Death by Chocolate Lab
by Bethany Blake
I realize there are a lot of cozy mysteries that feature dogs or cats, but I had never even picked one up. Death by Chocolate Lab caught my eye because I am a sucker for basset hounds, and there was one soulfully staring at me from the cover of this book. How could I resist? Right from the start I knew I would enjoy this book as it humorously begins with Daphne, a petsitter with a PhD. in philosophy, walking her charges, three Rottweilers. These huge dogs are being corralled by a tiny somewhat mangled Chihuahua, a foster dog who is really just scheming to be picked up. They are accompanied by Daphne’s personal “sidekick,” a wise basset hound named Socrates.
Although there is a serious murder, with the victim discovered by Daphne, that starts a series of investigations led by handsome detective Jonathan Black, there is an undercurrent of humor throughout the book. Daphne is a semi-hippie vegetarian with a “vintage” pink VW van who lives on a farm with her type A personality veterinarian sister. Other interesting characters include her girlfriend, hair stylist Moxie, and her sister’s vet assistant Dylan, an equally laid back former surfer with whom Daphne has a nebulous relationship.
Death by Chocolate Lab is a mystery with lots of twists and turns, interesting characters, and a good dose of humor throughout. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series, Dial Meow for Murder which is due for publication in September of 2017.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: Book #1 in the new Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series
Publication: February 28, 2017–Kensington Books
Was it odd that one of the things that brought us together was knowing we could be apart?
She was walking with my basset hound sidekick, Socrates, who considered himself above group walks and never hurried. He shambled along at Piper’s side, his droopy, solemn eyes fixed on something in the distance. He might’ve been interested in the dark clouds gathering ahead–a storm was definitely brewing–but I suspected that his real focus was inward. Socrates wasn’t the type of dog who obsessed about where his next treat was coming from. I was convinced that he dealt with more profound issues.
Was there such a thing as mal de vivre?