Review: Beaglemania by Linda O. Johnston

10 Mar

Beaglemania (Pet Rescue Mystery, #1)I can’t give Beaglemania an overall rating. Some aspects worked well, others not so much. What are you looking for in a cozy mystery, character or crime solving?

Summary via Goodreads:

Lauren Vancouver is the head of HotRescues, a no-kill animal shelter north of Los Angeles, but it’s often human nature that puts her in the path of danger. Just like when she helps rescue four adorable beagle puppies that were dumped down a drainpipe at a nasty puppy mill. One of the mill’s employees has a history of dog abuse-and a bone to pick with Lauren. And when he’s found dead at HotRescues after threatening her, Lauren will have to sniff out the real killer to keep herself out of a cage…


I’d give 4 stars to parts of Beaglemania, including Lauren (the main character), the animals, the details about animal rescue, and the relationship that Lauren has with the dogs. It really made me want to go volunteer at a rescue organization (I’ve been thinking for a while about fostering kittens…). Lauren is a pleasantly complex character. There was a lot of backstory here, and I look forward to seeing her settle into her future.

I’d give a solid 3.5 stars to most of the supporting characters and their relationships with Lauren. I’d enjoy reading more about many of them, but this was a short book, and a lot of them were introduced. Not a problem, but I didn’t have a chance to love them.

The overall writing was also in this range. It’s pretty much solid, doing its job without distracting.

If this book could have been turned into another book– say, chick lit, focusing on the lives of these characters and how the animals fit in, I’d give it 4 stars. I really enjoyed these aspects of this book.

Unfortunately, it was a mystery novel. This part of the plot would get a much lower rating. I know it was a cozy, and I haven’t been reading cozies much recently (I’ve missed them!). Did I forget my suspension of disbelief? I know that I always read them for the characters, not the details of the crimes.

Part of the problem was that I thought some interesting clues were set down early on, and these set me thinking about the possibilities. Unfortunately, these weren’t used, weren’t explained and the final answer didn’t really work for me.

So, I enjoyed reading the book up until the last few pages. I’ll probably pick up the next book in the series. And I’m not even going to try for an overall rating.

I recieved Beaglemania from the publisher for review.


Posted by on March 10, 2011 in books, reviews


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5 responses to “Review: Beaglemania by Linda O. Johnston

  1. Rebecca Rasmussen

    March 11, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Interesting to see the ups and downs of this book — I like how you talked about what parts you’d rate and why 🙂

  2. Mary

    March 13, 2011 at 4:53 am

    I don’t read a lot of mysteries and when I do it’s usually a cozy. I appreciate your review. I would pick the book up based on the cover alone 🙂

  3. Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

    March 15, 2011 at 9:12 am

    For me, I never expect too much from the mystery aspect of cozies, else I would generally be disappointed. I do tend to like the characters and their interactions.

  4. Mama Chihuahua

    July 28, 2011 at 7:19 am

    You were more generous in your review of this book than I would be. I thought the characters were all flat and the mystery itself very dull. I loved the idea of it being set in a no-kill shelter but the reader gets very little sense of the animals themselves. The writing was so dull that I can’t recall a single character or event in the book. Truly bad.


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