Bad to the Bone by Linda O. Johnston

Posted May 5, 2017 by Minx

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

Bad to the Bone by Linda O. Johnston Bad to the Bone by Linda O. Johnston
Series: Bakery & Biscuits Mystery #3
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: May 8, 2017
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 288
ISBN: 0738746282
Purchase at: Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository Google Play Kobo IndieBound Books-A-Million
Minx's Rating:

Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly, owner of the Barkery & Biscuits bakery for dogs, is reluctant to sell her recipes to pet food manufacturer VimPets. Jack Loroco, a VimPets representative, assures Carrie that it would be a great opportunity to grow her business. His promising new relationship with Carrie's friend, Billi Matlock, doesn't hurt his cause. But the budding romance takes a bad turn when Wanda Addler, another VimPets employee, sets her sights on Jack.
After threatening to ruin Jack's career if he doesn't give her what she wants, Wanda is found dead. Jack and Billi are put at the top of the suspect list, and Carrie is doggone determined to rescue them from a life behind bars.


Bad to the Bone is a cozy mystery that is pet oriented and the third story in the Bakery & Biscuits Mystery series. This story is written in first person with Carrie Kennersly being the narrator. There is lots of puppy love throughout this story and I mean that literally. With each character in this story there is inevitably a doggy companion. This is a must read for dog lovers!

The main protagonist, Carrie, works as a part-time veterinary technician and is owner of a bakery that caters to an animal clientele. Working at a clinic she has developed a truly unique line of dog treats and has been in talks with VimPets representative Jack Loroco about possibly adding her treats to one of their inventory lines. Carrie and Jack have gone out on a few dates in the past but in this book their relationship is purely professional. In fact, her new friend Billi seems to being developing quite a romance with Jack.

Or so it seemed until Wanda, another VimPets rep, came into town. She came in like a whirlwind alluding to having an intimate relationship with Jack and making her own deal propositions to Carrie. Wanda was trying to cut Jack out of the deal and possibly out of his job. She also appears to have been stepping on the toes of others as well, not a very popular woman. So, when she winds up dead there are quite a few suspects but the police have their sights set on Jack and Billi.

Due to Carrie’s previous experience with sleuthing, everyone is questioning her as to whether or not she is going to get involved. After all she has friendships with both Billi and Jack. Her love interest, Reed Storme, is dead set against Carrie’s involvement. He feels it is too dangerous. Carrie is not sure herself if she wants to get involved but as the questions pile up, she finds that she needs to find out the truth. She needs to know if her friends could be capable of…duhn, duhn, duhnnnnn…murder.

This story has elements of mystery, romance, and suspense. For me though, I was not really impressed by the main character, it seemed that everything revolved around meals, wine, or where they were going to eat. She was not unlikeable per se but she was, to me, unappealing as a sleuth character. I felt that there was too much focus on her everyday life and not enough on the mystery. In addition, the killer seemed pretty obvious once the character had been introduced. Then it was the killer who outed themselves. I prefer more of a reveal than that. I am an animal lover though and that gave this story its “cute” factor that I enjoyed. It is also sweet that there are actual recipes at the end of the story for both dogs and their owners!

*Thank you to NetGalley & Midnight Ink for this eARC of Bad to the Bone*

About Linda O. Johnston

Author Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the Year. Since then, Linda has had more short stories and novellas published, plus, by the end of 2015, she will have had forty-one novels published, including mysteries and romance.

Linda currently writes two cozy mystery series for Midnight Ink, the Superstition Mysteries and the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries, both featuring dogs. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, which was a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series. And yes, they involved dogs, too.

Linda additionally writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne including the Alpha Force miniseries about a covert military unit of shapeshifters–and all the werewolves also have cover dogs. Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, including a miniseries about a non-witness protection program.

Linda, a currently inactive transactional attorney, now writes fiction full-time. She is a member of the Los Angeles chapters of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America, including the Los Angeles and Orange County chapters, as well as International Thriller Writers.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,