Sydney McCall along with her rescued tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. It’s a whole new life for her in her hometown of Deer Park, North Carolina. Syd and Kat are excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend will be signing books and donating a percentage to the shelter. Maggie Shayne, Kat’s right-hand helper vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman or the fundraiser. However, everything goes well until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.
They believe that Ulla died from an allergic reaction, but to what? Syd and Toby sniff out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude and had enemies. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As she begins to investigate, she realizes there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.
Death by a Whisker is a delightful pet-based cozy with lots of animals who are literally characters in and of themselves. Along with a few humans who at times remind us why we love animals. This book is pleasurable without being long or overly detailed. It compels the reader to turn the page time after time.
Syd McCall is a warm, caring individual who just happens to love animals and has no life outside of the animal shelter, and her toy killing cat, Toby now that her boyfriend is so busy he doesn’t have time to call. Her sister Kat is much like her but with a little more going on in her life outside of the animals. Syd seems happy with her life, and yet the reader gets the sense that this may not be completely true. Life in a small town isn’t the same as life in New York City, especially not alone.
Maggie and Leila are great characters. Even though they play a smaller role, it will be interesting to see them grow and blossom alongside Syd. Boyfriend, Will is in and out of the story, but he adds a romantic interest that has future possibilities. It doesn’t hurt that he is a cop and sometimes gives Syd info she needs to help solve a case, even after he tells her to stay out of it.
The location used for the story is a small town that on occasion has big city problems. It is a surprise to those who live and work there that murder comes knocking, and not for the first time. However, a bit more detail about the layout of the town and the residents would be a welcome side story that would serve to enhance the reader’s enjoyment.
Revealing the killer is no easy task and will keep readers guessing for a long time. The motive becomes clear faster than the identity of the murderer. With a plethora of suspects all with a solid motive, it doesn’t take long for Syd to narrow it down. When she finally figures it out the reader will be surprised and delighted all at the same time.
Overall Death by a Whisker is a fast-paced, enjoyable read that will have the audience yelling for more. It is highly recommended to anyone who loves animals, town gossip and stories that keep them guessing.