by her elderly mother, a feisty 86-year-old living in Sun City, who once rejoiced at Woodstock and recently partied at Burning Man. Troubled by a shadow in their past, both women find themselves on a quest for self-worth in their shifting worlds.

Norah also must cope with the end of an unhappy, long-term relationship with an aspiring, but deadbeat, novelist. Supported by her steadfast dog, a misfit veterinarian, and a thoughtful radiologist, Norah wrestles through a surprising assortment of obstacles, sometimes amusing and sometimes dreadful, on her way to making a final decision about her future.

His Review:

Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo MillerDr. Waters works in a teaching hospital. Her students are generally very receptive and eager to learn. Jeremy is the exception. He comes from a long line of doctors and is convinced he knows it all and is horrible to his physicians’ tutor. He has no bedside manner, poor interviewing skills, and worse charting habits. Dr. Waters considers him a danger to his patients and the medical profession.

CE WilliamsThis book exploits the inner workings of a teaching hospital and the terrific job these teaching doctors do for the medical profession. I highly recommend it as a valuable insight into the grooming of our medical profession. Just released! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

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Book Details:

Genre: Medical Fiction
Publisher: University of Nevada Press

  • ISBN-10: ‎ 164779059X
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1647790592
  • Reading age: ‎ 13 years and up

ASIN: B09ZJ9R9WS
Print Length: 259 pages
Publication Date: August 16, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Out of Patients [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

The Author: Sandra Cavallo Miller is a recently retired family physician in Phoenix who has always been a writer in her secret heart. Very little fiction has been written about women physicians, and she finds it a great challenge to show the struggles and triumphs of day-to-day practice in an entertaining and informative way. To show the human side and at the same time create an adventurous story. She likes to call her new genre “science-based medical adventure.” When not writing, you might find her on a horse, hiking with a dog, or exploring her latest hobby, volcanology.

You can contact her by email at skepticalword@gmail.com. And check out her website at http://www.skepticalword.com for some of her other writings.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a Nice Weekend!

The Girl Who Escaped (Jake Wolfe Book 7) by Mark Nolan – #BookReview – #kidnappingthriller

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

One month ago, four college girls were abducted. Three were brutally murdered. One girl escaped.

The Girl Who Escaped by Mark NolanAngie Taylor was traumatized and shocked speechless.
The police think she killed her friends, and then had a mental breakdown.
Her psychiatrist believes she has an emotionally unstable personality disorder.
Can she ever speak up and describe the killer’s face to a police sketch artist?
Is the murderer stalking her right now, eager to finish what he started?
Everyone in the city is on edge, fearing the worst, not sure what to believe.

A visit from a determined FBI agent shakes things up and raises the stakes. FBI Special Agent Brenda Reynolds of the VSRT must investigate whether the mysterious silent girl is a victim, a killer, or has gone insane.

Grab your copy of the suspense thriller everyone is talking about, and start reading right now.

His Review:

Young coeds are missing during spring break and cannot be found anywhere. Angie and her friends have enjoyed parties but the night is winding down. She has a strange feeling that someone is stalking them. She does not know why but as the designated driver for the group she stays vigilant. However, the attack on the girls is quick, disabled by a strange substance. They are taken on a remote road in the country and the outlook is desperate.

The Girl Who Escaped by Mark NolanJake and his faithful dog Cody are called in to assist the FBI and local law enforcement to help crack the case. This book introduces us to a division of the FBI called VSRT (The Victims Special Response Team). This group of dedicated agents work with victims who have been traumatized by vicious criminals.

Wealth seems to cause an altered reality for some billionaires. A remote island is owned by just such a man who prefers a harem of very young and attractive women. He pays large sums to a bounty hunter who finds and brings him the girls. He keeps them for a while and then sells them when he feels they have outlived their usefulness for his depravities.

Jake and Cody work with the hospital to assist in resolving the issue of the young woman charged with murder, restrained in the hospital. Charged with the murder of her three friends, she has been spread-eagled in the bed for the month but is slowly coming out of her catatonia by the love and attention of the dog.

Mark Nolan has written a superb and at times exasperating tale of friendship and heartache. Can this heinous crime be unraveled? The adversary is a very devious and persistent despot who wants to avenge the escape of Angie. The novel is well-paced and held my attention throughout. As always, Cody shines as the co-protagonist. Enjoy the latest as the author’s dynamic duo help to close another edge-of-your-seat thriller. 5 stars CE Williams

Between us, we’ve read most in this series, with Book 6, Key West Dead in 2021, and Deadly Weapon in 2020 most recent. Always a gripping plot and my favorite dog and his person. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me the opportunity to read and review this book. Available now.

