Paws for Murder by Scarlett English

paws for murder

Title: Paws for Murder (The Barking Mad Mysteries #1)

Author: Scarlett English

Published on: 5th January 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Buy on Amazon

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Veterinarian Petronella Knight is happy in the small quaint village of Adlebury. A job she loves, good friends and lovely pets, what else could she ask for? She gets into an argument with one of the dog breeders Gladys Harrington. Gladys wants to put down a puppy as it is untrainable. Petronella is shocked hearing this and gets into an argument with Gladys. This ends with Petronella wanting to keep the puppy and Gladys asking her to pay for it. Gladys leaves the vet clinic sulking, and makes snide remarks on Petronella’s monetary condition and everything else.

Later, Petronella stops by Gladys house to pay for the puppy and finds Gladys lying at the bottom of the stairs – dead. Her son enters at the same time and accuses Petronella of killing his mother. The only person who comes to her rescue is an American who’s recently joined the local constabulary.

Paws for Murder is the first book in The barking Mad Mystery series by Scarlett English.


The story is funny at times. The Americanisms and Britishisms, Garrett’s confusion over the lingo and driving on the ‘wrong side’ made me laugh. And then, there were few incidents which were more like, is this supposed to be funny?

Some of the characters doings seemed absurd. Like, when Petronella is accused of committing the crime, she’s made to kneel down, hands above her head. She stays like this until Garrett, the handsome American fella, comes to her rescue. Then comes this ‘incident’ at the pub. Petronella ends up dropping a plate full of hot curry and whatnots on Garrett’s lap (very close to the groin. Ouch!) Then splashes a glass full of cold water on his face. Double ouch!

As a debut to the series, I expected some kind of character development. The introduction to the characters is okay, but the story focuses more on Garrett and Petronella’s daily life. Something like half Lit-Fic and half Cozy with a tinge of Mystery. The pets in the story are adorable, no doubt about that. There’s a guard duck (yes, you read it right!) named George. He appears only twice in the story and both times, he’s pecking at something. Then comes a cat named Pawdry Hepburn and the puppy that Petronella rescued – he’s called Sherlock Bones.

As the story ends, the identity of the killer is made obvious to the reader. I wouldn’t say the ending is bad; it’s just okay – acceptable. Also, the ending seemed a tad hurried up. Overall, this was an okay read. Nothing great, at the same time, not bad either.

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