In Murder Most Howl by Krista Davis, the ski resort town of Wagtail is hosting a murder mystery weekend, featuring part treasure hunt and part detection. The whole town gets filled with amateur sleuths, while a storm arrives, snowing everyone in. The job for everyone is to locate the murderer of Baron von Rotweiler. Then the guests are set free on the town, where the shopkeepers have clues, and each player is given a clue as well. But early the next morning, Holly, who has been left in charge of the Sugar Maple Inn for the first time by her grandmother, comes across the body of a man who appears to have frozen while sitting on a bench in the town. It doesn’t take long to discover that Norm, a rich man in Wagtail, has been murdered with an injection of insulin.
Further research into Norm’s life reveals a man who has made many enemies, and thus the murder will be difficult to solve. Adding to all the local suspects, Holly learns that Norm’s first wife, a former supermodel, is visiting Wagtail for the Murder Most Howl activity. The clues keep adding up, but in all sorts of directions. Further, “fake clues,” scandal about people in the Wagtail community, start showing up amid the real clues about the Baron von Rotweiler, complicating the case as well as the murder game.
The book is very delightful, especially with the ambience of Wagtail, a town where pets are welcomed in all establishments, and the inn has rooms especially for cats and dogs. Clearly Davis knows her pets well, and her depictions of the dogs and cats all over the community made me really smile. I especially love Trixie, the little white terrier who adopted Holly in the first book. I especially appreciate the way the pets adopt the humans in this book. The pets come to life with so much sparkle. The book does not give the animals any types of human roles, which I appreciate, because animals have enough character in and of themselves as it is.
The mystery did get a little confusing at times, especially in telling the characters apart. The clues get a bit convoluted, but even though I didn’t always follow everything clearly, I still found the book to be a whole lot of fun.
Jeanie Kanaley performs the narration of the audio version of this book. It’s clear that she too loves animals in the way that the pets have real personalities based upon the tones of voice that she uses. Her voices are done creatively, making the experience of listening to this book all the more enjoyable.
Murder Most Howl delights in its ambiance and fun, with a creative mystery in addition. The conclusion got a little convoluted, but I didn’t mind very much. I really enjoyed this book and certainly intend to keep listening to other books in the series. I give the book four stars!
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