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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Kristan (Stan) Connor finds herself wanting a change of scenery after she loses her PR job with Warner Insurance, so against the advice of her boyfriend Richard Ruse, who incidentally still has a job with the firm, she purchases a home in the tiny town of Frog Ledge Connecticut. She hopes for a slower pace of life baking organic treats for her kitty Nutty. One of the first things she sees when she moves into her new neighborhood is her neighbor fighting with someone. It turns out her neighbor was having a verbal spat with the local vet Carole Morganwick. It also turns out that the vet isn't happy that Stan's neighbor practices holistic medicine, something that Stan learns when Carole shows up demanding that she bring in Nutty for a get to know you visit. What Stan finds though when she shows up for Nutty's appointment is one dead vet, and as the new person in town all eyes are on Stan as the prime suspect, but more than that someone tries to run Stan down. Could it be the killer? With more suspects than a barrel full of fish, it isn't easy to figure out who wanted the vet dead!
"Kneading to Die" is the first book in the 'Gourmet Pet Food Mystery' series and if this book is any indicator it is going to be a top notch series! With a small town setting where there is more going on than meets the eye and a cast of quirky but so likable characters this cozy mystery is a page turner from the word go! I loved the character of Stan; she fits into small town life so easily and slowly learns that corporate life might not be for her. Her amateurish sleuthing was interesting to watch, and truthfully the author created a well-crafted mystery making it hard for me to figure out who actually committed the crime. Even though Stan felt the scrutiny of almost everyone watching her, suspicious that she might have committed the crime because she was the new person in town, actually there was an interesting array of suspects. From the next door neighbor who had the altercation with Carole, to Betty Meany, the librarian who blamed the vet for the death of her fifteen year old cat Snickers, as well as several other suspects could have done it, but did they? There are also a few secondary stories going on with this one, such as the relationship between Stan and Richard, along with the interesting job of pet rescue that Stan's best friend Nikki participated in. Overall anyone who enjoys a cozy mystery filled with more than a few twists that will keep them guessing, along with an interesting cast of characters, and a setting with a small town feel, will certainly enjoy this story. Animal lovers are going to find this pet-filled mystery hard to put down. Can't wait to see what the author has in store with book two in the series!