Polly Parrett Pet-Sitter Cozy Mysteries Collection by Liz Dodwell contains five cozy mysteries featuring Polly Parrett and the animals in her life.
We first meet Polly in Doggone Christmas, where Polly is dealing with trying to help her mother, made a paraplegic in a horse jumping accident and left so bitter that she drove her husband away. Polly is in the process of trying to relocate her mother, Edwina, from her 10-acre property to a more manageable home when she meets the attractive Tyler, the realtor helping with her case. Together they discover a homeless veteran who seems to be framed for a murder. Rooster has not been able to make use of homeless or veterans’ facilities because they will not allow his beloved pit bull, his best friend, to join him. With Elaine scheduled to be euthanized, the pressure is on for Polly to find the true killer and save Elaine’s life. The book concludes with Edwina’s deciding to turn her large property into a halfway house for veterans that welcomes all pets, and Rooster comes on as manager of the facility.
In The Christmas Kitten, a tiny kitten wearing a gold bracelet as a necklace shows up at the doorstep of Welcome Home, the home for veterans Edwina, Polly, Tyler, and Rooster have established. Then they find two scared little girls, daughters of an active member of the special forces, with the girls thinking they may have killed their stepmother, who epitomizes the image of “evil stepmother.” But someone is after the girls too. Polly and company must find the truth behind the stepmother’s death and whoever is after the girls to hurt them.
In Bird Brain, Polly Parrett is giving a bequest of Polly the parrot. With the bird comes the home of the bird’s owner, and one of the residents of Welcome Home takes over the care of Polly the parrot, who revives amazingly under his care. But someone seems to be looking for something in the house, and the bird helps them find a valuable piece in the house.
Seeing Red features another murder mystery for Polly when the reaction of the Irish setter, Red, makes Polly certain that his owner’s death was murder, not an accident as the police think. There seems to be some mysterious connection to the 30-year-old disappearance of a young child. Further, Welcome Home faces challenges as the inspector from the VA keeps giving them a hard time with their renovation of the barns to dorms for the residents, causing them to lose their funding from the VA. The book has unique intrigue to it.
In the final book, The Christmas Puppy, the little bulldog puppy Mule, seeking warmth, accidentally sets off the train, and the man dressed as Santa Claus sitting in it is found to be murdered. And he turns out to be the man who tried to drive Welcome Home out of business in order to get their land instead of the man supposed to be playing Santa. The open house gets closed until they can find the murderer, and for once, Edwina announces that she intends for the people from Welcome Home to track down the killer rather than let the police do it. Will they have a merry Christmas or live in fear of a murderer in their midst?
This compilation was a true delight to listen to, with plenty of fun details about animals. It is obvious that Dodwell loves animals herself and knows their fun quirks well. Besides loving the elements of the animals, I especially appreciated the way the book honors this country’s veterans, many of whom have been ill-treated by the country for whom they have suffered. It reminds us that we need to do more for such heroes and also points out the problems that homeless are frequently not welcomed into shelters if they have pets, despite the way pets so often prove to be people’s tie to sanity and love.
Jennifer Fournier narrates the audiobook of this compilation and adds to its enjoyment. She voices the animals ably and seems suited to this particular book, which is gentle and sweet.
The Polly Barrett Pet-Sitter Cozy Mystery Collection is a great cozy mystery suitable for all ages. It is entirely clean so appropriate for children, who will enjoy all the animal stories along with the mysteries. And adults will appreciate the fun elements of the mysteries and the celebration of veterans who have given their lives, their limbs (there is a one-legged man with a parrot on his shoulder), and their sanity to this country. Best of all, we get all five books with just one Audible credit! This book is well-written and deserves five stars!
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