by Kathleen Costa
This week we have a review of Divas, Diamonds, and Death, a Pet Sitter Mystery by Sally J. Smith, and Jean Steffens, and we also have a sweet animal rescue related guest post by Sally.
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an amazing giveaway-First place: Continental US ONlY–a signed copy of Divas, Diamonds, & Death AND an Adopt-Don’t-Shop t-shirt (sizes Small to 3X and a variety of colors).
Second place: TWO readers can win a print or eBook of Divas, Diamonds & Death (outside the US is eBook only).
We also have a link to purchase the book from Amazon.
Divas, Diamonds, and Death: Danger Cove Pet Sitter Mystery By Elizabeth Ashby, Sally J. Smith, and Jean Steffens
Review by Kathleen Costa
Divas, Diamonds, and Death is part of the Danger Cove franchise from Gemma Halliday Publishing. Several authors, including favorites Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens, join fictional mystery novelist and resident of Danger Cove Elizabeth Ashby to pen their own book set in this small town in the Pacific Northwest. From renovations to a farmers market, cocktails to a bakery, quilting to pet sitting, bookshops to hair salons to B&Bs, more than a dozen books, and more in the works, take readers on a delightful adventure with wonderful characters. As they say, “Don’t let our name fool you–we’re the friendliest (even if deadliest) town in the Pacific Northwest!”
Check out Danger Cove!
Lizzie Jones, veterinarian grad student, is helping Fran Upton, owner of Second Chance Animal Rescue Center, with the annual fund raiser. Pet grooming, children’s games and activities, food booths and an adoption center are overshadowed by the participation of Sabrina Ramirez, the renowned Critter Communicator.
Jimmy John Jones, Lizzie’s grandfather and Fran’s boyfriend, used his celebrity as a former network field correspondent, in the “vein of…Ed Bradley,” to get Sabrina Ramirez to agree to attend the event and demonstrate her unique abilities to communicate with animals. Partnered with Rosie, her beloved piglet, Sabrina makes a true Hollywood-style entrance and casts her eye on Lizzie’s grandfather. Then, along with Fran taking exception to Sabrina’s eye on her man, we get pushy ex-husbands, laced pasta, kidnapped pets, missing diamonds, and…a dead body?
Just another day in Danger Cove…
Although I have read other books from the writing team Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens (Check out Mystic Mayhem, Mystic Mistletoe Murder, Murder on the Aloha Express, and Kangaroo Dreaming) and I am a dedicated fan, their Danger Cove Pet Sitters Mystery series is new to me. This book proved to be a great place to start: Pet Whisperer? Pretty Pink Piglet in Pajamas? Who knew Pet Sitting could be so precarious?
I never felt out-of-the-loop with the backstory and character connections. Not having read the previous book, the authors provided enough to make this newbie feel comfortable. The story is a clever page-turner keeping me engaged as our heroine enlists her family, her boyfriend, and her little pug “Vader” to weed through more than a few motives.
The characters are well-developed, even this early in the series, which may be due to the authors’ talents in providing great personalities. My favorite, of course, is Lizzie. She is clever in her in
vestigation and her loyalty to her family and friends helps to motivate her. The setting of Danger Cove referencing places and people from the series, and the ‘ins and outs’ of pets and pet sitting play out in the background spiced up with a recipe for Mama Politano’s Pesto Penne Primavera sans the potent paralyzing potion…perfect!
Divas, Diamonds, and Death earns 5/5 Little Pink Piglets!
It all began here…
Passion, Poison, & Puppy Dogs earns 5/5 Pet-Sitting Predicaments!
A great story to introduce you to Lizzie Jones, who has been living with her grandfather Jimmy John. She is getting her vet degree, but finds herself pet sitting to help pay the bills. This, of course, puts her into a precarious position of discovering a dead body, supporting the ‘person of interest’ with her own investigation and leading readers on an entertaining journey to an “Oh my!” conclusion. We are treated to a fun grandfather/granddaughter dynamic, growing love interest, signature Smith & Steffens’ twists and turns, and an easy to follow vegetarian delight, The Thirsty Leprechaun Vinegar and Salt Potato Bites.
Ruby–A Gem of a Girl
By Sally J. Smith
I was broken-heated. I’d lost my Casey, my beautiful Japanese Spaniel. While she was still in my heart she was no longer in my arms, and I’d begun to think about another fur baby to come and live with us. We’ve always had dogs, and until then they had always been raised from pups, but there are so many dogs without homes that I thought I’d look around and see if I could find a sweet and sympathetic soul at one of the rescue centers. I began to haunt rescue websites, watching and waiting for a sign that one of the dogs was meant for me.
It wasn’t all that long before I saw video of a Pekingese mix–a blonde with a cute little smooshed face whom the videographer had caught looking up into the camera with big sad eyes. Adorable, sure. I kept looking other places, but I also kept going back to the video of the little blondie walking around the yard of the rescue center stopping to look up into the camera and wag her tail.
I decided I wanted to meet her and sent a query. There was a pet store adoption event the next weekend. Just in case, I filled out the adoption application. The Saturday came–cloudy, dreary. I wondered if that was a bad omen. We bundled our other two dogs into the car, so we’d have an idea if things even stood a chance of working out with the new dog.
The rescue shelter lady was having one of those days, running very late and leaving us and several others who were hoping to meet their possible new lovelies waiting over an hour and half.
Eventually things started to roll. One car pulled up, and two women began to scurry around, pulling out boxes of records, a long table and a few chairs. Next came a van with several kennels occupied by a Heinz 57 variety of dogs. The little girl I’d come to meet wasn’t among them.
Finally another van arrived.
I just had a feeling of anticipation, thrill. I stepped to the edge of the sidewalk and when the panel door slid back, there sat a kennel with a beautiful little dog weighing maybe 25 pounds. I caught my breath as one of the volunteers lifted the kennel from the van and set it on the sidewalk. I bent down and found myself looking into a precious, squished little face. Her tail swished and to this day I swear she smiled.
For some inexplicable reason I began to cry. My heart swelled and there was no doubt we belonged together. Ruby came home with me that day and she’s the sweetest, most lovable dog I’ve ever had.
Ruby had been waiting at the no-kill shelter for over two months when I saw her. The lovely woman in charge said she’d been stumped as to why no one was interested in taking her home, but I knew right away that Ruby had been waiting all that time for me to find her. The day that I adopted her I learned from the shelter lady my girl had been on the E-list at the county facility and only a day or two away from being euthanized. The thought of such a beautiful being put down still breaks my heart.
When I come home and she’s so glad to see me that she prances like a show horse, or when I wake in the morning to see those big brown eyes, blinking slowly as she patiently waits for me to join the world of the conscious, I have to stop and wonder–did I rescue Ruby, or did Ruby rescue me?
Adopt, people! It’s one of the best things you’ll ever do.
To enter to win one of the following-First place: Continental US OnlY–a signed copy of Divas, Diamonds, & Death AND an Adopt-Don’t-Shop t-shirt (sizes Small to 3X and a variety of colors).
Second place: TWO readers can win a print or eBook of Divas, Diamonds & Death (outside the US is eBook only), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “diamonds,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 19, 2017. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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