Hey everybody, Truffles at the keyboard! Today I'm interviewing Biscuit, the cute canine star of Linda O. Johnston's brand new book Bite the Biscuit, the first in her Barkery & Biscuits mystery series. Following our little chat is our Tortie Shorties review and your chance to win a copy of the book! Enjoy :)
Welcome, Biscuit! Thank you so much for answering a few questions for us today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Carrie?
I'm what humans call a mixed breed dog, part toy poodle and part terrier, although to me I'm just me. My fur is gold color and fuzzy. I'm considered a rescue since I met Carrie after I was brought into Mountaintop Rescue in Knobcone Heights, California. I don't really want to get into my life before that, but I love Carrie!
Carrie's Barkery (a homemade dog biscuit bakery) must be heaven on earth for a pup like yourself! Do you get to snack on samples all day?
This Barkery stuff is really fun. Carrie doesn't give me samples all day, but I get a lot, sometimes from her assistants. The treats Carrie came up with taste good so, yes, I could eat them all the time. They're her own recipes, you know--nice and healthy stuff, she says, that she develops as she works at her other career as a vet tech.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up really early in the morning now with Carrie, since she needs to go to her two shops by around what she calls five o'clock AM so she can bake things to sell in Barkery & Biscuits, for dog stuff, and Icing on the Cake, for people treats. It used to be we didn't have to get up that early when she was only a veterinary technician, and then while she was working I would stay in the doggy daycare facility at her veterinary clinic. I still spend some time there, since she works at the clinic part-time when not at her shops. But despite how early we have to get up and take my first walk of the day I definitely like things now since I get to spend most of my time in the Barkery. Carrie has told me that it's supposedly not sanitary for people for me to go into Icing on the Cake or the kitchens shared by the two shops, but I'm allowed in the Barkery and so are other dogs, so I get visitors a lot during the days. Plus, Carrie takes me on walks from there, sometimes on the town square across the street which smells very interesting, since other dogs walk there, too. Then Carrie closes up the shops early in the evening and we get to go home and have dinner.
What kinds of trouble do you and Carrie get into in Bite the Biscuit?
There are some people in town, Myra and Harris Ethman, who have their own pet shop and give my poor Carrie a hard time for supposedly competing with them. She doesn't really, because her fresh dog treats are a lot different than their packaged dog meals, but they don't want to hear that. They yell at her--and then Myra is found dead with one of our Barkery treats near her. Poor Carrie is accused of killing Myra. I know better, of course, but no one would listen to me even if I could speak English and tell them how good Carrie really is.
Do you help assist Carrie in any way in solving the mystery?
Kind of, but I can't really talk about what I do to help. It might spoil the story.
How do you feel about kitties?
Kitties are okay. I see them mostly at the veterinary clinic now and then but don't get to play with them. And, yes, I do bark sometimes at the ones who live in our neighborhood.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming adventures?
Carrie tells me there's some kind of mystery involving her brother Neal's new girlfriend whose dog got lost or dognapped or something. I don't know too much about it yet.
From the publisher: Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly has become known for offering healthy dog treats at the clinic where she works. So when the owner of the local bakery moves away, Carrie jumps at the chance to buy the business and convert half of it into the Barkery, a shop where she can make and sell her canine delights.
But Myra Ethman, co-owner of another pet product store, hates the new competition. At the Barkery's opening party, she badmouths Carrie's homemade dog biscuits, insisting she'll find a way to shut the place down. When Myra is found dead with a Barkery biscuit beside her, Carrie must prove she didn't do it before she's collared for murder.
You can always count on Linda O. Johnston for a great pet cozy, and this first book in the Barkery & Biscuits mystery series is no exception. Protagonist Carrie has purchased the local bakery, Icing on the Cake, from her best friend, and converts the second half of it into a bakery for dogs, a "Barkery". In addition to the dual bake shops she has her plate full also working part-time as a vet tech. At the Barkery's grand opening party, Carrie gets into an argument with Myra, who co-owns a rival pet store with her husband, and then ends up finding herself the prime suspect in a murder when Myra is found strangled with a dog leash and one of Carrie's dog biscuits by her side. Added to that are some strange things going on at Carrie's shops, and soon she begins to think that someone is purposely trying to sabotage her life.
Carrie is a woman after my own heart. She loves animals passionately and is fortunate enough to have two careers that allow her to be around them all day, every day. There is also a great secondary cast of characters from a trio of men competing for Carrie's affections to her pair of employees who don't exactly get along. The killer's identity remained a mystery to me until the very end, and caught me completely off guard.
Two of the most popular themes in cozy mysteries are culinary and pets...this new series is a perfect blend of the two!