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Custom Baked Murder

By Liz Mugavero

A Pawsitively Organic Mystery #5

Kensington

Jan. 2017

Paperback, $7.99

Includes gourmet pet food recipes

Appeals to cozy mystery and pet lovers

Includes pet recipes

Set in Frog Ledge, Connecticut

Kristan Connor is up against a deadline in opening her new pet patisserie and café. Trying to stop her mother from planning the café’s construction and layout, without her permission, is nearly impossible. The woman is always a step ahead of her and feels she has every right to being an investor.

Adding to her high stress level is the murder of Eleanor Chang during her mother and future step-father, Mayor Tony Falco’s, engagement party. Eleanor is Kristan’s former colleague and the mayor’s executive coach. She was found murdered in the bathroom of the mayor’s home by Kristan’s sister, Caitlyn. Missing in action is the mayor. Minutes later, Stan leads Jessie Pasquale, Frog Ledge Resident State Trooper First Class, to the victim. No one is allowed to leave the house before being questioned. The authorities arrest Kristan’s ex, who is Eleanor’s lover, and then have the difficult task of informing Eleanor’s daughter that she’s been killed. What’s strange is the daughter doesn’t seem shocked that her mother was murdered and that she flees the scene.

Not one to back down from a mystery, Kristan intuitively follows the clues to the true killer. Because Eleanor was a pushy, heavily involved, take-all-the-credit businesswoman she made more than a few enemies.

Custom Baked Murder appealed to me on several levels: as a pet lover who enjoys the personalities and antics of the protagonist’s pets and as a mystery lover who loves to tie the clues together, find the intentional false clues, and then the moment of truth. This one also caught me off guard. As a reader, I wouldn’t have naturally chosen the individual who was the killer. What a great twist. Having the murder happen during a well-attended party was gutsy for the murderer. Talk about really having it in for that person. The only thing that I couldn’t see is calling Kristan “Stan.” Can’t wait to read other Liz Mugavero books.

Four Parmesan Cheese Bones out of five

Denise Fleischer

Gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

March 25, 2017

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