I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I'm not sure after this one that, were I living in this quaint town of Merryville, MN, I'd be having any events at Izzy's Trendy Tails Boutique. 2 books, 2 events at her shop, 2 dead bodies. The Moose lodge might not be as pretty, but I'd betting it's got better survival statistics.
What I didn't like about the book: Ghandi the guinea pig survives the winter! He's back! Oh, wait, he's gone again! Apparently he's going to be running through the series, in one shop door and out another. This is not really something to complain about, but I was looking for Ghandi's HEA and instead he's pulling a Born Free.
There's a thread running through the book concerning an endangered species of burrowing owl - I don't honestly know if these owls exist or not and the book isn't here for me to get the name and look them up but it doesn't matter; what I didn't like was the ultimate attitude about building a major development in the habitat of a critically endangered species: "We'll just move them". And apparently that's what was going to happen, since that's the last word on the matter. That left me vaguely pissed off at the end of the book.
I really liked the rest of it though; well written with well-developed, intelligent characters and a very well-plotted mystery. I didn't feel like the author telegraphed anything with her clues; I "got-it" just before Izzy did. I'd have preferred that Izzy didn't go around deposing the other characters as if she were entitled, but I did appreciate her full-disclosure attitude towards the police.
Speaking of police, there's a love triangle, sort of. Between Izzy, Sean and Jack, the police detective. I HATE love triangles, but this one is - so far - the least offensive I've endured for quite a while. There was no established relationship the author is trying to screw with here. Izzy is single and Sean and Jack are both putting their hat in the ring. I'm not sure I like Sean, but I am totally on board with Jack - for a cozy mystery, it had an excellent date scene between him and Izzy chock full o' romantic tension. It would be a nice twist against a cliche if Izzy didn't end up with her childhood friend.
A solid start and I'm looking forward to book 3.