Mabel plans to bring the thrills of volunteering to the masses—if she doesn’t go to the dogs first.
When Mabel finds herself sharing a thicket with a dead body while volunteering with canine search-&-rescue, her life has clearly—once again—gone to the dogs!
After her losing her job at age forty-nine, Mabel thought she’d turned things around. Now she’s doing good by volunteering, and surely, she’ll soon be a successful author, writing about her experiences. After solving two notorious decades-old cold cases while serving as a historical society volunteer, she’s already getting invitations to appear on TV.
Her new assignment couldn’t be simpler. All she has to do is hide in the woods and let Millie the search dog practice finding her. But to her horror, Millie finds more than Mabel—there’s a dead body hiding in the same patch of brush. To make things worse, Mabel’s maybe-boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow, has a dark history with the victim.
While struggling with maid-of-honor duties for best friend Lisa, a string of disasters created by handyman Acey, and a disagreeable new neighbor, can Mabel solve another murder in time to save John’s detective license—if not his neck?
My thoughts: I enjoyed this story and how fast paced the author kept the suspense! I love a mystery book with plenty of twists and turns, which this one provided. Mabel is a fun sleuth to follow along with, and I enjoyed getting to know those around her as well. I love that she is unconventional and that readers have the chance to solve a mystery with a different setting. I look forward to reading more books featuring Mabel! This is a delightful mystery to pick up and read as the weather gets chilly.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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About the Author
Susan Kimmel Wright is a child of the Appalachian Mountains. A former lawyer, Susan has published three children’s mystery novels and is a prolific contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Mabel Goes to the Dogs, Book Two in Mysteries of Medicine Spring, her first cozy mystery series for adult readers, is now available from Mountain Brook Ink. Susan shares an 1875 farmhouse in southwestern PA with her husband, several dogs and cats, and an allegedly excessive stockpile of coffee and tea mugs.
More from Susan
A bit about Mabel and how she got herself into this situation…
One of the great joys of writing this series has been the wonderful reaction my main character Mabel has gotten from so many readers. Typical comments are: “I love how quirky and imperfect Mabel is…Mabel is a fun character with a big heart who has the best of intentions.” (I also hear “hilarious” a lot… 😉)
Mabel is fifty, and her entire life has just unceremoniously changed. For the past twenty-three years, she’s had a job as a low-level attorney in a law firm. Boring, yes, but every day, she knew where she was going, what she was doing, and when and how much she was going to get paid. But suddenly, she gets the ax, and her old life is over. Blessed with a severance package from her former employer, as well as an inheritance from her grandma (also named Mabel) that includes a cluttered Victorian house in the town of Medicine Spring, Mabel resolves to reinvent herself. She will do good by volunteering while building a glamorous new career as a writer.
Many readers have told me they see themselves in Mabel. As one reviewer said, “She’s a bundle of insecurities ironclad in over self-confidence and I can relate to that!” And I guess I do too! While Mabel is certainly a product of my imagination, she also reflects a bit of me. I left my job as a lawyer after about twenty years too (though I didn’t “get the ax!). I also live in a somewhat ramshackle Victorian farmhouse with a bunch of animals, and I see many of Mabel’s insecurities in myself. (Not to mention Mabel’s love of food—writing about Mabel’s diet gives me the opportunity to indulge in all the yummy things I try to limit in real life!)
Of course, nothing goes according to Mabel’s master plan. Mabel knows little about writing, her new old house is stuffed to the rafters with her grandma’s accumulations and comes with a hostile neighbor bent on continuing a decades’ old feud, and her first volunteer endeavor comes complete with a dead body. On the plus side, Mabel and her cat Koi acquire a new family member—Grandma Mabel’s big dog Barnacle, and Mabel seems also to have acquired a possible boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow.
By the time we run into Mabel in Mabel Goes to the Dogs, she has stumbled through two homicide investigations and also discovered the solution to an eighty-year-old cold case—the ax murder of a father and son in a neighboring historic house. This has gotten her an invitation to appear on a local morning TV show—and little else. Then Mabel undertakes a new volunteer assignment, helping train search-and-rescue dogs. The discovery of yet another body makes her wonder if she’s somehow bringing this on herself. Boyfriend John assures her, “You’re not causing dead bodies with the power of your mind, you goof.” Mabel isn’t so sure. Nobody else seems to be having this problem.
At least, life is now far from boring in the village of Medicine Spring…
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 8
Lily’s Book Reviews, September 8
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 9
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 10
Inklings and notions, September 11
Texas Book-aholic, September 12
Pause for Tales, September 13
deb’s Book Review, September 13
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 14
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 15
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 16
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 17
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 18
Blogging With Carol, September 19
For Him and My Family, September 20
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 21 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, September 21
To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Mabel Goes to the Dogs!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.