- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 610 KB
- Print Length: 236 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0997467452
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: misterio press LLC (20 July 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073VC1Z5T
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #713,547 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Call of the Woof (The Marcia Banks and Buddy Cozy Mysteries Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
At first her Marcia Banks and Buddy series seems to embody trope-perfect cozy mysteries, with adorable and hard working service dogs and crime-solving trainer Marcia—that’s “Mar-SEE-a” and never “Mar-sha”. As those who’ve been following this series already know, though, Marcia has issues that go beyond her lack of knitting, cats, and cupcakes. An outsider who has relocated to a tiny Florida town, Marcia is fleeing a bad marriage and her unhappy big-city life. Determined to reinvent herself, she starts a business training service dogs for emotionally and physically injured veterans. It’s usually her love for the dogs she’s trained that compels her to get involved when their new owners are caught up in danger and mysterious events.
As an amateur cozy mystery detective, Marcia needs two things: a sidekick, and a police contact. In her case, however, her sidekick has four paws and a tail, while her police contact is the local sheriff, Will, who is interested in maintaining very close contact. With the emotional trauma of her marriage and past blocking her, however, Marcia finds it’s easier to be physically intimate than to let Will into her emotions, heart, or soul. And she’s especially conflicted about the issue of children, which is something Will wants.
As always, Marcia is walking a thin line, balancing her growing feelings for Will against her need to remain independent. Money is always an issue, but in this latest book it’s become a crisis as her house needs structural repairs and her ownership of Buddy is in question. Unable to train new dogs while her house is being repaired, Marcia agrees to dogsit for her client Jake when he and his wife are jailed as suspects in a series of armed robberies.
But as Marcia tries to help with investigating, she finds herself first a witness and then a suspect in a horrific murder. Worried about the danger to her, Will demands that she back off the investigation. But when her dogs are threatened, nothing will stop Marcia from trying to help, not even her very real fear that she’ll drive Will away. Her investigations take her into the world of motorcycle clubs, which she soon discovers includes a spectrum of people from her new lawyer to recreational riders to criminals.
One of the things I enjoy about all of Kassandra Lamb’s books is that they are character driven. Although a series provides an ongoing and developing cast and setting, Kassandra Lamb’s characters continue to grow, change, and develop over time. In her previous series where the heroine was a psychotherapist like her author, Kassandra Lamb was able to use the training and insights of her profession to provide the clues and insights needed to solve the mysteries. But in Marcia and Buddy’s series, the process is more subtle. Marcia’s emotional damage is carefully exposed as she fights for each step of her emotional recovery. So too are the remaining physical and emotional traumas of her clients explored and factored into the dogs Marcia trains specifically for each.
I also enjoy that in terms of plot and pacing, the author plays fair with her readers. We get to know the clues, and often can put them together more quickly than the too-close-to-the-action Marcia. Unlike most cozy mysteries, some of the violence takes place onstage. There’s blood, and danger, and several genuinely terrifying scenes.
If I had any complaints, it would be with the very constraints of the cozy mystery genre. I don’t mind about the lack of explicit sex scenes. Poor Marcia and Will have a lot of trouble even arranging to have sex, and when they do it’s behind closed doors. But while the complete lack of swearing makes it a lot easier to read the bikers’ dialog, at the same time there’s a disconnect with the reality of how they might really speak that pulled me out of the action.
Overall though, if you like slightly-edgy cozy mysteries, if you enjoy learning about the service dogs and incredible ways they make it possible for their owners to lead fuller lives, and if you’re interested in complex flawed characters who work to heal, to find the courage to step beyond their fears, and to develop over time, then this would be a great series for you. Each book is a complete story arc and thus stands alone. But the complex relationships and side characters evolve with each new book, so I’d recommend you start from the beginning. After all…adorable dogs, murder, and fried gator bits—what’s not to love?
***I received this book from the publisher or author to facilitate an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The books pull you into the story and one is Hooked! Excellent read!
Marcia trains service dogs and is drawn into this by her love of the these helpers. She is called to pick up and dog sit for some clients (now friends) who have been arrested and accused of murder. I loved the training moments interspersed throughout along with the education about TBI's.
This is a well-written cozy and completely engaging with plenty of twists and turns. I enjoyed every minute spent reading it. I really enjoyed this author's writing style and look forward to more of her work. I received this book as an arc, but that did not impact my review at all.
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