Bad to the Bone
A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery #3
Linda O. Johnston
Midnight Ink, May 2017
Everyone in Linda Johnston’s latest cozy mystery owns a dog, and they all want to feed their furry friends treats. That’s a good thing for Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician who owns Barkery & Biscuits, a bakery that sells healthy snacks for pets. The store is next to her people bakery, Icing on the Cake. A large pet food company, VimPets, wants to buy some of Carrie’s recipes to add to their line of products. Jack Loroco, the local sales representative for VimPets, has been trying to convince her that it would be a win/win situation for her.
Enter Wanda Addler, a VimPets employee who is trying to woo Carrie to deal with her. She’s attractive, brash, and not above manipulating people to get her way. Wanda has discovered that Jack is dating local city councilwoman Billi Matlock, and threatens his job security. When Wanda is found stabbed to death in the parking lot behind the Knobcone Heights Resort, both Jack and Billi are suspects.
An entertaining mystery set in a resort town in southern California. Two recipes are included—one for people and one for dogs.
Reviewed by Susan Belsky, June 2017.
The World After CARBON
Daniel Boyd & Predrag Ivanovic (Illustrator)
Caliber Comics, November 2016
I open a new Daniel Boyd graphic novel feeling the same anticipation-tingle-of-excitement that I get pulling off the top of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Diving into SALT: The World After CARBON was like my first taste of Boom Chocolatta! Cookie Core. Immersed in fond familiarity, awaiting the unexpected ingredient, it was so easy to indulge and just enjoy.
Until the caffeine kicked me into the adventure and the ferociously fast-paced action invaded my mind, capturing my focus. Art erupts from the pages. Adrenaline-inducing drama, cliff-dangling suspense and baseball are accounted for and in full force. Corrupt politicians ignore the environmental impact of hydro-fracturing, causing conflict with the folks that want clean water; a right-here-right-now-relevance. The Cookie Core is an unlikely combination of West Virginians that dismiss and destroy stereotypes by performing super-heroic actions, otherwise known as doing exactly what they’ve always done—sticking together to fight the good fight. Nature Ned is a delightful addition, definitely a deeply desired, chocolate cookie crumb. The River Rat reprise is the caramel that is not like the other things and shouldn’t belong, but inexplicably works perfectly. And serves as a reminder of this author’s ornery streak.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Boyd’s recent release. It pleased me tremendously and gave me plenty to think about, but…..without the ice-cream headache.
Reviewed by jv poore, February 2017.