Thursday, May 10, 2018

Book Review: Hair of the Dog by Carlene O'Neil (Cypress Cove Mysteries #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery, charming characters
Cons: Pacing a little in the second half
The Bottom Line:
Dead vet at clinic
Penny must clear her cousin
So glad to be back

Penny Has Another Hairy Case

It’s been a couple of years since we were last able to finish Cypress Cove, but I am always thrilled to be able to return to characters and settings I love.  Fortunately, Penny Lively and the gang are all back in Hair of the Dog.

Penny’s cousin and best friend, Annie Moore, runs the animal clinic in town.  Normally, everything flows smoothly there, but trouble is brewing.  First, Annie has to fire Nicole, the clinic’s technician, for stealing medicine.  Then Annie is caught over the dead body of Brian, her business partner.  Naturally, the police start looking at Annie as their prime suspect, but Penny knows her cousin better than that.  Brian was such a nice guy; who would want to kill him?

The mystery starts out well.  We find several suspects with strong motives early on as Penny starts her investigation.  The pacing felt a little off to me in the second half, but we did get a strong climax that answered all of the questions that the plot had raised.  That included some events that I hadn’t realized were even important, but Penny pieced them together.

The characters are strong once again.  The last book was set outside of Cypress Cove, so we didn’t get to see all of Penny’s family and friends.  I was glad they were back since I had enjoyed meeting them in the first book.  While some interactions early on felt familiar, we did get some good growth in these relationships by the time the book ended.  And the new characters are just as strong.

Penny runs her family’s winery, and several scenes are set there.  I immediately felt at home since the central coast setting is also brought to vivid life.  It was a wonderful escape, well except for the murder and mayhem.

If you haven’t met Penny and the rest of the Cypress Cove crew, now’s a perfect time to jump in.  Hair of the Dog will please fans of the series and introduce new readers to this charming cast of characters.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.

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