Mary McGill, widow and long-time resident of Santa Louisa, a small coastal town in the California wine country, has found plenty to do since retiring from a career as a home economics teacher. She is the go-to person for heading up charitable committees and organizing almost every community fundraiser.
Purebred Dead opens amid the chaos of the Christmas Extravaganza, when Mary must reroute the Posada at the last moment after two children discover the blood-soaked body of local veterinarian Cliff Matthews lying in the manger. More fascinating for the children is the tiny Cockapoo puppy they found crying near the body.
Mary quickly realizes that the children saw the person who stabbed Cliff to death, but since many of the townspeople were wearing similar costumes that night, they are unable to make a positive identification. Unfortunately, the killer spotted them as well, which puts their young lives in danger.
The plot thickens when, a few days later, a local pet store owner is found stabbed to death in his shop. Mary believes the murders are linked and have something to do with dogs. Along with the reader, Mary receives an education in dog breeding, and suspects abound as she learns that many of the Santa Louisa residents are connected with the industry. Her amateur sleuthing leads her and the children to a confrontation with the murderer, and only their wits can prevent them from becoming the next victims.
Purebred Dead is the first in a new series by Kathleen Delaney, author of the Ellen McKenzie cozy mystery series. It is an entertaining read, and with a likeable heroine and charming setting, the series promises to be a winner.
Sharon Marchisello is the author of Going Home, a murder mystery inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s. She has a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She lives in Peachtree City, GA, with her husband and cat, and does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society.
If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the assistance of Emily Eytchison and credited guest reviewers.
And be sure to check out our new book, Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded, an anthology of original short stories by New York Times bestselling authors and newbies alike.
“Murder, mayhem, and mystery! Every story in KILLER NASHVILLE: COLD-BLOODED is filled with
suspense, sizzle and startling twists. I loved it!”- Lisa Jackson, New York Times Bestselling Author
*Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale. Killer Nashville receives zero compensation (other than sometimes the book to review) from publishers who have been selected for the Book of the Day.