Murder Always Barks Twice

Chatty Corgi Mystery, Book #2

By Jennifer Hawkins


Author Website: darciewildeauthor(.)com,

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


For ex-accountant Emma Reed and her beloved corgi, Oliver, opening Reed’s Classic Tea & Cakes in the idyllic village of Trevena in Cornwall has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Her cakes are popular, she has a host of wonderful new friends, and even a potential new romance. There’s even time left over for plenty of long country walks with Oliver, who is not only the cutest corgi on record (at least to Emma), he happens to talk (at least to Emma). What could be better?

How about being asked to help cater the local Daphne DuMaurier literary festival?

But when the festival organizer is found dead and foul play is suspected, Emma, Oliver and their friends are plunged deep into a poisonous mix of village jealousy, family tension, money troubles, and secret love affairs. Emma quickly realizes it’s up to her and her intrepid corgi to discover a canny killer whose bite is worse than their bark.  (Goodreads)


Emma and her Welsh Pembroke Corgi Oliver are back for a second adventure in Murder Always Barks Twice, the wonderful sophomore entry in the Chatty Corgi Mystery series. The story gives a big nod to Rebecca and has loads of English village charm, appealing characters, and an engaging mystery that keeps readers guessing.

When Emma agrees to do a last minute catering job for the annual Daphne DuMaurier Literary Festival, she does not expect to find bickering board members or the death of one of its members.  Marcie Chocrane, a superfan of DuMaurier, is the treasurer of the literary society, and the annual festival takes place at her ancestral estate.  When Emma and her friend Genny arrive at Truscott Grange, they find Marcie’s crumpled body on the drive below an open window.  Is her death an accident, suicide, or something more sinister?  Emma agrees to look into things at the behest of Marcie’s niece Daphne.  With the help of her noble warrior corgi (his words) Oliver, Emma quickly finds herself in a cesspool of money hungry, power seeking, jealous siblings and Marcie’s money troubles, stress, and secret plans.  Oh, and the literary festival must go on, too. 

How can you go wrong with a talking corgi sleuth?  As a self-proclaimed corgi nut, I think Oliver, who communicates with Emma through full sentences and a Welsh accent, is just about the greatest thing since sliced bread.  He might not be every reader’s cup of tea since one must suspend reality a bit, but I love him and think that author Jennifer Hawkins does a fantastic job making this unusual sleuthing pair believable.  I like Emma a great deal and find her relatable (she and I are about the same age) and a thorough, intelligent amateur sleuth.  Her coworkers/friends Angelique and Genny are also especially enjoyable, and I love the relationships they are forging. 

Marcie dies fairly early in the story, but we get to know her well through what the other characters have to say about her.  Her situation was terrible, and I felt a great need for Emma to find justice for her.  The suspects are comprised mostly of immediate family and one board member, and the more Emma investigates, the more ugliness and motives for murder she finds.  Hawkins takes readers through a twisty, emotional puzzle that sometimes involves danger for Emma.  It is compelling from start to finish.

Murder Always Barks Twice is delightful cozy mystery reading.  Highly recommended…especially to fans of pet themed mysteries.