Friday, March 17, 2017

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Death by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for Death by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake.  Please leave a comment or question for Bethany to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveawayby filling out the Rafflecopter form below. You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  Good Luck!

Death by Chocolate Lab
By Bethany Blake
Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery), Book 1

Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Length: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707383

About the book:

Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.

Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.

Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim?

Includes recipes for homemade dog treats!

About The Author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

Author Links 

Fans of dog filled cozy mysteries have a new series to enjoy in Bethany Blake’s Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries if the first book, Death by Chocolate Lab, is anything to judge by. Likeable characters, loveable dogs, a touch of romance and a good amount of comedy made Death by Chocolate Lab an enjoyable read. Doggie friendly recipes also added a nice touch. 

Ms. Blake does a great job introducing the main character, Daphne Templeton, right from the start.  A single woman living with Piper, her older sister, in a small town, Daphne has a PhD. In Philosophy and operates a local dog sitting service.  Smart but a bit disorganized, Daphne is sort of dating a local guy and is fiercely devoted to her dog, her sister and pretty much any stray that crosses her path.  When Piper is implicated in the death of her ex-boyfriend, Steve Beamus, Daphne is determined to prove her sister’s innocence, especially since she doesn’t believe Detective Jonathan Black, a real “hottie”, is looking in the right places. She’s also worried about Steve’s dog, Axis, a chocolate Labrador, who just happens to go missing when Steve is murdered. 

The secondary characters were well developed and I enjoyed getting to know Piper, Daphne’s sister and the town’s veterinarian, Moxie, Daphne’s best friend, and Jonathan Black, who is not only good looking but also happens to be much better at his job than Daphne first gives him credit for.  I have to admit that the dogs in this story do sort of steal the show; I especially enjoyed getting to know Socrates, Daphne’s Basset Hound, and Artie, a one eared Chihuahua with a severe overbite, that Daphne is temporarily fostering.  Artie seriously made me laugh.

The mystery is fairly well written and the story’s pace is quick at the start, though it does bog down a bit in the middle.  Fortunately the pace does improve and there were enough twists and turns to keep me interested in the story.  Ms. Blake’s voice as an author seems to be fairly well established and I enjoyed her writing style.  I believe that the story’s pace issues will be resolved as the series becomes more established.  I have high hopes for its success.

Will Daphne discover who killed Steve and why?  And where is Axis?  Will the developing chemistry developing between her and Detective Black develop into anything?  You’ll have to read Death by Chocolate Lab to find out.  I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the next book, Dial Meow for Murder, when it is released this fall.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Crowns

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  My review is my opinion of the reading material provided.