The small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, has wholeheartedly embraced Kristan “Stan” Connor’s new business – preparing quality organic treats for dogs and cats. On a healthy diet, the animals may live longer…but one local farmer won’t be so lucky. As Halloween approaches, Stan is asked to cater a doggie costume party hosted by the Happy Cow Dairy Farm. Part of a local co-op, Happy Cow specializes in organic dairy products, and farmers Hal and Emmalee Hoffman have started opening up the farm for parties, offering a “haunted” corn maze as an added attraction. When Hal’s lifeless body is found in the maze, the police at first suspect his wife, but Stan soon learns the dairy farmer had plenty of enemies – from bitter family members to shady business associates. If Stan can’t extract a kernel of truth from the labyrinth of lies, she may be the next one to buy the farm…
Gotta love small towns. Like Frog Ledge, Connecticut, or Dog Walk, Kentucky. That, and the fact that the townsfolk love their dogs enough to spring for 'gourmet' dog food and treats almost gives me warm fuzzies about the Yankees (people who live in the northern United States, not the baseball team). *LOL*
I love the way Ms. Mugavero weaves in the thoughts and principles of specially prepared pet food and vegetarianism into "A Biscuit, A Casket" without preaching to the readers. After all, most pet-lovers consider pets as their family. (Seriously, how many times have you seen bloggers call pets their 'furry babies'? I've seen it. Heck, I've done it!)
With 'Casket' in the title, it would seem obvious that someone is going to wind up dead. When Stan is setting up for a doggy costume party at a farm where there is also a corn maze, someone stumbles across (almost literally) the body of the farm's owner in the corn maze. Either he has...well, had...an enemy or there was a severe penalty for taking a wrong turn. And Hal was no saint, so there is no dearth of suspects. Just as the wife is being taken down to HQ for 'questions', the couple's eldest son, Tyler, confesses.
This is a cozy mystery. Stan (Kristan) gets cozy with Jake. Widow Hoffman gets cozy with Ted - one of the farm's co-op partners, and even Stan's mother, Patricia, seems awfully cozy with a local mayoral candidate, Tony Falco.
Mugavero does an excellent job of weaving the varied lives of a large cast of small-town characters together to create a coherent and thrilling mystery with a heart.
She went on to get a master’s in writing and publishing and spent time in journalism, PR, and presently, corporate communications. And she’s confident this writing thing IS the way to make a living.
Aside from writing, she loves animals (has a houseful), the beach, reading other writers’ masterpieces and Starbucks coffee.
(Disclaimer: I received a print copy of "A Biscuit, a Casket" from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest opinion.)