Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Review: Big Bunny Bump Off (mystery, animal shelter)

Big Bunny Bump Off: A Zoe Donovan Mystery with Recipes, by Kathi Daley (Katherine Daley, 2014, 187 pages, $6.99)

A Russian Contemporary Mystery Novel with Recipes?

Do you like long, convoluted Russian novels? If so, you will love this shorter contemporary mystery.

So contemporary that each chapter is titled with the day and date of the story AND it is this year -2014! How cool is that? From Sunday, March 23rd through Easter!

The first chapter sets the stage with more characters than I could keep track of. I did become familiar with most of them, but since I read Big Bunny too slowly, I didn’t recall all of them. I should have begun Big Bunny with a pen and paper to take notes with.

For Adults - Or is this a Book for Junior High Kids?

Yes, I have been known to be naïve but I am also intuitive. However, somehow, I missed what Big Bunny was all about. At first, perhaps looking at the pastel cover with daisies and bunnies and a little dust-mop of a dog, I somehow thought this was a young adult book. It took quite a while to figure out it was an adult novelette. The protagonist is probably in her mid-20s as it turned out, not 10 or 12 years old as I thought for a long time.

A Holiday Series of Recipe Mysteries

Of course, Big Bunny is not the first in the series. If I had read the previous four, I would never have expected a child to solve this mystery. Previous titles center around Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Daley also has Beach Blanket Barbie, a Paradise Lake series (Pumpkins, Snowmen, and Bikinis) and a Road to Christmas romance - quite prolific with her very intriguing titles.

What’s it All About?

Zoe runs an animal shelter* and may soon be getting engaged to the wealthy and wonderful Zak. Everyone is just about perfect in this West Coast small town (except for the murderer, of course, and perhaps even the murderee).

In a nutshell, the selfish banker in town is the bunny in the small town’s annual Easter play but is found dead by our heroine. Who could have done it? Well, as it turns out, about five folks (peripheral to the main stories)!

Cooking up a Mystery

I love the recipes and even though to say I am a non-cook is an understatement, I believe I may just try a couple of them – they have very few ingredients which I need in a recipe. However, I totally forgot about the recipes in the back of the book until I was almost finished reading and then some dishes were mentioned whose recipes were not supplied. Perhaps in her next book, Daley can mention the recipes in the text and point to their location in the back of the book.

For Adults?

With babies born at the end of the story, expensive gifts and bills paid, with single parents ‘hooking up’ to live happily ever after, with Zoe who lives on a (sigh!) houseboat and other characters to numerous to mention or even remember, this is a good beach read for the summer. But, by then, Daley will have a summer beach book out!

On second thought, even a young pre-teen girl would like Big Bunny: it’s fast-reading, has animals and babies and good, good people (with one or two exceptions).

*Reminds me of another recently read book about an animal shelter manager woman with a wealthy benefactor who solves murders, The More the Terrier.

Caveat:  This book was sent to me for review.

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