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Book Details:

Genre: Kidnapping Crime Fiction, Kidnapping Thrillers, Psychological Fiction
ASIN: B0B5MCGQKS
Print Length: 318 pages
Publication Date: July 29, 2022
Source: Author request
Title Link: The Girl Who Escaped [Amazon]

 

Mark Nolan - authorThe Author: Mark Nolan is an Amazon Bestselling Author and Kindle Unlimited All-Star. Subscribe to his reader newsletter at marknolan.com for updates, specials, and news.

Mark Nolan is the author of the Jake Wolfe thriller series.

Book 1: Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie
Book 2: Vigilante Assassin
Book 3, Killer Lawyer
Book 4: San Diego Dead
Book 5: Deadly Weapon
Book 6: Key West Dead

Website: marknolan.com

Click FOLLOW under Mark’s author photo, and Amazon will notify you when a new book is available.

©2020 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a Nice Weekend!

Lie Down with Dogs: A Laurel Highlands Mystery (Book 5) by Liz Milliron – #BookReview – #policeprocedurals

Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron

Book Blurb:

Lie Down with Dogs by Liz MillironTrooper Jim Duncan’s first day with the Criminal Investigation Division starts off with a bang when he is called to a murder scene with a badly decomposed body. After he finds an abused greyhound in the victim’s garage, the simple homicide becomes more complicated. Why would anyone want an unreliable racetrack employee dead, especially when greyhound racing is illegal in Pennsylvania?

Assistant public defender Sally Castle is facing her own career change. When she accepts a position with an old law school friend, her first case seems to be one that is exactly what she wants to do. Then she learns the greyhound adoption group her client may have embezzled from has ties to the shooting victim. What else is her client hiding?

Jim and Sally work their respective investigations, which may or may not be related. Along the way, they learn important lessons about themselves, those they work with, and the people they protect. But can they complete their tasks without falling prey to a killer?

His Review:

Sally Castle has decided enough is enough. She is tired of putting the poorest citizens behind bars while those who can afford adequate representation skate. She decides to strike out on her own and work in a two-woman office and make her own hours and bill accordingly. Problem is; she also wants to help the poor get adequate representation.

Lie Down with Dogs by Liz MillironPennsylvania State Trooper Jim Duncan steps out of uniform after 14 years to join the Criminal Investigation Department as a rookie. Sally and Jim join forces to assist those less able to pay to make proper defenses against crimes they did not commit!

The crime scene is well documented. The victim has three well-placed bullets in his chest. There is no gun at the scene but spent cartridges and slugs still inside the victim give adequate evidence of the cause of death. The victim is not an outstanding citizen, but no one deserves to die like this and be left in a warm house for three days. Decomposition in the residence requires Vicks VapoRub under the nose and a repressed gag reflex! Jim as the rookie is given the repulsive task of checking the body and trying to identify the victim without disturbing the crime scene.

Found in the backyard of the home of the victim is a retired greyhound that is very emaciated and needs food and a vet. Both Jim and Sally are dog lovers and cannot believe anyone would treat such a magnificent animal so poorly.

This novel delves into the questionable world of greyhound racing and the folks involved in the enterprise. Many of them are unscrupulous and are known to dope the dogs and give them performance-enhancing drugs. The people who love these magnificent animals cannot believe the lengths owners will go to for a win. Reading the book made me more aware of the practice and sympathetic to the animals.

CE WilliamsThese characters are well developed and the inter-action between them is a fresh approach to a crime novel. Particularly, reading how Sally tries to make Jim’s job as a rookie is fun. Both of them work well together and have an off-the-books relationship that is couched in disguise during working hours. A very intriguing approach to a relationship. Enjoy! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

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Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedurals
Publisher: Level Best Books
ASIN: B0B23XTV42
Print Length: 340 pages
Publication Date: August 9, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Lie Down with Dogs [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

 

Liz Milliron - authorThe Author: Same crimes, different times.

