Karma's a Killer
A Kate Davidson, Downward Dog Mystery by Tracy Weber
Review: When a fundraiser for an animal shelter is disrupted by a group of animal rights protesters, yoga instructor Kate Davidson finds herself in the awkward position of defending her long-estranged mother, who is accused of murdering one of the activists, in Karma's a Killer, the third mystery in this series by Tracy Weber.
Kate wants to believe the worst in her mother, Dharma, who abandoned her as a child to go off and save the world. But while the evidence against Dharma is strong, Kate simply doesn't believe she could have drowned Raven, even though the two apparently knew each other and shared common interests. Kate arranges for her friend Dale Evans to defend Dharma, and his advice to Kate is to stay away from the investigation. Instead, he asks her to pick up Dharma's personal belongings from a motel room. Included among them is a box of letters between Dharma and Kate's father, revealing a childhood history of which she has no memory.
The murder mystery in Karma's a Killer is a very thin one, almost incidental to everything else that is going on in the book. There are numerous references to events that took place in the previous books of the series, which aren't really relevant to the plot of this book and become intrusive after a while here. The introduction of Dharma as Kate's mother is handled awkwardly, as is the revelations about Kate's past. And for a book that seems to spend as much narrative space on animals as people, most of the non-human cast aren't all that appealing. Indeed, the two principal dogs, Bella and Bandit, are more annoying than not. Surprisingly, the ones that steal the show are two birds, a pigeon and a crow, the latter of which plays a significant role in solving the mystery. It's a coincidental one, but then again, the pathway to the identity of the killer is a sequence of improbable coincidences anyway. What is done well here is the inclusion of yoga references in a seamless, almost effortless manner. It's actually a welcome, calming diversion from all the chaotic activity. On balance, cozy readers likely won't be disappointed in Karma's a Killer but those seeking a more entertaining, more interesting, and more substantive mystery storyline will do better looking elsewhere.
Acknowledgment: Midnight Ink provided an eARC of Karma's a Killer for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Karma's a Killer: Seattle, Washington
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Karma's a Killer by Tracy Weber — A Kate Davidson, Downward Dog Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: January 2016
List Price: $14.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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