If you're looking for a cozy mystery series with a charming setting, you can't do any better than Krista Davis' Paws & Claws mysteries. The setting in pet-friendly Wagtail, Virginia is fun and appealing. And, The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer, the second in the series capitalizes on all of the fun with the "Howloween" celebration and the ghost-seeking Apparition Apprehenders.
Holly Miller hasn't even unpacked from her move to Wagtail, but her grandmother, her Oma, needs her help at the Sugar Maple Inn. The lobby is swarming with people as the Apparition Apprehenders Ghost Team arrive, hoping to tape some ghostly appearances in town, particularly at the creepy Wagtail Springs Hotel. Before they can even settle in, there are some strange lights at the Sugar Maple Inn, lights that skeptic Holly can't explain. She can understand, though, why no one seems to like Mallory Gooley, who claims to be an author and girlfriend of a local resident associated with the Apparition Apprehenders. But, Mark Belinski doesn't seem to have a romantic interest in her, and all of the ghost team seem annoyed by the intrusive Mallory.
There are all kinds of ghost stories in Wagtail, including the story of Becca Wraith, who once lived in the house that became the Wagtail Springs Hotel. But, no one expected Mallory to be found drowned at the hotel, dressed as Becca. While the local doctor proclaims it an accidental drowning, Holly and local police officer Dave Quinlan, aren't so sure. There are too many people who were angry at Mallory. Holly, sympathetic to an orphan who had no one to demand answers, teams up with her animal friends and hotel staff to find a killer.
The "Howloween" celebration adds to the atmosphere of this enjoyable mystery. But, it's Wagtail itself, along with the pets that are welcome everywhere in the town, that makes this series shine. And, it appears that the animals are nothing more than dogs and cats behaving normally, but they aid Holly Miller in the search for answers. The town, and the Sugar Maple Inn, are quaint settings that will appeal to animal lovers. And, this time, in The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer, the search for ghosts and ghost stories will appeal to readers as well. Krista Davis' Paws & Claws mysteries are engaging stories.
Krista Davis' website is www.kristadavis.com
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer by Krista Davis. Berkley Prime Crime. 2014. ISBN 9780425262566 (paperback), 301p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.