Liz Milliron is the author of the Laurel Highlands mystery series, featuring a Pennsylvania State Trooper and a Fayette County public defender in the scenic Laurel Highlands of southwest Pennsylvania, and The Homefront Mysteries, set in Buffalo in the early 1940s and following Betty Ahern, a Rosie the Riveter with dreams of being Sam Spade. Liz’s short fiction includes stories in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales and The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos, as well as stories in Mystery Most Historical, Fish Out of Water, and the Anthony-winning Blood on the Bayou. She is a past president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime, as well as a member of International Thriller Writers and Pennwriters. Liz and her husband live outside Pittsburgh with a very spoiled retired-racer greyhound.

https://www.lizmilliron.com
https://www.facebook.com/LizMilliron/
https://www.instagram.com/lizmilliron/

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

 

Holy Chow: An Andy Carpenter Mystery by David Rosenfelt – #Audiobook Review – #AnimalCozyMysteries

Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt

Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt

Rosepoint Rating: 5 stars

Book Blurb:

In Holy Chow, the next mystery from bestselling author David Rosenfelt, the beloved characters—both human and canine—of this fan favorite series are back on the case with the author’s trademark wit and humor.

Retired lawyer Andy Carpenter’s calling has always been running the Tara Foundation. The dog rescue organization places hundreds of dogs in new homes every year. It’s added up to so many dogs and new owners that Andy can’t even do the math. But there’s one dog—and one owner—Andy will always remember. 

About a year ago, Rachel Morehouse came to the foundation looking for a companion. In her sixties and recently widowed, Rachel wanted a senior dog that also needed someone. Andy took a liking to her, Rachel took a liking to Lion, an older Chow Chow, and the rest is history. 

That is, until Rachel calls Andy begging for a favor: If Rachel dies, will Andy take care of Lion if her stepson cannot? Andy agrees, no questions asked, and promptly forgets about it… until he receives a call from Rachel’s estate to attend her will reading. Which is where he meets Rachel’s stepson, Tony, who is promptly arrested for his stepmother’s murder. And he wants Andy to prove his innocence. 

Andy has continued to learn more about the woman he so greatly admired and the businesses she ran, and holy chow, was this woman impressive. The person who killed her deserves to be held accountable, and if Tony is to be believed, they’re still out there. And that possibility is too much for Andy to remain on the sidelines.

My Review:

Yes, yes, I know. Seems like yesterday I was reviewing a David Rosenfelt book, but that one was Citizen K-9, a K Team series mystery. Between the two, although don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the K-9 team series too, just that for me I know even if this is Book 25 of the series, I’m going to be entertained and finish the book happy with the time spent. My only problem is that they are usually short audiobooks.

Holy Chow by David RosenfeltThe Andy Carpenter novels have a winning formula. Andy is retired, wealthy, and supports a dog rescue called the Tara Foundation. He has Tara and Sebastian, as well as his wife Laurie and their adopted son. He also has an amazing team—love the character of Marcus—a most unique character and he has the chance to shine in this one.

There is a mystery involving a dog, he’ll grudgingly accept the case, usually because he really feels in his heart the person is innocent. The case that may have started simple usually gets real complex and eventually goes to trial, and yes, I always enjoy that legal bamboozle as well. So much fun.

Fun? Yes, that’s at the heart of these pseudo-cozy mysteries, the humor, the snark, and the right amount of witty dialogue combined with serious and intelligent fact-finding. These audiobooks will keep you in a good mood even when you have to go grocery shopping. Trust me.

I’ve learned not to try and figure out the guilty antagonist (sometimes more than one) and just go with the flow. Listen and enjoy.

I can think of no narrator other than Grover Gardner who so clearly IS Andy Carpenter just as George Guidall is Walt Longmire on Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire mystery series. Whether or not you read or listen to the audiobook, you still hear their voices. I would strongly suggest the audiobooks for the sense you just won’t get reading.

Catch my review of Book 23 Dog Eat Dog and hang on for the next one. I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my favorite library of course. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Animal Cozy Mysteries, Animal Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B09GH1J5XB
Listening Length: 6 hrs 27 mins
Narrator: Grover Gardner
Publication Date: July 5, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Links: Holy Chow [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble 
Kobo

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David Rosenfelt - authorThe Author: David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. “Open And Shut” was his first novel; “First Degree,” his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.

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The Narrator: Grover Gardner’s narration career spans twenty-five years and over 550 audiobook titles. AudioFile Magazine has called him one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and features him in their annual “Golden Voices” update. Publishers Weekly named him Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2005. His recordings have garnered 18 “Golden Earphones” awards from AudioFile and an Audie Award from the Audio Publishers’ Association.
http://grovergardner.blogspot.com/

The Wedding Plot: A Mercy Carr Mystery by Paula Munier – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier

Mercy & Elvis Mysteries #4

Book Blurb:

The Wedding PlotUSA Today bestselling author Paula Munier’s fourth Mercy Carr mystery, finds Mercy and Elvis at a deadly Vermont wedding.

