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  • Loved it!

    cozy-mystery, law-enforcement, family-dynamics, friendship, amateur-sleuth, murder, murder-investigation, animal-welfare, animals, verbal-humor, situational-humor***** Kari thought her life was at a dead end. Graduated from college with double major but only able to get jobs waitressing and divorced from a bully. Until she randomly bought a lottery ticket and won a few million. While trying to see how this could improve her outlook she found herself buying a foundering animal shelter. The idea was good, the new friends fantastic, and rescue animals are her very thing. But. Enter the Best Candidate To Be Murdered. If only she hadn't been the one to find the body, and if only it wasn't on her property. Now add in the bumbling deputies, the suspicious sheriff, lots of problems left by the deceased, a fear of being railroaded, two separate and costly episodes of vandalism, and both the new animal control officer and the new veterinarian. The sleuthing needed a little work but the story was cohesive and very entertaining, and the light on the plight of private shelters was fantastic. I absolutely loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley. Thank you!

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  • Great Start to New Series

    This is a the first in a new series called the Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery series. Kari Stuart has found and adorable little kitten around her apartment and catches her and tries to take her to a local shelter. The shelter is full and she asks about a pet shelter on the edge of town and she is told it is about to close unless someone with more money than brains buys it… Well Kari up and puts an offer on the pet sanctuary and we learn that Kari won the lottery and has been trying to figure out what to do with her life, she is divorced and working at a waitress job she does not like. She is also keeping the new kitten whom she names Queenie. What she does not know is the local animal warden has it in for the shelter and is trying to get one of the dogs there destroyed for being aggressive. The former owner Daisy is staying in town until the court date and volunteers Sara (former teacher), Bryn (a vet tech) and her best friend Suz (dog groomer) and working with her to get the place spruced up when she her neighbor Mr. Lee calls her about the dogs barking. She goes to check and finds the dead body of the dog warden. The sheriff’s deputy who arrives assumes since she found the body she is the number one suspect. Kari is not going to let the bully of a deputy put her in jail and she begins to dig up dirt on the dead warden. The shelter is vandalized a couple of times, her brother arrives in town as well as she meets a new cute vet who has volunteered at the shelter (possible love interest down the road). This was a good mystery that was not so simple as the victim was mean and had a lot of enemies. There were a couple of mysteries that needed to be solved before the ultimate culprit could be uncovered. This kept me engaged and I finished the book in one night (ha ha lost some sleep). I can’t wait to read the next installment and what is in store for Kari and her friends. I also love how Queenie played a role in pointing out some clues.

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  • Glad I Adopted This Debut

    Kari Stuart had been working as a waitress in a town in the Catskills until she won the lottery. She’s not quite sure what she is going to do with her winnings until she hears about an animal sanctuary on the edge of town that is for sale. Impulsively she buys it and sets about getting it ready to reopen. Unfortunately, that’s also when she runs across Bill Myers, the local dog warden, who seems to have targeted the sanctuary. After Kari finds Bill dead just outside the sanctuary’s fence in the middle of the night, she becomes the police’s prime suspect. Can she figure out what really happened? I started to hear some early buzz about this book, so I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did. This may be the first in the series, but I already love the characters. Kari leads a great cast, and there are just as many charming four-legged characters as there are humans. The plot is inventive, with plenty to keep us engaged over the course of the story. Yet everything Kari uncovered helps make for a satisfying resolution when we reached the end. While this is Deborah Blake’s first mystery, she has written quite a few other books, and that shows through in the writing. If you are looking for a promising new mystery series, adopt this book right away.

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  • A doggone entertaining tale!

    Furbidden Fatality by Deborah Blake is the debut of A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery series. I enjoyed reading Furbidden Fatality. It is filled with spunky, smart women who have a soft spot for animals. There are also two men who care about fur babies and were friendly with Kari. The animals in the book were adorable especially Queenie. She is one smart kitten (handy with shoelaces). I thought Furbidden Fatality was well-written with steady pacing. There is humor scattered throughout that provided giggles, chuckles, and laugh-out-loud moments. Kari Stuart is twenty-nine years old with a useless college degree. She has been working as a waitress and living in a rundown apartment. Kari recently won five million dollars, but she is not sure what to do with the money. When Kari catches a black kitten that has been left outside her apartment, she takes it to the local shelter. She learns it is full along with all the other shelters in town. That is when Kari learns that Serenity Sanctuary had to close because of lack of funds and problems with the animal warden. Kari has found a purpose for her life and for her money. When the animal warden ends up dead outside the pet sanctuary, Kari along with two female volunteers and her best friend set out to find the killer. There are several good suspects along with misdirection. The mystery was filled with action that kept the book moving at a brisk pace. I like that the author describes the pet sanctuary, Kari’s new home, the town, and the people. She manages to strike a balance between not enough information and too much. There is mild foul language in the book. I am looking forwarding to reading the next A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery. Furbidden Fatality is a doggone entertaining tale with a crafty feline, an aggressive animal warden, valued volunteers, a bothersome brother, and an abundance of animals in need of anodyne accommodation.

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  • I think fans of Donna Andrews would enjoy this

    Furbidden Fatality has everything I look for in a cozy mystery. My list includes having an interesting and intelligent main character, humor, little or no violence or drama, an interesting town and supporting characters, and strong women that aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves, who are nice but don’t let people use them as a doormat. I especially liked how the thought processes of the characters trying to solve the case mirrored mine. In addition, while the main character follows the cozy trope of starting over after a major life event, in this case she won the lottery, something I hadn’t encountered before. Also, she has lots of help learning her new business from the previous owner and experienced volunteers, instead of knowing it all from the get-go. Plus, I liked that topics not usually broached in cozies are present, adding to the reality of the story without dragging it into negativity: including alcoholism, sexual harassment, and ageism. My only quibble is that there are lots of descriptions of the work involved in running a pet rescue shelter, but little when it came to her own pets beyond feeding and watering. I would also like more info on the personalities of her adult cats and dog. I hope I will find these have been included in the second book, when I get it later this year. Donna Andrews helped mentor the author on this book. As I read this book, I had many of the same feelings as when I read those by Donna Andrews. Truly enjoying the down to earth, matter of fact women who thought and acted like adults.

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