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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Woof at the Door (Call of the Wilde Mystery #1)

Woof at the Door - Laura Morrigan

I was absolutely not going to read this book.  I thought to myself "even as a cozy mystery lover, I have my limits".  I mean I love animals; oftentimes much more so than I love people.  But I don't truck with talking animals or people who claim to be animal telepathics.  Vampires, weres, fairies - sure.  Talking animals - now that's just crazy talk.  Such is the way my mind works.  Also, I thought the title was silly, even for a pun loving reader such as myself.

 

Then those people out there who are my book twins started talking about how good the book was and how subtle and well written the whole psychic thing was.  Still, I resisted, until there was just too much good press floating around and I realised I was missing out on a good book.  I hate when that happens!  So, ordered, received, and read.

 

Damn if I didn't enjoy the hell out of this book.  I really like Grace; she comes across a bit bland, but then out of nowhere, she throws out a zinger of a one liner or a joke about something.  Her sister is likeable too; a little too bossy, but not overbearing, really.  Kai manages to be a pain without being a turnoff, not something many writers in cozy are pulling off these days.  The bad moments between him and Grace are never so bad.

 

The supporting cast of characters includes her friend Sonja at the ASPCA, Hugh at the zoo (rhyme!) and Wes, the best friend/lawyer that only comes into town a few times a year.  All of them are likeable and it seems the author is establishing their characters for future plots in future books.

 

The zoo scenes are the most entertaining in a book I didn't want to put down.  The lemur had me grinning and I truly got tense reading about the giraffe.  A jaguar plays a part in the plot as well, and I just kept thinking "awww" each time Grace interacted with her.  I love that Grace's own personal companion is half wolf, although there's a scene with a cat that just solidifies my opinion that cats are by far the smartest of pets.  

 

The plot itself wasn't bad.  I guessed the bad guy, but I didn't get the whole thing right, nor did I see the whole picture until the very, very end.  Really well plotted for a first-time author - hell, really well plotted for any cozy author.  There wasn't a grand cast of suspects to obfuscate; the fact that there was still much to learn right up to the end of the book speaks of good things to come from Ms. Morrigan.

 

I'm really looking forward to reading future books in this series.  And I even sort of wish I could tell what my cat is really thinking...