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  • Sherry Ickes

Latest Reads - Saddled with Murder (Eileen Brady)

saddled with murder book with santa hats

Dr. Kate Turner, a veterinarian in Oak Falls, NY, is temporarily filling in for the regular vet who is taking a year off and traveling.  At a staff Christmas party, Kate is talked into participating in a “secret selfish holiday wish game’” where she wishes that two of her problem clients would disappear. Other staff members joined in on the fun, by shouting out three additional names, and when her friend, and co-worker, uploads the video of the office party, she accidentally includes  Dr. Kate’s “wish.”  


The next day, she makes a house call to one of the two “problem” clients, and Dr. Kate finds him dead.  Coincidence is first to blame, but after the second named client is also found dead, the video goes viral on social media and Kate receives a lot of unwanted attention. If an ex-boyfriend, her current on-and-off boyfriend, her caring grandfather, and an invitation from her long estranged father to Christmas, isn’t enough, Kate’s hectic holiday gets even more piled on when yet another death turns up like an epidemic.  Between taking care of a variety of small animals, both in-house and on house calls, she tries to figure out if her wish actually had the power to kill, like what a lot of the townsfolk start whispering about. Besides, all publicity is good publicity, right? (not in her opinion)


If you are a lover of all things animals, you will probably enjoy this cozy read.  The author, Eileen Brady, showcased her personal experience as a practicing veterinarian for more than twenty years, by weaving in a plethora of tips on animal care as the storyline progresses along.  While there is not a lot of action in the book, the deaths do come relatively early in the story, and I found the characters to be likable in the midst of all of the red herrings.  I would have to say that the pace of the story is not fast, but definitely picks up toward the end. And kudos to the author, as I did not guess who the murderer was when all was revealed.  


As a side note, there is some confusion as to whether or not this is the first of the series.  The cover states that it is, based on the circular announcement printed over top a patch of snow and a dirt path; however, her acknowledgments in the back of the book indicates that this is the fifth in the series. Since I am one that likes to read a series in order, I was a little disheartened to learn of this discrepancy. That being said, this novel felt like it could be a first, due to the way the storyline was approached, and I did not feel as though I was missing anything to understand what was going on. So, I am not sure what to make of this issue, short of asking the author/publisher directly if they chose to possibly rebrand it half-way through the series.  And who doesn’t enjoy a Christmas tale anytime of the year, anyways?


P.S. The book cover does accurately display some of the features within the book. There is a bulldog, named Queenie, and a horse named Lobo, who is brought up as well. Christmas is not very well stated on the front, but the overall imagery is very cute and radiates a good sense of what the story is about. Good job to the cover artist. 


 

To find out more about the author, and to see what other books she has written, you can visit Eileen Brady's website for more details.


Thanks for reading, and I will see ya next time! #pets #cozymystery #Christmasmystery #bulldog #cozyauthor


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