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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bite the Biscuit by Linda O Johnston, Review and Guest Post


Bite the Biscuit
(A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Midnight Ink (May 8, 2015)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738745039

Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician, has become known for offering healthy and popular dog treats at the clinic where she works. When the local bakery’s owner moves away, Carrie jumps at the chance to convert it into the Barkery, a shop to make and sell her canine delights.
But Myra Ethman, co-owner of another pet product store, hates the new competition. At the Barkery’s opening party, she badmouths Carrie’s homemade dog biscuits, insisting she’ll find a way to shut the place down. So when Myra is found dead with a Barkery biscuit beside her, Carrie must prove she didn’t do it before she’s collared for murder.
What I Thought:
Linda has done it again.  She has created a captivating cozy with great characters who truly love animals.  I love how she writes about people who love animals and treat them as equals.  I enjoyed this cozy from the time I started it, till I finished it.  It kept me guessing till the very end, which is what I love in a cozy.  I like how Carrie ran a baker and a barkery, I think that would be an excellent idea for a shop.  I look forward to more in the Barkery and Biscuits mystery series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About This Author
Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year.   Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.  She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.
    Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries also from Midnight Ink, kicks off in May with BITE THE BISCUIT.

Author Links:
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Take On Cozy Mysteries

By Linda O. Johnston


(Melina's Book Blog, May 10, 2015

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour)



I love writing cozy mysteries.  In fact, I'm currently writing two cozy series, and I previously wrote two other cozy series.


I'm asked often what constitutes a cozy mystery series.  According to Wikipedia, cozy mysteries are a "subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community."  That's a fair general definition although nothing it says is engraved in stone.  I've seen some cozies that are sexier or more violent than others, for example.  Plus, my first two cozy series took place in Los Angeles, not a small community.


But one thing that tends to be true about cozies is that the protagonist is an amateur sleuth, dragged into solving at least the first crime--which is almost always murder--because she or a close friend or family member is the primary suspect.  And yes, notice that I said "she" since most protagonists of cozies are female.


Cozies tend to run in series, so that the amateur sleuth winds up solving more than one crime over the course of time.  And one really fun thing about them is that there's almost always an underlying theme to each cozy series: a certain type of handicraft or aspect of cooking, for example.


Mine all involve dogs. 


Sometimes there are other pets, too, but I adore dogs and love writing about them.  My new series, the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, is about a veterinary technician, Carrie Kennersly, who jumps at the entrepreneurial opportunity to buy a friend's bakery and turn half of it into a barkery, where she gets to bake and sell the healthy dog treats she developed at her first job.  She has a dog named, appropriately, Biscuit.  She gets to sell treats to owners of dogs as well as people treats for humans.  And she also still works part time as a vet tech.  Oh, and yes, in the first story BITE THE BISCUIT Carrie's a murder suspect when someone in town is murdered after arguing that the Barkery and Biscuits shop is an unworthy competitor to her family's local pet store.


Currently, I'm also writing the Superstition Mysteries, about the fictional town of Destiny, California, which is all about superstitions.  The protagonist Rory Chasen goes there to learn whether superstitions are actually true after her fiancĂ© walks under a ladder and dies soon afterward.  She travels there with her dog and learns that black and white dogs like Pluckie are good luck when Pluckie helps save the life of the owner of the local pet boutique--which Rory winds up managing.  Rory also helps when that sweet senior boutique owner winds up being a murder suspect.


I've also written the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and its spin-off Pet
Rescue Mysteries.


In all of my cozies, my protagonists develop love interests, some more intense than others.  But if they wind up in bed with their guyfriends, that part is off the page. 


And if they happen to see the murdered body there may be blood around, but the description is never extremely graphic.


All of that is a long way of saying that, to me, cozy mysteries are those where there is in fact a mystery or two to solve and an amateur sleuth is drawn in to solve them.  That sleuth has an job or background or hobby that provides an additional reason for readers to choose areas of interest to them while getting the opportunity to read a hopefully fun mystery.


By the way, in case you want to check, the quote above from Wikipedia can be found at,




  1. Bite the Biscuit sounds like a great mystery book! Thank you for a chance to win.

  2. This is right at the top of my TBR list!

  3. Hi Linda, Happy Mother's Day to you. I love the series and own a few of them. I'd gladly jump through hoops to be your lucky winner.

    1. Hi, NoraA--I'm a little late, but a belated Happy Mother's Day to you. Thanks for your great comment!

  4. Can't wait to see if I win a copy of this book. It has the greatest cover that draws me right into reading.

  5. This sounds great, Melina, Happy Mother's Day! I haven't read one of Linda's books yet, so would love to win this one! jeaniedannheim at ymail dot com

    1. Would love for you to read my books, too, Mama Cat!

  6. I've been looking forward to reading this book

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