‘Killing Trail’ – Timber Creek K9 Mysteries #1 by Margaret Mizushima

When a young girl is found dead in the mountains outside Timber Creek, lifelong resident Officer Mattie Cobb and her partner, K-9 police dog Robo, are assigned to the case that has rocked the small Colorado town. 

With the help of Cole Walker, a local veterinarian and single father, Mattie and Robo must track down the truth before it claims another victim. But the more Mattie investigates, the more she realizes how many secrets her town holds. And the key may be Cole’s daughter, who knows more than she’s saying. The murder was just the beginning, and if Mattie isn’t careful, she and Robo could be next.

I downloaded ‘Killing Trail’, the first book in the Timber Creek K9 Mystery series for lots of reasons – it’s got a non-threatening cover, It has a dog in it, it’s set in the Rockies, it has a dog in it, it was free as part of Audible Plus, it has a dog in it, it was narrated by the always reliable Nancy Wu and did I mention it has a dog in it?

The start was a little slow but the people were interesting and the details were realistic in an ok-to-watch-at-school kind of way. There’s no schmaltzy proselytising and the romance elements are muted and kept in the background. The mystery kept my interest all the way through and of course, I cheered for the dog and his handler as between them they saved the day and brought the bad guys to justice. This book laid the foundation for the development of a credible ensemble cast and the growth of the main character and her partnership with her dog.

I’ve downloaded the second book in the series, ‘Stalking Ground’, for all the same reasons that I downloaded ‘Killing Trail’ and because I think this series could become a comfort read for me. A series I visit when I want a bit of suspense but I also want to know that nothing really awful is going to happen (excluding murders and a few violent encounters). This isn’t one of those puff-pastry-and-cream cosy mysteries – it’s more like the perfect soup-and-a-sandwich at your favourite diner – you know what you’re going to get and you relax into it.

‘Killing trail is the letter K in my TBR ABC challenge.

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