Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Trust the Terrier by D.L.Mitchell

First Lines: "Meeeooooowwwwwww!" "Sounds like Mrs. Pringle and Fluffy are early again," Anthony said, stating the obvious.
After buying the Coral Shores Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Emily Benton has put her personal life on hold. All of her focus is on the business. A house call to Mrs. Eliza Klein finds one very distressed terrier named Elvis and Mrs. Klein face down on the floor dead. Emily immediately calls her brother, Deputy Sheriff Duncan Benton.
The cause of death triggers a murder investigation, and Emily finds herself drawn into it, especially since she's temporarily brought Elvis into her home. The little terrier manages to turn Emily and her best friend Anthony into amateur sleuths while the professionals-- Emily's brother and Detective Mike Lane-- work hard to uncover the truth.
I have a weakness for cozy mysteries featuring veterinarians, and the dog lover in me couldn't resist the cover of D.L. Mitchell's Trust the Terrier. While I did find the main character exasperating, there is a lot to like about this first Coral Shores Veterinary mystery.
For one thing, the setting is a winner. The town of Coral Shores on the Florida Gulf Coast is a winner. Its strict building codes mean it's not the usual tourist trap, and I'm all for that. There's also the Coral Shores Turtle Project that Emily is a part of, and I always like to see people banding together to protect endangered wildlife. The author also takes readers right into a busy veterinary practice for some behind-the-scenes looks at what goes on.
Dr. Emily Benton's first outing as an amateur sleuth is aided by the dead woman's daughter who can afford to hire a private pathologist, saving valuable time in finding clues. It also doesn't hurt that her brother is the deputy sheriff in town. Emily is still grieving the death of her mother and often makes use of her mother's extensive flip-flop collection. She also has a Maine Coon cat named Bella who must get used to Elvis the canine house guest.
As I said, there's a lot to like in Trust the Terrier, but I found Emily exasperating. All dog lovers know to trust their pets whenever they strongly react to another human, but it took Emily eons to figure out why Elvis always went ballistic around one person. Then there was her belief that her brother should share every little piece of information from the murder investigation he was conducting. One of these days, I'd like to see a character lose his job for sharing information he knows he shouldn't, although that would put a serious cramp in some amateurs' sleuthing attempts.

There was also a bit more romance in this book than I really care for, but I do have to admit that it was handled well. However, what really chapped my hide was Emily's TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) moments. One such example is when she sees the truck belonging to a man she knows to be extremely dangerous parked out on the street. What does she do? She tells no one and goes out after dark to check it out. I rolled my eyes so far back in my head that they almost stuck.

Even though there is a lot to like about Trust the Terrier, the main character's behavior makes it doubtful that I'll read further in the series. Shame on you, Emily.

Trust the Terrier by D.L. Mitchell
eISBN: 9781685133467
Black Rose Writing © 2023
eBook, 211 pages

Cozy Mystery, #1 Coral Shores Veterinary mystery
Rating: C
Source: Purchased from Amazon.


  1. Love the dog and cat in this one just by reading the review. But women amateur sleuths going out late at night alone to check out a dangerous person's truck (or anything) also drives me up a tree. When a police woman does it, it's even more aggravating. But basic survival instincts should kick in. I'm glad she wasn't wearing 4" heels, too.

  2. The setting and context are really appealing, Cathy. But honestly, the way you describe Emily makes me almost want to cringe. Really? Really? The dog and cat are great, and I like it that she's a vet. But I don't think so...

  3. Replies
    1. I don't blame you. I normally don't let book covers have much sway over what I choose to read, but I have a particular fondness for Westies.

  4. That is the best cover ever! It's too bad about Emily's TSTL moments, though. Those will stop me from reading more, too.

    1. Yes, that is one element that tends to be a deal breaker when it comes to reading more of a series.

  5. I've been enjoying the recent trend of mysteries with K9s involved with the human detectives. So I would have been willing to try something a little more cozy due to the animals' participation. Your review makes it obvious that this book is not worth that try - fortunately, I have plenty of other TBR choices!

    1. I don't think either one of us will ever run out of books to read, Kate. :-)

  6. The setting is nice and the cover very enticing

    1. Yes, they are-- and that cover is what finally decided me to read the book!


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