Bad to the Bone
Linda O. Johnston
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Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly, owner of the Barkery & Biscuits bakery for dogs, is reluctant to sell her recipes to pet food manufacturer VimPets. Jack Loroco, a VimPets representative, assures Carrie that it would be a great opportunity to grow her business. His promising new relationship with Carrie’s friend Billi Matlock doesn’t hurt his cause.
But the budding romance takes a bad turn when Wanda Addler, another VimPets employee, sets her sights on Jack. After threatening to ruin Jack’s career if he doesn’t give her what she wants, Wanda is found dead. Jack and Billi are put at the top of the suspect list, and Carrie is doggone determined to rescue them from a life behind bars.
Includes delicious recipes for pets and people!
“Veteran Johnston has her formula down.”—Kirkus Reviews
"This cozy will appeal to fans of Susan Conant's Dog Lovers' series and is also reminiscent of Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen novels."—Booklist
"Dog lovers (not to mention lovers of great mysteries) will be thrilled to see this third book in the fantastic series . . . A whole lot of fun and the animals who are all about spreading warmth and friendship come alive on every page."—Suspense Magazine
Third book in series!
Bad to the Bone by Linda O. Johnston is the third book in A Barkery and Biscuits Mystery series. Carrie Kennersly is the owner of Barkery and Biscuits a bakery that caters to canine clientele in Knobcone Heights, California. She also owns Icing on the Cake in the adjoining space that has delectable delights for humans. Carrie creates her own recipes so she can offer healthy treats for dogs. Jack Loroco, a rep for VimPets (a pet food manufacturer), has been trying to get Carrie to sell one of two of her unique recipes to VimPets. Carrie knows this would provide good promotion for Bakery and Biscuits, but she is reluctant to sell. Jack who is dating Billi Matlock, friend of Carrie’s and city councilwoman, has return to town and invited Carrie and friends to dinner. Jack brings an additional guest to dinner. Wanda Addler works at VimPets with Jack, and she is very ambitious. Wanda has set her sights on Jack’s job, and she will do whatever it takes to achieve her goal. Early one morning Carrie receives a call from Jack. He was out walking his dog when they discovered Wanda stabbed behind his apartment building. Jack and Billi end up prime suspects in Wanda’s murder. Carrie knows that neither of them would harm a person, and she starts exploring other suspects. Once Carrie starts her investigation, she is like a dog with a bone—she does not give up.
Bad to the Bone is easy to read, and I like the various dogs in the story. Each person in the story seems to own a dog (I am not exaggerating). Bad to the Bone is the third book in A Barkery and Biscuits Mystery series, but it can be read alone. You would not be lost if you started with Bad to the Bone. I give Bad to the Bone 3 out of 5 stars. The murder mystery is straightforward. I wish, though, that more of the sleuthing had taken place in the book instead of the reader’s being told about it at the reveal. I wanted more mystery in this cozy mystery (instead of food descriptions). You must pay sharp attention to find the clues, but I thought the killer’s identity was obvious. I did love the unique murder weapon. It goes perfectly with the story. I did get tired of people constantly telling Carrie to stay out of the murder investigation (and to be careful if she did not listen). It was repeated over and over. The story focuses more on Carrie’s shops, her work as a vet tech, her love life, friends, and the pets. A significant amount of time is spent on Carrie thinking and her internal questions (book written in the first person with Carrie as narrator). I wish there had been more focus on the mystery than on Carrie’s life. Bad to the Bone is an easy breezy type of story (light and fluffy). I felt it lacked substance and depth. There are two recipes at the end of the book (one for humans and one for dogs). I kept hoping that the series would improve, but, for me, it has not. I will be skipping future books in A Bakery and Biscuits Mystery series.