I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
First in a new series about Izzy, and her best friend, Rena, starting a new boutique pet accessories shop. Izzy as degrees in fashion, but finds herself having more fun designing and sewing pet clothing than human clothing. Rena loves making pastry and operates a "barkery" in one section of the shop, offering homemade treats for not only dogs and cats but for the more exotic pets as well.
A dead body is found at the back of their shop on the grand opening night, and Rena is the prime suspect.
This would have been a 4 star read for me, but I didn't really warm to the MC, Izzy. She was just too...something. A little bit too naive, maybe; a little bit too clueless. Not so much that I was turned off, but enough that I didn't get totally hooked. I liked Rena, Izzy's aunt, and pretty much all the rest of the characters in Merryville, and that went a long way towards blunting the flaws I perceived in the MC. She also pulls it together a bit more as the book and the story evolve. I also like the variety of pets mentioned; it's not just all cats and dogs!
The murder plot was very well done - there are a LOT of reasons people might have wanted this woman dead, which makes for a lot of viable suspects. The ending was twisty and just a tiny bit sad, but it wasn't predictable. I found the lack of TSTL moments refreshing too.
I'll definitely pick up the next book in this series.