For What It's Worth

Friday, August 23, 2019

Review: Cruel Candy (Cozy Mysteries #1) by Mildred Abbott

Estes Park, Colorado: picturesque mountains, charming shops, delightful bakeries, a cozy bookstore… and murder.

Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, and the only challenges she anticipates are adjusting to small town life, tourists, and living close to her loveable mother, Phyllis, and hippy stepfather, Barry.
When Fred steps into her soon-to-be-bookshop for the first time, she expects dust bunnies and spiders… not the dead body in the upstairs kitchen. The local police have an easy suspect—Barry.


Determined to prove quirky Barry innocent of murder, Fred puts on her detective hat, and with Watson by her side, she explores her new town and gets acquainted with her fellow shopkeepers. Could one of her friendly neighbors be the real culprit? And what would be the motive for killing the owner of the Sinful Bites candy store? The secrets Fred discover put her at odds with the local police sergeant and threaten her cozy future in Estes.


With snow falling outside, all Fred wants to do is curl up by the fire with a good book and Watson snuggled at her feet. But before she can begin her new life and put her plans for her bookshop into action, Fred and Watson have a mystery to solve… ~
Goodreads

Source: Kindle Unlimited (recommended by Anna from Herding Cats & Burning Soup


Read for: Dog Days of Summer

Review:
I read Cruel Candy for La La in the Library & Jo’s Book Blog Dog Days of Summer celebration.

People!!! Do you realize how hard it is to find a HAPPY dog book???? This was cozy mystery featuring a grumpy pup named Watson. It was also on KU - so free was good lol

I haven’t read a cozy mystery since my earliest days of blogging. They can get quite repetitive and easy to solve but this series has a few things going for it.

It has a modern sensibility. Most cozy mysteries take place in small towns and feel like they’re stuck in time. While the Cozy Corgi Mysteries has the requisite nosy neighbors, small town cop and close proximity family – it also has a bit more diversity, including a same sex couple, and a pot smoking step dad and a legal marijuana dispensary as it's backdrop. Winifred’s (Fred) family is a bit wacky but not overly intrusive and Fred is a divorcee, a successful business woman and 38 years old. It was refreshing to see things updated while keeping it’s comforting charm.

Fred moves to Estes Park to open a bookstore after a fallout with her publishing business partner. Her mom and stepdad own several local buildings and offer her the spot where the local taxidermist was. And of course…he was MURDERED.

While Fred and her clue & treat sniffing Corgi, Watson, are exploring the new place she finds another body. That of the baker next door. Her stepdad, Barry, is arrested for the crime after evidence point sin his direction.

So Fred does what any self respecting cozy mystery heroine does and starts investigating to clear his name - with Watson in tow. To be honest, I figured it out immediately but the journey was still fun.

Fred’s dad was a detective (killed in the line of duty) so her knowledge of investigations and crimes makes sense, the residents are all complex enough that they come off as both friendly and suspects shaking the plot up a bit.

Not every single thing was wrapped up so that’s kind of fun. One crime was resolved and another is kind of brushed off but I get the feeling it will come back into play in the future.

There’s also a bit of set up for a love triangle. NOOOOOOOOO!!! But really, it wasn’t the focus so I didn’t care but she did get stupid around both men and that was a tad annoying.

This series is on book #13 so there are plenty of adventures ahead but they’re short, so they just take a few hours to read. And there’s a yummy recipe at the end of each book!

27 comments:

  1. Quote: "but she did get stupid around both men and that was a tad annoying."
    Some things never change LOL. Really...when you said it was an updated version of the classic cozy mystery, and since the blurb didn't mention a love interest...I hoped things HAD changed! Silly me! πŸ˜‚
    15 books? Who's she - Jessica Fletcher? Does everybody die in there eventually? 😲 πŸ˜‚

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    1. It was such a TINY part of the story - like she met the two men (on different occasions, thought they were cute & got tongue tied around one of them, bossy around the other) but then they weren't around much so it didn't bother me.

      All cozy mysteries are basically Jessica Fletcher types lol That's why they end up bugging me. The lead always ends up sticking their nose into everything and being the ONLY that can solve things.

      But, like I said, this felt a little updated so I'll read on for now. Plus, they're free with KU and only about a 2 hour reading investment.

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  2. I thought this was a decent read. I loved Watson, there were some interesting characters...but the way Fred goes to pieces over the park ranger guy was so annoying! That and the horrible female cop put me off reading the next book but I might yet go back to the series at a later date.

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    1. They (the guys) weren't in it long enough to put me off reading it but yeah - she got silly stupid around the ranger lol

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  3. No kidding. Most of the books I've read with pups in them are pretty depressing. Sigh. This sounds like a hoot. :)

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    1. Watson is a curmudgeon but 100% safe and alive at the end lol

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    1. They're only about 2 hours to read and free on KU so I think I'll continue.

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  5. I love when dogs are included in books!!! I love them! I hate that they can be so sad, with really sad endings. But this sounds cute!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

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    1. I like them in romances because they spur on funny shenanigans without it getting sad.

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  6. I can only imagine a sherlock homes dressed corgi now. It's a pretty great image to have.

    I didn't think about it but that makes sense people only write pets in their books to kill them off. I'm happy you found an enjoyable one. I for one would watch a show about a clue-sniffing corgi

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    1. He sort of stumbles into clues while looking for treats lol

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  7. I have yet to read a cozy mystery but one of these days I'll find one that sounds good enough to read. This does have a cute cover though.

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    1. I used to read them a lot in my early blogging days but they get repetitive so stopped. There are a lot of them on KY though so I'll probably pick them up again as palette cleansers between heavier books.

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  8. Omg there is a corgi on this book! Honestly, that's all I need to know! XD I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

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  9. I always love just HOW MANY people die in these small towns lol. This one sounds fun though, especially with the more modern sensibilities. I haven't read a cozy in ages although I do like some of 'em. Glad this one was good. :)

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    1. I know!!! and only some strange woman who just moved in can solve anything lol

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  10. Oh yeah I have yet to read a cozy mystery but one of these days I'll find one that sounds good enough to read. This does have a cute cover though.

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  11. Thank you for celebrating with us! πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŒŸ

    Yay, for modern sensibilities! I have read two cozies: one because my sister begged me (she loves cozies) and another for a reading challenge, and the stuck in the '50s mentality got me both times. Ugh. πŸ˜›

    This book has a great cover and Watson sounds too cute! 🐢✨

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    1. Yeah, that bugs me too - I'm glad I gave this one a try though.

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