To Fetch a Felon
Chatty Corgi Mystery, Book #1
By Jennifer Hawkins
Author Website: darciewilderomance(.)com, facebook(.)com/Delia-James-994395340606865
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
A tea shop owner and her beloved corgi attempt to collar a criminal in the first entry of a charming new cozy mystery series set in a quaint British village.
Emma Reed left London because she wanted to put her life in high finance behind her. Her dream is to open a small tea shop in an idyllic village in Cornwall, with its cobblestone streets and twisting byways. Emma plans to bake the recipes handed down to her from her beloved grandmother, and there’ll be plenty of space for her talking corgi, Oliver, to explore. Yes…talking. Emma has always been able to understand Oliver, even though no one else can, and she’s looking forward to plenty of quality time with her best canine buddy in the countryside.
But when Emma arrives in the village she discovers that the curmudgeonly owner of her new building, Victoria, hates dogs and refuses to sell the building because of Oliver. Although some might turn tail and run, Emma is determined to win Victoria over. Unfortunately, she never gets the chance. When Emma delivers some of her homemade scones as a peace offering, she finds Victoria dead from a cup of poisoned tea. Together, Emma and Oliver will need to unleash their detective skills to catch a killer. (Goodreads)
To Fetch a Felon is the debut book in the Chatty Corgi Mystery series, and I am in love…with corgi Oliver, his owner Emma, the Cornwall village. It is whimsical with a tangled mystery that keeps readers engaged from the first page to the last. Plus, there are tea goodies.
London financier Emma takes a leap and leaves the city behind to follow her dreams of opening a tea shop in the village where she spent summers as a child. Her best friend and constant companion is a Welsh Pembroke Corgi named Oliver, and their bond goes way beyond the typical owner-pet relationship because Oliver talks to Emma…in complete sentences…with a Welsh accent. Emma has a run in with cantankerous villager Victoria on her first day in town, but when she attempts to make amends, she finds Victoria deceased. It soon becomes apparent that Victoria died by nefarious means, and there are quite a few locals who have plenty of motive. Emma cannot help but investigate to find the killer so that she can get back to her tea shop dreams.
Pets are often featured in cozy mysteries, but here Oliver plays a major role throughout the book. Full confession – I am an obsessed corgi owner so I really loved Oliver’s prominence. He accompanies Emma everywhere and helps her investigate as only a dog can. Some of the chapters are even written from his perspective. He is indeed a noble warrior corgi (his words). I appreciate that Emma, at 45, is a touch older than the average amateur cozy sleuth. Being of a certain age myself, I find her relatable, and she is friendly and methodical in ferreting out clues and motives. I really like the local B&B owner Angelique and fish and chips proprietor Genny. I feel like with Emma they will be a regular trio sure to get involved in plenty of antics.
The mystery is straightforward and engaging. There are several scenarios involving all of the suspects that kept me guessing right along with Emma. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, more threads unraveled making me question myself. A second fatality makes things even more complicated. The story is full of village gossip and secrets, and Victoria collected them along with real estate, but the more Emma investigates two conflicting Victorias emerge. Was she a bitter, controlling bitty who wanted to ruin everything or a not-so-nice lady who tried to take care of those she deeply cared about and loved her garden more than anything?
I know a talking corgi might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I find To Fetch a Felon absolutely delightful. I cannot wait for the next installment. Highly recommended!