About the Book
Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Genre: Christian/Cozy Mystery/Romance Fiction
Release date: April, 2023
Who Is Spray Painting the Dogs in Brenham, Texas?
Strange happenings are afoot in Brenham, Texas, as dogs start showing up at the Lone Star Veterinary Clinic with a Z spray painted on them. The cops blame pranksters, while pet owners are blaming each other. Receptionist Cassidy Carter uses her social media expertise to try to get the culprit caught on camera, but Texas game warden, Jason Cameron, thinks online media attention is the last thing this case needs. When Cassidy’s post goes viral, more dogs are found painted and the clinic gets marked with a big Z too. How could her good intentions have backfired so badly?
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This is a sweet cozy mystery. No violence, just an easy and delightful mystery to solve. There is a little romance included between Jason, the game warden and Cassidy. It's a bit testy. Cassidy says Jason is black and white and she is a rainbow. What a great comparison. I have to admit, Jason was a bit controlling for me. Kudos for Cassidy showing at least some patience with him.
There is some humor too. I laughed at the beauty shop scene. And since it is about dogs with mysterious symbols painted on them, it is a fun novel for dog lovers. The mystery is solved pretty quickly near the end with information added at that point so we didn't get a chance to figure it out ourselves. Nonetheless, a delightful and fun cozy mystery.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.
Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.
More from Kathleen
MEET BAXTER: LIFE THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCHNAUZER
Recently I’ve been working on a series of cozy mystery novels set in a veterinary clinic in Brenham, Texas. I love Brenham. It’s one of my favorite cities and I’m thankful that it’s very near to me. Without Brenham, there would be no Blue Bell ice cream.
But I digress.
While preparing for the release of the fourth book in the series, The Bark of Zorro, I thought about what drew me to writing this series, other than ice cream, of course. It didn’t take me long to realize it was the dogs. During the course of the series there are fancy pets and sassy strays, but they all have one thing in common: they steal our hearts.
Let me tell you about a pup that stole my heart.
Baxter has very little stress beyond whether his water bowl stays full, his food bowl is consistently replenished, and his trips outside are not withheld. In short–which he is–Baxter is a low maintenance guy, er dog.
He makes our house a home and gives us ears to scratch and a built-in vacuum cleaner to handle any kitchen messes that reach the floor.
Unfortunately, this fellow has one rather annoying habit. He likes to walk a half-step ahead of me while looking back to be sure I am following. Not the best way to make progress of any kind. In fact, life would be much less complicated if Baxter would just let me do the leading while he does the following.
I said this recently. Aloud. Yes, to a Miniature Schnauzer. And as the words left my mouth, I was struck with the thought that maybe I am guilty of the same thing.
How many times have I gotten ahead of God only to realize He wasn’t having any of it? How many more times did I think I knew exactly where God was going–or what He was going to do–only to realize I was nowhere near close in my guess? Just as Baxter –who has appointed himself guardian of our home– sometimes barks when there’s nothing there, I too, let nothing (in the form of fear, worry, angst, or just plain imagination) grab my attention and hold it.
Here’s something else about Baxter: he’s small. Eleven pounds soaking wet small, to be precise. So small, my husband has to be careful where he steps lest he accidentally squash the poor pup with his size 13 shoes.
Though we’re physical much larger than my Baxter, I cam certainly relate to that feeling of being easily overlooked. Have you ever felt small? Really, really small? The kind of small where someone could walk right past and not even notice you?
Maybe it’s the people in your world who just don’t seem to know you’re there. Or it’s a goal you’ve long since given up accomplishing because it seems there are so many others doing it already.
Life can be that way. It’s all enough to make a person want to fade into the wallpaper or hide behind a potted plant. To make us feel as though we’re not at home, even when we are home.
I know that feeling. As a writer of Christian fiction for twenty years, I have been blessed to have sold more than two million copies of my more than one hundred novels, novellas, and nonfiction books. That’s anything but small. And yet when I look at all the amazing things that others have done, compare myself to others, well…small is exactly how I sometimes feel.
There’s just one remedy for that. Stop comparing! I’m a work in progress on this issue, but Baxter has this skill mastered. There are no comparisons in the Miniature Schnauzer world—something I could definitely learn.
Baxter has another side to him, a loyal and faithful side that I adore. Where I am, Baxter wants to be. My return from a brief trip away sends him into a crazy dance of joy that requires several rooms of the house to adequately perform. My presence is his source of joy and comfort.
So, the thought struck me: what if I looked at my relationship with God like that? What if I found contentment and joy merely in resting in his presence? What if I followed Him rather than leading? What if my home was filled with the evidence that God was not just welcome here but adored. What if…
I learned something years ago about this journey called the Christian life. The more I learn about the Lord, the more I realize how much I do not know and how very far away from any sort of perfection I am. That knowledge is sobering. Humbling.
And yet it is encouraging.
I wish you could all meet Baxter. But since you can’t check out The Bark of Zorro and the other books in the Gone to the Dogs series to meet our cast of fancy pets and sassy strays. I think you’ll like them and their humans. But then what’s not to like about a handsome game warden, a red-haired office manager with a penchant for her word-of-the-day calendar and the rest of the Lone Star Vet Clinic crew? Check them out and you’ll see!
Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 26
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 26
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 27
Cover Lover Book Review, April 28
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 28
Vicky Sluiter, April 29
Lily’s Book Reviews, April 30
Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 30
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 1
Texas Book-aholic, May 2
The Book Club Network, May 3
Remembrancy, May 4
Blogging With Carol, May 6
Debs book review, May 6
For Him and My Family, May 7
Mary Hake, May 7
Holly’s Book Corner, May 8
Splashes of Joy, May 8
Pause for Tales, May 9
Labor Not in Vain, May 9
To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)