Title- Karma’s A Bitch
Author- Shannon Esposito
Genre- Cozy Mystery
Rating- 5 out of 5 Cupcakes
Darwin Winters, reluctant pet psychic, is determined to leave her family’s paranormal past behind and lead a normal life. So she strikes out on her own and opens up a new pet boutique in St. Pete, Florida. When a local homeless man she befriends is found dead, and the police assume it’s a suicide, Darwin has no choice but to use her gift to help collar the killer.
She adopts his grieving mastiff, Karma—and with the dog’s help—tries to piece together the events of that fatal night. Accepting the visions is one thing, but can she solve the mystery without revealing her powers to the jaded, yet drool-worthy, detective in charge of the case? Or will the killer put an end to her psychic sleuthing and bury the truth for good?
It was another gorgeous June morning, filled with the sounds of light traffic and bird songs. The sky was a soft metallic silver, brushed with wispy gray clouds as I steered onto the Third Avenue sidewalk. A few early risers perused the area. The ride to Mirror Lake should only take fifteen minutes but I had packed an iced water bottle, a bagel and some fruit in case I had to wait for Frankie to show up.
As I approached the road that circled around Mirror Lake, a ferocious barking echoed off the surrounding buildings from the other side. My muscles tensed. Could I outrun an angry dog on a bike? I hoped so. I steered off Mirror Lake Dr. and onto the sidewalk, my curiosity piqued as the barking grew more insistent.
As I rounded the final bend, I could see police cars in the gated parking lot and a crowd of people in the grass. When I pulled around behind the police cars, I dropped my bike and weaved my way through the crowd. What was going on? Two of the officers had their guns drawn and pointed at the lake. A few others were trying to get the spectators to back up. I wasn’t real comfortable around guns, but I was even less comfortable with an animal in distress. I slipped deeper into the crowd as another round of ferocious barking began.What had the poor thing so riled up? “Excuse me,” I said, feeling my foot come down on someone else’s. “Sorry.”
Then I froze as I emerged in front of the crowd and could see down the slight embankment. My heart almost stopped. A body lay sprawled out, face down in the grass near the lip of the water. And there, standing over it was Karma. “Karma!” I cried. Then I ran. Yep, under the police tape, straight to the place where the guns were pointed. Not my brightest moment, I know. But, I’d read enough stories to realize
Karma was in danger of being shot. He was big and barking like a slathering, crazed beast. The police were probably scared of him but needed to get to the man. I heard someone yell, “Stop!” from a distance, but I kept focused on Karma, who was now turned my way, his ears up, eyes alert. My sandals slipped in the wet grass and I fell hard on my knees in front of Karma. I looked up. “It’s okay, boy. It’s okay.” He was hot and panting. He collapsed beside the man and laid his head on the man’s back with a whimper.
Reviewed by Crystal Hernandez
Darwin Winter’s has a paranormal past that she is trying desperately to leave behind but her heart wont let innocent animals suffer. Starting over in the small town St. Pete in sunny Florida Darwin and friend Sylvia open a Pet Boutique catering to all the towns pampered pooches. Things couldn’t be more wonderful with a fresh start and a blooming business… but Darwin soon finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation… one that can get her added to the list of victims…
I really enjoyed reading this little cozy! I found the plot to be well thought out and not like any other cozy I have read. I normally figure out who done it pretty quickly and I did get half way there but was pleasantly surprised with some twists that I didn’t see coming.
I especially liked Darwin and her no backing down determination. A determination that get’s her in trouble more than once and I can relate! She is fierce when it comes to protecting her friends and furry creatures and I admired that. My heart just about melted when Karma – an 80 pound toothless mastiff was introduced and he kept tight hold on it through out the rest of the story. This is a great read that is just a teenie bit darker than your typical cozy and well worth the read. The great news is you can start the series off free!
This book gets a solid 5 out of 5 cupcakes from me and I would gladly read the next in the series! It has also inspired some yummy oeey gooey peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! Keep reading for the recipe!
1 cup chunky peanut butter (my preference you can use creamy if you prefer)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
1/4 teaspon of kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I like dark chocolate but use whatever you prefer)
Preheat your oven to 350° before getting started. In a large mixing bowl stir together all ingredients except chocolate chips until everything is well incorporated. Add 3/4 of the cup of chocolate chips leaving some to stud cookies just before putting into the oven. (this gives you chocolate chips in every bite)
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a lined baking sheet. (Do no used buttered or oiled baking sheet)Once cookies are ready to go be sure to “stud” each cookie with an additional 3-4 chocolate chips.
Bake cookies at 350° for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then enjoy with your favorite book!
Shannon Esposito lives in a magical gulf coast town with fluorescent sunsets, purple dragonflies and the occasional backyard alligator. Her mysteries transport readers to Florida without the hefty price of airfare. Although she knew from the age of five she wanted to be a writer, she briefly entertained the idea of being a scientist, until she found out it involved math, which gives her hives.
She shares this little corner of paradise with her husband, twin boys and dogs. If she’s not writing, you’ll find her coddling one of the above, hiding with a book or daydreaming with her toes in the sand.
You can visit her at murderinparadise.com