Stay Calm and Collie On
Book 1, A Pet Palace Mystery
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
Buckingham Pet Palace is known for treating dogs like royalty—until murder dethrones its good reputation!
As owner of an upscale doggy daycare and spa, animal-lover Sue Patrick pampers pooches for the most elite clients in Lewes, Delaware. Surely she can survive a weeklong visit from Lady Anthea Fitzwalter, her well-to-do business partner from England. But before Sue can serve her guest a spot of tea, she discovers more-than-a-spot of blood inside the company van—and all over the driver’s dead body . . .
Someone abandoned the van full of dogs at the Lewes ferry terminal and got away with murder, leaving Sue and Lady Anthea pawing for clues. With a fundraising gala approaching and Buckingham Pet Palace facing scandal, can two very different women work together to fetch the culprit from a list of dodgy suspects—or are they heading toward a proper disaster?
First book in A Pet Palace Mystery series!
Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane Stone is the first book in A Pet Palace Mystery series. Sue Patrick co-owns Buckingham Pet Palace with Lady Anthea Fitzwalter. Sue has been busy getting everything ready for Lady Anthea’s visit including a Pet Parent Appreciation Gala (a doggy gala). Soon after Lady Anthea arrives, Sue gets a call from the police stating the Buckingham Pet Palace van has been found abandoned at the Lewes Ferry Terminal. Henry Cannon was driving the dogs home and only one made it to its destination. Sue and Lady Anthea arrive and discovers Henry dead in the back of the van along with the dogs. Business takes an immediate nosedive when rumors abound that the dogs were being smuggled out of the country. Sue and Lady Anthea realize they need to sniff out the killer or their new business venture will be over before its begun.
Stay Calm and Collie On did not feel like a finished novel. It seemed like a rough draft in need of polishing (and some rewriting). I thought the story had a decent pace, but I felt some key details are missing. We are not given enough information on Sue Patrick. Readers are given details on the business and how she came to be in contact with Lady Anthea. I wanted to know more about Sue (I found out more about the gala than about Sue). The story lacked focus. It jumped around (reminded me of a dog twirling in circles chasing its tail). Plus, did we need so many references to surfing and Elvis Presley. The mystery is not complicated and the killer can be deduced early in the book. The suspect list is extremely small. I just wanted more substance and less fluff. There are some cute scenes with dogs and humorous dialogue. For readers who enjoy light, humorous cozy mysteries (with emphasis on cozy), then pick up a copy of Stay Calm and Collie On.