Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Midwinter’s Tail by Bethany Blake

Posted November 26, 2018 by meezcarrie in Bethany Blake, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 30 Comments

about the book

SERIES: Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #4
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Kensington
RELEASE DATE: November 27, 2018
PAGES: 304

To bark or not to bark . . .

Professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton loves the holidays in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. And nothing gets her into the spirit more than the town’s annual Bark the Halls Ball. The whole community will be there to wag their tails, especially this year’s special guest—Celeste “CeeCee” French, founder of a national chain of pet care franchises, who’s returning home to announce plans for a bright new flagship store.

But not everyone’s celebrating CeeCee’s homecoming. Daphne’s friend Moxie Bloom, owner of Spa and Paw, a unique salon for people and their pets, has plenty to growl about. So when CeeCee is found face down under Sylvan Creek’s town Christmas tree, stabbed with a distinctive pair of professional-grade pet shears, suspicion lands squarely on Moxie. Despite Daphne’s promises to Detective Jonathan Black, she quickly reprises her role as amateur sleuth. Ably assisted by her basset hound sidekick, Socrates, she must hurry to prove her friend’s innocence before a killer barks again . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

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Other Books In This Series


I really enjoy the Lucky Paws Petsitting books and find the main characters all endearing, but Socrates the basset hound totally makes this series for me. It’s already cute and a little campy but his almost-human antics and personality takes it from almost-a-smidge-too-campy to just plain adorable instead. His sighs, his helpful (and timely) nudges and his meaningful looks… and the plot line in this book with the diva poodle … I am Socrates’ biggest fan, I think.

The mystery in A Midwinter’s Tail was very well played and, while I had an idea of the culprit pretty early into the investigation, I had no idea of the motive. This kept me fully engaged – along with the fact that I wasn’t entirely sure I was right about whodunit anyway. In addition to the mystery and the delightful small town dynamics, there are some relationship subthreads going on that add further dimension to the character and the story. As always, I am firmly in Detective Black’s corner when it comes to who I want Daphne to end up with, and I was pleased to see some progress in this department. Don’t worry, however, those of you who don’t want to be distracted by romance in your cozy mysteries – it’s a very mild thread, just enough to pacify someone like me who wants romance in everything.

Bottom Line: This series continues to be consistently cute and charming, with Socrates stealing every scene he’s in. Daphne is quirky and endearing and feels like a character you’d want as a best friend, especially in this latest book where we really get to see the ‘best friend’ side of her. A nicely plotted mystery, further character development, and intriguing subthreads make this another entertaining trip to Sylvan Creek!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

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about the author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

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There are TWO giveaways – one from the blog tour and one for this specific blog post, so make sure you enter both!

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This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour HERE

In addition to the tour giveaway, Bethany Blake is offering a print copy of A Midwinter’s Tail to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? Do you have a pet? Have you ever used a petsitting service?

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30 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Midwinter’s Tail by Bethany Blake

  1. Vivian Furbay

    As dog lovers, my husband and i have only used dog kennels or had good neighbors take care of our dogs when we are gone.

  2. Our family did have a Basset Hound named Raisin Lucille Ball Coxon. She was such a sweet girl, on the smaller side for a Basset but she loved to chew everything. She always had problems with her back and eventually it went completely out. Now we have two inside cats and four feral who live in our garage. I love Bethany Blake’s books and enjoy reading them.

  3. Amy M.

    Unfortunately, I’m dogless at this time :-(. My friend is a petsitter, so I’ll sometimes hang with her to get my dog fix.

    • Carol Knudtson

      I had my own pet sitting service for twenty years. Loved all the babies I took care of so much. I have two dogs of my own.

  4. Dianne Casey

    I have two.young cats, Hamilton and Jefferson and I don’t use a pet sitter. I’m lucky enough that my friend’s daughter is crazy about them and comes over twice a day to feed and play with them.

  5. Donna Durnell

    I don’t have a pet. I had a dog when I was young, perhaps 7 yrs old, but we didn’t have him long. And then years later, when my children were about 3 & 7, we had a puppy for about a year.
    I have not used a pet sitter, nor have I been one.

  6. Kay Garrett

    We have a 14 year old Chihuahua furbaby named Snickerdoodle. He’s just a tad big spoiled. When he was younger and we went any where he went to his Mawmaw’s to stay – his home away from home complete with identical items that he had at home. After his Mawmaw went to heaven and his age was much more advanced, he’s never been left with anyone. We plan our vacations on where he can stay and go including our extended trips to the New England states to see the fall beauty 2 years ago and our long trip this year to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. He’s losing his eye sight and is on insulin twice a day, so don’t know of anyone that would be will to spoil him as he’s become accustomed or that we would feel comfortable leaving him with.

    A previous furbaby we had was often left with a dog sitter who happened to live close by and who became like one of the family. So it’s not that I oppose to them at all. I think with our furry family members that we need to check out possible pet sitters just as you would for a non-furry baby. 🙂

  7. Kay Garrrett

    Thank you for your review on “A Midwinter’s Tail” by Bethany Blake and being part of the book tour. LOVE the cover! Adore this author’s books. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read this one which is on my TBR list.

  8. Kara Vaughan Marks

    This sounds so good–I’d love to read it. I don’t have any pets right now and I haven’t used a pet sitting service in the past.

  9. Julie Waldron

    This sounds like a great book! I love cozy mysteries. We have a gray cat named Cosmo. We don’t use a pet sitting service, we just have family look in on him while we’re away.

  10. Donna B

    I currently have a 3 yr old beagle/pit bull mix that started out as a foster and ended up an adoption. I have had her a total of 5 months. She is a spoiled rotten bed hog! She is a lot of company for me and keeps me busy. I have not used a pet sitter as my family helps if I will be out of town. She came from a no kill rescue shelter.

  11. MS Barb

    Yes, have a little rescue dog who is part Yorkie & part Poodle, and who knows what else–my little 2½ year old grandson thinks her name is “Good Girl!” 🙂

  12. Debra Branigan

    These look like so much fun. Thanks for the chance. Dogs are a blast. We have been without one for a long time.

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