Friday, February 19, 2016

King Harald's Heist Starts With Thousand Dollar Bill! Richard Audry Brings Cozy Fans Another Fun Winner!

The screen door on the back of the house had blown wide open. It banged again on the side of the house when the wind caught it a second time, and Harald backed up a step or two, just to be safe. After a few more seconds the gust waned to a gentle zephyr, but the door remained ajar.
It so happened that this was not the boss's backyard, where Harald usually spent the afternoon hours. This backyard was next door, and the boss sometimes left him here with the old lady who lived in the house. Harald liked her. She was very generous with dog biscuits.

This was a new situation, however. That door was never left open. And an open door, in Harald's opinion, was an invitation. He ambled over to the back stoop, climbed up on it and looked inside...  
On a lower shelf...Harald grabbed the item with his teeth, and pulled it out. He gnawed on it and then understood that it was made of paper. Harald liked paper. As a puppy, he had spent lots of time being made to sit on paper. It was also very good for chewing...
Harald took his prize...out into the sunlit backyard. He returned to the environs of the shady maple tree, but not before shaking the yellow paper thing vigorously. He chewed on it for a few minutes.
That's when Harald heard the boss's truck pull into the driveway next door. He knew the sound well. I'm here, Boss, he woofed. Come and get me.


King Harald's Heist

A Canine Cozy

By Richard Audry

In the second King Harald Cozy, Audry takes readers into a murder mystery in the present that is based upon a long ago story. Harald gives us a clue almost immediately, although the significance only is speculative at that time. After all, how could Harald know that a once pristine Magazine, which happened to be dated 1955, might be of value...or that a green slip of paper which proved to be a thousand dollar bill which apparently had been mislaid long ago, according to the owner, could become a very important clue. Harald hadn't even gotten to taste the green paper!

Want to check out King Harald's first adventure? Click over to my review after you've finished this article! That one stumped me and this one had so many that could be the guilty one(s), that you'll keep guessing throughout the book!

"I hope this story has a punch line,
Lance." Andy was getting impatient.
..."Oh, it does have a punch line," Lance
said. "It turns out that after each
heist, Ole always went back to a little
shack in the woods in Osceola County,
Iowa. Chief among his amusements
there were what Ole called his 'Twin
Angels." Twin blond sisters. Lovely
young things, apparently. A double
act..."
~~~
Background plots in small-town America include Andy's sister going into business, creating a restaurant which will have a studio for Andy on the second floor...with Andy being called on to work at the restaurant when needed...

While his aunt talks him into running as temporary mayor to fill a vacancy until her son can run for the formal position. Some of the activities for the new mayor add greatly to the entertainment for readers as he deals with this new very socially demanding role.
Of course everybody knows Harald so he's a partner in these events...Here's an example of what he is greeted with...


"I told you that I love you,
But still you want to go,
You said you couldn't stand it.
Your heart's broke, yes, I know.
If you knew good days were comin',
Would you change your mind, my dear?
The word is out, the people shout,
'Mayor Andy's finally here!"
~~~
Andy pulled up into his driveway and hopped out of the Silverado, still whistling that damned ditty. As he came through the back gate, King Harald welcomed him with a chorus of barks that broke the spell of the pernicious melody.
"Now that is music to my ears," Andy said, squatting down and giving Harald a vigorous two-handed rub on the neck. "Good to see you, too, Harald. You'll be glad to know your meal ticket acquitted himself pretty well on the radio...
~~~

But the real problems begin with a college professor who is researching for a new book and has contacted the two sisters who lived on either side of Andy. They beg him to talk to the writer for them since they claim he is trying to accuse them of past historical activities that are not true, coming across in a serious fashion when she added they wanted him to do whatever necessary to stop his story! Andy agrees to meet but is presented with potential historical information that could very well be true! And that's also when Harald found what later was another clue. By the way, I had to substitute this little backward gnome, since the professor's were naughty--which makes Andy and, of course, readers, wonder about this guy...LOL Could this be the reason somebody killed him?! I loved this little added touch to the story, which lightened the visit, at least that first time Andy and Harald was at the professor's home...

So who discovered the murdered professor? Andy and Harald of course. Harald had wandered away from home, went to the garden where he'd found the nice chewy gnome and had brought it home with him...just so that Andy would discover it and call to let the professor know he was bringing it back...But it was already too late...

Much is happening in New Bergen for Andy to keep himself and readers busy learning about but he still found himself involved in solving the murder...only to have another one added... OK, I admit it. I didn't guess whodunit! That's twice Richard Audry has stumped me! Great!

I must admit I have a special place in my heart for cozy mysteries. There is always just enough mystery to keep me interested in solving it...but cozies are more about the people, the characters who inhabit the town where murder just happens to occur to break up the ongoing town activities. Especially in a series, I become interested with the characters...and Andy has won my heart already, especially when he gets his heart involved with a femme fatale (in a small town? Yes, she's visiting)...

There are millions of cozy readers out there...King Harald adds a dash of dog heroism for those who enjoy animals as main characters like I do...I'm already predicting that Andy will be a shoo-in for mayor in the next novel...what do you think? Hey, check this fun mystery with surprising ending activities that will result in a totally satisfying enjoyable book! Highly recommended...


GABixlerReviews




Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. As Richard Audry, he is the author of the King Harald Canine Cozy mystery series and the Mary MacDougall historical mystery series. Under his own name he has written the Johnny Graphic middle-grade ghost adventure series, the Marta Hjelm mystery, Smoking Ruin, and two books of literary commentary: Travis McGee & Me; and Four Science Fiction Masters. You can follow D. R.'s musings at drmartinbooks.com or like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Richard-Audry-405927502946121/.