Thursday, May 10, 2012

GET FLUFFY by Sparkle Abbey

Publisher: Bell Bridge
Date published: March 30, 2012
ISBN 9781611941210
Cozy Mystery
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained Via Publisher - Netgalley

Melinda Langston, (Mel) owner of the Bow Wow Boutique, catering to high end pet accoutrements and fashions has a pretty simple and easy going life. Compared to some that is. Okay, she is engaged to an FBI agent that still remains on and off – she’s not so sure she’s ready to deal with his impromptu trips out of town. And then there is her cousin, Caro, who she routinely finds herself in competition with. Okay, and then there is her mother, a southern belle former beauty contestant that really wanted Melinda to follow in her footsteps. Mel, however, had something else in mind and moved to Laguna Beach where she lives with her bull dog, Missie. The shop does well, she has friends. Life is good even with Caro stealing back their grandmother’s brooch. That is, until the night of the Fur Ball, the annual fund raiser for animal concerns. There the threads of her life begin to unravel with spats between friends and co-workers ending with Mel tossing a glass of wine in sophisticate Mona Michael’s designer gown. Things quickly go further downhill from there with Mona turning up dead. Worse yet for Mel, she is the one to find Mona’s body. Well, she didn’t exactly find it, Mona’s starlet afghan, Fluffy, actually found her. Never a fan of Fluffy, Mel now finds herself the snobbish dog’s guardian. And, she finds herself on the trail of the killer.

I loved Sparkle Abbey’s first book in their Pampered Pets series, DESPERATE HOUSEDOGS. It was one of the best books I’ve read this year. It was with great anticipation I dug into book two, GET FLUFFY.

Let me start by explaining that I was drawn to the book not only because DESPERATE HOUSEDOGS was such a good read. Two of my cats are named Mel and Missy. What’s not to like?

I did, however, set my expectations a bit too high. Not that GET FLUFFY is a bad read. It just isn’t as entertaining. The voice was different which is understandable given a co-written book if one author took the lead in one book and the other in the second. The version I read was an ARC so hopefully the asides (comments in parentheses directed at the reader in a private conversation) were taken out and put into the heroine’s point of view. Otherwise, in the ARC, every time they popped up it took me out of the story. The writing ran a bit flat and there seemed to be a lot of time spent with Melinda bemoaning how much she didn’t like Fluffy personally than on her sleuthing. I half expected Detective Judd Malone of accusing Melinda of trying a little too hard to follow in her cousin’s footsteps.

The reason for the murder is pretty much standard fare for a mystery and I had a sense of who done it before the end.

Missie totally stole the show for me. For those who say animals don’t have personalities, they don’t know what they are saying. The authors completely capture the personalities that dogs can have, how diverse they are and Missie is just the best. I wanted to reach into my reader and hug her. (I settled for cuddling my own Missy).

Both books of the series so far are standalones. You don’t have to read one to enjoy the other or in any particular order. I do however, recommend reading both. Even if you aren’t a fan of cozies you are missing out on some fun reads if you don’t check out the Pampered Pet series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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