The Dog Who Knew Too Much By Krista Davis: Review/Giveaway/Interview

Jan 11, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets

by Cynthia Chow

This week we have a review of the latest Paws and Claws mystery by Krista Davis, and an interesting interview with Krista. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Dog Who Knew Too Much. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.

The Dog Who Knew Too Much: A Paws & Claws Mystery by Krista Davis
Review by Cynthia Chow

Ever since the town of Wagtail, Virginia, rebranded itself as the destination spot for pet-loving travelers their businesses, shops, and restaurants became designed to be as pet-friendly as possible. It also makes Holly Miller’s Sugar Maple Inn the perfect retreat for an upcoming television show’s cast, especially since its star is “America’s Favorite Dog” border collie-Labrador mix Pippin. As Pippinmania sweeps through the town and attracts even more fervent fans, his human co-star is decidedly less popular. While the crew is staying in Wagtail as a bonding exercise for the cast and Pippin, veteran actor Howard Hirschtritt ensures that they’re not going to be a happy family. The celebratory event of Pippin’s Treasure Hunt has the intent of promoting Pippin’s fandom and Wagtail business, but experienced mystery readers will know that the final discovery will not be the one that was first set in place. What is surprising is that the body found by Pippin and Trixie at the bottom of a gulley is not Howard’s but that of Diane Blusher, a much-liked breeder of champion boxers.

With the TV crew confined in Wagtail until police determine the cause of Diane’s death, Holly and her grandmother are determined to both clear their Inn of any liability and discover the reason behind their friend’s death. A string of purebred dog thefts have Holly leading the cause to have their beloved companions nose-printed for protective identification, but it’s the threat to her own beloved Jack Russell terrier Trixie that has her most alarmed. After Trixie was featured in Dog Life Magazine due to her talent for discovering corpses, a man has arrived in town claiming that the dog Holly found abandoned in a gas station is his. As the danger facing their furry babies increases and the human body count rises, Holly and her friends are determined to stop the menace that arrived with Hollywood’s pet-centric film crew.

This sixth in the series deftly balances the focus between the Wagtail residents and the television crew unable to leave town. Holly eagerly anticipates the return of the man who makes her heart flutter, but the flamboyant Sugar McLaughlin has predatory plans of her own for Holmes Richardson. #MeToo issues may have woven its way into the seemingly family-friendly television production, and Pippin may be the only one of their crew without hidden motives or agendas. Dog lovers will be infuriated by the danger implied by the presence of Trixie’s so-called owner as well as the incidents of dog theft, so there is much relief when it’s outweighed by the obvious love and clever actions by Holly, her grandmother (also the mayor of Wagtail), and the often exasperated Officer Dave Quinlan. Recipes of treats for both humans and canines are included at the end, with Peanut Butter Pupcakes sounding absolutely mouth-watering for both species. Unexpected plot twists make the final reveal of the culprit a surprise, but readers can be assured that they will be left smiling and warmed by the appreciation given to the Wagtail furry families.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Interview with Krista Davis:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

Krista: I’ve been writing for a long time, even as a child. I got serious about it nearly twenty years ago, but it took ten years for me to be published.

KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?

Krista: The Diva Runs Out of Time was released in 2008. It was the first of the Diva mysteries. Imagine planning a quiet Thanksgiving dinner for close family and then being stuck with your ex-husband, his mother, his brother and wife, and his new girlfriend. And one of them is a murderer!

Krista Davis

KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not, what else have you written?

Krista: There’s something else? Just joking, of course. I have always been a big fan of mysteries. So far, that’s what I have written.

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?

Krista: I live in an area where there were once many sites people visited for the waters. Some had special minerals and others had warm springs. There was a time when those places were a huge draw, but interest in them waned and they either slipped away into obscurity or they reinvented themselves like the town of Wagatil. I love the notion that a town would establish itself as the premier vacation spot for people who travel with their pets. Naturally, that means inns and hotels, so the town of Wagtail was invented, along with the Sugar Maple Inn, which is run by Holly Miller and her German grandmother.

KRL: Why did you want to involve pets in your series?

Krista: I’m a huge cat and dog lover. My own cats and dogs are always surprising me with their antics and cleverness. And what would be more fun than some four-legged sleuths in a town like Wagtail?

KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?

Krista: Both. I always try to tell a good story, but I hope readers sometimes take away something more as well.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?

Krista: I don’t have a set schedule at the moment. I am not one of those writers who rises at four in the morning to write. I have come to realize that I do adhere to more of a schedule than I thought, and I expect a schedule of sorts will emerge as the new year begins.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?

Krista: The word “outline” sends me running from the room. I always have a concept in mind when I begin to write. I work out the details of the murder – who is the murderer? Why was he/she driven to murder? Exactly how did the murder occur? I make notes as I write and the story develops as I go.

KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?

Krista: Mornings and early afternoon.

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?

Krista: Yes. It took me ten years and three agents to sell a book!

KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?

Krista: It’s always fun when someone I haven’t seen in many years shows up to say “Hi” and I love meeting my Facebook friends. On one occasion, a reader who worked at the White House invited me for a tour! Alas, politics intervened, and the tours were halted, but I meet the most interesting people!

KRL: Future writing goals?

Krista: My plate is full! The Diva Spices It Up releases on April 28th. Murder Outside the Lines won’t be far behind it on July 28th. And I’m working on the next Wagtail book, Big Little Spies!

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

Krista: More than you would imagine because there are so many details in every mystery. I enjoy doing the research, though, because I learn new things and sometimes, they spark an idea for another book, too. My favorite research was visiting a haunted sanatorium. Ghosts may or may not have been present. We’re still not sure!

KRL: What do you read?

Krista: Mysteries, of course!

KRL: Favorite TV or movies?

Krista: I am hopelessly addicted to The Curse of Oak Island. I suspect if they ever found a treasure, it would make the news before they could air it. Still, I watch anyway, hoping something interesting will pop up. Lately I’ve been enjoying a lot of British TV mystery shows, like Agatha Raisin.

KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

Krista: Join a writing group like Sisters in Crime or Romance Writers of America. They provide tons of information and lots of helpful classes. And don’t give up. If you really want to write, just keep writing.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Krista: I am one of those oddball people who cannot stand the flavor of cilantro. Even a tiny bit in a dish makes it taste revolting! I understand that’s a genetic thing.

KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?


To enter to win a copy of The Dog Who Knew Too Much, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “knew,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 18, 2020. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted when the contest is over. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up this week.

Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Love this author’s delightful books. Thanks.

    • I enjoyed this article and Krista Davis is one of my fav authors. I cant get enough of her wagtail series especially!

  2. Oh I love her books. Thanks for the chance.

  3. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  4. I love reading cozy mysteries, love the cover and this storyline sounds great. Thank you for the chance.

  5. Love cozies, especially those with dogs. Thanks for offering the chance to win a copy.

  6. Love this series.

  7. I love Krista Davis’s books. Thank you for the opportunity to be chosen for a copy of her latest book, The Dog Who Knew Too Much.

  8. I love this series. Thank you for this chance!

  9. Love your books!

  10. This is a great series from one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read The Dog Who Knew Too Much! I’m looking forward to returning to Wagtail and reading about what Holly and Oma are up to. Thanks for the book review, the interview, and the chance to win!

  11. Thank you for the chance I can’t wait to read it. One of my favorite series.

  12. Hi, Krista, cool interview. Writing since childhood…years to get published…first novel out in 2008…it all sounds so familiar! 😉 Congrats on keeping three great series in play, and without getting up at 4 am!

  13. Please enter me and thank you for the chance. I enjoyed the interview and I only wish I could write in the Morning…more of a late night Person…

  14. Interesting interview. Looks like a book I’d enjoy.

  15. Love reading cozies featuring animals. Thanks for the chance.

  16. Love her books and this books sounds amazing. Thanks for your great generosity.

  17. A great series! I can’t wait to read this newest book in the series.

  18. Love your books

  19. I can’t wait to read it. Sounds like fun to read.! Thank you for the chance

  20. You always have the best book covers! I love to read about animal sidekicks in cozies! lindaherold999(at)

  21. Love you, your books and recipes, Krista! I’m not crazy about cilantro, either, and can only stand a bit of it. Believe it or not, my hubby, a native Texan, has that same “gene” of cilantro tasting like soap to him, so I sub Italian flat-leaf parsley!

  22. Would love to win.Thank you for the chance

  23. As an author of a cozy cat mystery series myself, I always enjoy a good cozy that includes a dog and particularly a cat. Thanks for sharing your books.

  24. I found this interesting and informative. I like reading Krista’s books. kckendler at gmail dot com

  25. Thanks for the review….I am a fan of animals in cozies.

  26. I love the Paws and Claws Series. I really look forward to reading the book. I enjoyed learning more about you. Thanks for a chance to win. musiqmom(at)yahoo(dot)com

  27. Interesting interview. I’d love to read the book.

  28. Thank you Cynthia Chow for the wonderful review of Paws and Claws, as well as the interview with Krista Davis and the giveaway! Krista’s a new to me author & I’m pleased to know more about her. I also adore dogs & cats, and her Wagtail books appeal to me! The Diva Spices It Up, to be released this Spring, caught my attention from the interview too. Krista’s cilantro taste aversion could be a blessing in disguise, raising her awareness of potential food twists for plots. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for winning a print copy!

  29. Got caught up with this series.
    Love stories with animals in them.

  30. Very nice article. Thank you for the chance to win her book.

  31. We have a winner!


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