Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Icing on the Corpse (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery Book 3)

Author:  Liz Mugavero
Genre:  Mystery

Five Stars

Kristan "Stan" Connor is thrilled to be invited to the Groundhog Day festivities in quirky Frog Ledge, Connecticut. Her organic, home-baked pet treats are a big hit at the annual celebration, though an important guest is curiously absent . . . 

When Helga Oliver, the town's elderly historian, is found crumpled in the basement of the Historical Museum, the close-knit town is devastated. But after some tenacious digging, Stan discovers Helga was pushed down the stairs--and that this picture-perfect New England town may hide some dark secrets . . .

Stan's dogged determination reveals Helga's ties to an unsolved death in 1948 . . . but how does that connect to Adrian Fox, who's just arrived in town to shoot an episode of Celebrity Ghost Hunters? Stan is going to have to be very careful in chasing down the killer--if she wants to live to see another winter...


Stan Connor is the owner of Pawsitively Organic, where she makes home-made pet food and treats for dogs and cats.   She is attending the Groundhog Day festivities in the small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut where she lives. So when she meets Sarah Oliver, a self-proclaimed psychic, who immediately claims there's something wrong with her mother, Helga, the town's historian, and she is later found at the bottom of the stairs of the museum, Stan knows that something Just Isn't Right.  Especially when Helga's friend Betty notes that Helga's cane wasn't with her, and at 87 years old, she tells Stan Helga never went anywhere without it.

Shortly after this, Stan's friend Izzy, along with Stan's maybe-boyfriend Jake are renovating a building that just might turn out to be haunted.  When the host and crew of a television reality show called Celebrity Ghost Hunters shows up unannounced, claiming someone gave him an anonymous tip regarding the haunting, Stan finds out that it may have something to do with an unsolved murder from 1948, and something that just might connect Helga to it.

To make things worse, Helga was like a grandmother to Jake and his family, and it is causing tension between the two, especially when Stan lets the star of the show, Adrian Fox, know that she's all for going on the ghost hunt with him.  Things are also strained between her and Jake's two sisters, Breanna, and Jessie Pasquale, the trooper who is investigating the murder - not to mention that she and Jessie don't have the best relationship anyway.

As if this weren't enough, Stan is asked to cater a 'doggie wedding' for a town resident, Dede Richardson, and she wants it done Valentine's Day, with a cake and treats for the bride and groom and all their guests.  Stan is really running it close this time.

This is the third book in the "Pawsitively Organic" series, and it is just as delightful as the other two.  I really enjoyed the tie-in with an old murder (I love novels that have old, unsolved murders in them, just slightly macabre, but not too) and the way the story was written was completely believable.  An old murder that's been hushed-up, people refusing to talk about it...well, these are the things of a book that you can really dig into.  And this one was completely riveting.

When we discover who killed the dead man (and we know we will,) it was well-thought-out and precisely how things could have happened if they really occurred.  This, folks, is how it's done.  

I also implore you to read the 'end credits' as it were, because you're going to get a nice surprise about one of the characters in the book (when I read a book, I read a book.)  An admirable addition to the series, highly recommended.

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