Thursday, December 3, 2020

Review: Buried to the Brim by Jenn McKinlay

by Jenn McKinlay
Release Date: January 28th 2020
2020 Berkley
Paperback Edition; 304 Pages
ISBN: 978-1984804723
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

London's most refined canines and their humans are gearing up for the Pets and Wellness Society's annual dog show--and Betty Wentworth, favorite aunt to Scarlett's fiancé Harrison and proud owner of corgi front-runner Freddy, knows that this could be their year with the right edge. Never one to turn away a corgi in need, Scarlett convinces her milliner cousin, Vivian, to design matching hats for dream team Betty and Freddy as they compete for Best in Show.

It's a tail wagging good time until the dog-food sponsor of the event is found dead and Betty is the prime suspect. Vivian and Scarlett agree to enter the competition in Betty's place and help Harrison catch the real killer before Betty is collared for a crime she didn't commit.
My Thoughts
Buried to the Brim was a somewhat fun and enjoyable story, but I have to say that it was really light on the mystery. I have always enjoyed these books for the witty comments between the characters and the British cynicism that Scarlett just can't seem to master. I was pleasantly surprised to learn there was another book in the series as I thought the last one was the final one. I do have to say that this was probably my least favourite book of this series. 

First of all, I did find the usual camaraderie among the characters to be quite fun and I enjoyed it for that reason.  I also quite enjoyed the dogs and their antics and thought designing hats and other pieces of clothing would be a major hit. Dog owners spend an awful lot of money on their beloved pets so I could see why this would be popular.  

I was not a fan of how the author treated the character of Aunt Betty.  I had to read back to double-check her age as I thought at first I had read it wrong, but nope, late fifties.  Okay. So why was everyone treating her as if she was fragile and needed to sit down all of the time? I work out in the gym with 60 year old women who can bench press double what I do so to insinuate she is weak just because of her age blows me away and I couldn't overlook it.  And while I fully understand her competitive nature and why she wanted to win the dog competition so badly, I am still at a loss as to how the dog food made her dog sick.  I get that something was going on and the company was cutting costs, but it was vague and unspecified.   
Which brings me to the mystery.  Sorry, but it was weak, predictable, and very easy to solve.  Unfortunately, the mystery just did not grab my attention so it was a good thing I liked the main characters as it came close to being a DNF for me.   

Buried to the Brim is one of those books over which I have very mixed feelings.  I did think it was light and fun with regards to the characters and their interactions.  It was however, very, very light on the mystery and I think the author spent way too much time describing things that were useless.  It actually makes me wonder why the author chose to write another book in this series when it was supposed to be done.  Would I read another instalment? I don't really know at this point. 


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