Saturday, February 27, 2021

Book Review : POODLE VERSUS THE VIGILANTE (Cottage Country Cozy Mysteries Book 1) by Anne Shillolo

(from Amazon)

Rocco. He’s got a nose for the news… but can he sniff out a killer? 

A 50-something local newspaper publisher and a pampered prince of a poodle stumble upon a shocking crime in a cottage-country small town. Who killed the mayor? It’s up to Zora Flynn and her nasty small poodle Rocco to sort out a distinctive cast of characters in the town of Williamsport and find the murderer. 

Meet Zora. She’s one of a kind, flavored with a dash of Agatha Raisin and a splash of Stephanie Plum, and her exploits and foibles will have you laughing out loud before the end of Chapter 1. Her small dog, Rocco, wears a bright blue collar studded with yellow crowns. With his regal personality, he amuses Zora with his snide comments and princely demands. Despite this, he is a poodle of action. And Zora’s secret weapon. 

Surrounded by rocky cliffs, pristine lakes and picture-perfect scenery, Williamsport is a charming town in cottage country. But now the murder of the mayor casts a shadow. Police chief Arni Korhonen looks like he stepped from the pages of GQ but he’s being forced to consider Zora as a suspect. Can Zora and her reporters Brady and Olivia track down the real killer before the noose tightens around Zora, jeopardizing her business and their livelihood? 

Poodle Versus The Assassin is the highly entertaining first book in an ongoing series starring Zora and Rocco. (It probably goes without saying, but the Poodle Versus… Series is good, clean fun, except for the occasional suspicious death. No graphic violence, sex or swearing.)


This was a fun read, but then, I'm a sucker for dogs, especially poodles. Zora (and Rocco) discover the body of the neighbor, Louise Carling, who is very active in encouraging green behavior. It's odd, not only because she's dead, but the trash that's been left on her door step. The "vigilante" has been leaving reminders (including dog poop) at the person's home or office who was responsible. There are two major controversies in this small town and the victim was heavily involved in both. Zora, rather than being arrested, is intent on finding the killer and the vigilante.

This is a light read, with humorous events, most involving Zora, and various twists and turns as she follows leads. There are a lot of suspects and the outcome of the new landfill is a touchy subject for all involved. Fans of light cozies will enjoy Zora and Rocco as they search out the killer. This is the first of eight Cottage Country Cozy Mysteries and only 99cents at this posting.

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