A baker of doggie treats turns detective.
Stan Connor (Murder Most Finicky, 2015, etc.) loves her new life in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, where she and boyfriend Jake McGee preside over a menagerie of pets and she prepares for the grand opening of Pawsitively Organic Pet Patisserie and Café. But when nasty Eleanor Chang, Stan’s nemesis at Warner, the high-powered consulting firm she left, turns up dead at an engagement party, it throws a jolt into Stan’s newfound bucolic bliss. Even worse, Stan’s ex Richard Ruse is arrested for the murder in what seems like an obvious coverup. Despite their messy breakup, Stan wants to clear Richard, but not before she enlists local yoga teacher Francie Tucker and Jake’s sister, Brenna, to help her bake approximately one gazillion Vegetable Beef Crackers and Parmesan Cheese Bones for her canine clients, shelters her sister, Caitlyn, from a too-avid suitor, and raises funds for a bulletproof vest for Trooper Garrett Colby’s police dog. All these comings and goings stretch the arc of this tale so mercilessly that the eventual investigation seems almost like a sequel added to the tail end of an endless paean to the joys of small-town friendship.
A trimmer plotline might help Mugavero’s future entries, but in this one, the tail definitely wags the dog.