Top positive review
Way better than anticipated
Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2020
The grand opening of Izzy McHale’s Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, is almost marred by the picketing of the local town activist (she thinks it’s cruel to dress pets in clothing). Izzy and her bff, Rena, who cooks treats for the canine customers of the boutique, manage to head off the protest, but later in the night, Izzy finds the activist dead behind the store, and the cause isn’t natural. Rena is the lead suspect because she and the dead woman had words earlier in the evening. Izzy knows Rena couldn’t have done it, and sets out to prove the police wrong.
I enjoyed this way more than I anticipated. Sure, the plot has been done before (fledgling business owner, cute products to sell, angry competitor/jealous other business owner/misguided citizen causes problems, blah-blah-blah), but this had good writing, well-developed, likeable and surprisingly complex characters, a lovely setting, a fun shop to work in, several suspects, and snazzily dressed dogs and cats.
This was a light, fun, engaging read. The mystery held my interest all the way through, didn’t give me stress, and I found Izzy to be someone to root for and cheer her successes. I liked the descriptions of the pet outfits she designed, and I enjoyed following along as she solved the crime. I was sad when it ended because I became attached to Izzy and Rena and their pets. They seem like people I’d like to hang out with, and I know if Trendy Tails was a real shop, I’d be one of their best customers. I will read more in this series.