Love never dies a natural death…

The Wedding Plot by Paula MunierWhen Mercy’s grandmother Patience marries her longtime beau Claude Renault at the five-star Lady’s Slipper Inn, it promises to be the destination wedding of the year. Just as the four-day extravaganza is due to begin, the inn’s spa director Bodhi St. George disappears—and Mercy’s mother Grace sends Mercy and Elvis to find him. But what they discover instead is a stranger skewered by a pitchfork in the barn on the goat farm where St. George lived.

As Mercy tries to figure out who the victim is and where St. George is hiding, the bride and groom’s estranged relations gather for the first of the pre-wedding festivities. Long-buried rivalries and resentments surface—and Mercy realizes that they’re all keeping secrets that could tear both families apart. When Elvis interrupts the escalating melodrama to alert Mercy to an intruder on the estate, she finds a wounded St. George in the cottage where she and Troy are staying. St. George is not who he says he is—but when he escapes from the hospital and disappears again, Mercy thinks he’s gone for good. With the wedding imminent and the families at each other’s throats, she decides finding St. George will have to wait.

The big day arrives—but the danger is far from over. With the families and the festivities still under threat, it’s up to Mercy and Elvis together with Troy and Susie Bear to stop the killer and save the bride and groom—before death do they part.

My Review:

I really like Mercy Carr, formerly an Army MP and her bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois, Elvis—a promise to his former handler to care for him. Highly trained and intelligent, Elvis is the star of the series, as well as her love interest, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Game Warden Troy Warner. He has a rescue Newfoundland Retriever mix, Susie Bear, who you just want to hug.

The Wedding Plot by Paula MunierThis entry to the series has Mercy participating (unwillingly) in her grandmother’s destination wedding at the luxurious Lady Slipper Inn, an over-the-top lavishly restored historical resort in the “Live Free or Die” state. Of course, the whole family is there and that is the problem, beginning with her mother, Grace, who is orchestrating the entire affair.

Mercy is thrown into the position of instructor for the wedding party’s yoga session, filling in for the missing spa director who is the manager of the adjacent goat farm, producer of award-winning artisan Cruyére cheese. But meeting Annie, owner and operator of the creamery, discovers with Elvis far more than a missing yoga instructor—a dead body. And it’s not the yoga instructor.

Nor will it be the only body Mercy and Elvis discover and as the wedding plans advance and guests begin arriving, complications set in.

I wouldn’t really call this novel a cozy mystery. I read the first and third (The Hiding Place), but still struggled with the sheer amount of characters. The main support character, Annie, was well fleshed and we did get additional background on Mercy. The Vermont descriptions were both delightful and terrifying, the storms enough to drive any Sunday driver into another state.

While the canines had an integral part of this narrative, it was the families of the wedding party and the clashes between them and their problem with Mercy and her chosen life path that took center stage. Finding and discovering ever-deepening and disturbing minutiae had the plot going in different directions, but always coming back to the next family conflict. Honestly, I thought the wedding would never happen.

The conclusion satisfies but the storyline bogged down for me this time to the point where it became slow going. No problem—Book 4 being a one-off for me. I’ll be looking for Book 5. I like the series and Mercy, Troy, and those amazing dogs.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Animal Mystery, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: ‎ 125082236X
ASIN: B09CNF3X3W
Print Length: 342 pages
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

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Paula Munier - authorThe Author: PAULA MUNIER is a literary agent and the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. A BORROWING OF BONES, the first in the series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was recently named the Dog Writers Association of America’s Dogwise Book of the Year. The second, BLIND SEARCH, pubbed in November 2019. The third, THE HIDING PLACE, will debut in March 2021.

Paula was inspired to write the series by the hero working dogs she met through Mission K9 Rescue, her own rescues, Newfoundland/retriever mix Bear, Great Pyrenees/Australian cattle dog mix Bliss, and Malinois mix Blondie, and a lifelong passion for crime fiction.

Paula also written three popular books on writing: PLOT PERFECT, THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO BEGINNINGS, and WRITING WITH QUIET HANDS, as well as the acclaimed memoir FIXING FREDDIE: A True Story of a Boy, a Mom, and a Very, Very Bad Beagle, and HAPPIER EVERY DAY: Simple ways to bring more peace, contentment and joy into your life.

She lives in New England with her family, her three rescue dogs, and a rescue torbie tabby named Ursula.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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