"A Doggone Death" By S.A. Kazlo: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Hooking Up with Murder

Samantha Davies escaped the aftermath of a very emotional and contentious divorce by returning to her childhood home in Wings Falls, a small-town in Upstate New York, since her parents moved to sunny Florida leaving her the house. She’s a freelance writer, but also anticipating her first children’s picture book starring her dachshund buddy: Porkchop, the Wonder Dog. However, she loves raising an eyebrow or two when she tells people she’s a “hooker.” She giggles a bit during the uncomfortable pause before explaining she’s a rug hooker. It may be a hobby, but it has provided her with a delightful group of friends, The Loopy Ladies. They meet weekly at The Ewe and Me Woolery, dubbed The Ewe, to hook, eat, and trade gossip. Her cousin and fellow “looper” Candie Parker is a transplanted Southerner and author of popular romance novels, odd or maybe perfect for one who has been engaged eleven times. And although they bonded over her being accused of murder, Sam’s second chance at romance comes with her relationship with local detective Hank Johnson, apropos for one who’s found herself entangled in a few suspicious deaths.

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Image Source Gemma Halliday Publishing
A Doggone Death
Earns 5/5 Dachshunds…Engaging & Clever Cozy!

Lucy Foster, owner of The Ewe and Me Woolery, is excited about her first annual “hook-in” event. “Hookers” from all over plan to attend showing off their talents and getting their “wool fix” from a variety of vendors. The parking lot was already near capacity when Samantha and Candie arrived with their totes filled with rug paraphernalia ready for an exciting day. Then, they learn that Lucy’s nemesis is expected to attend, the same woman who stole her rug patterns, the same woman who passed them off online as her own, the same women undercutting her bottom line…Hilda Pratt!

Despite being a friendly community of women bonding over varieties of wool, there is a level of competition. Since it’s also business, theft of one’s creative wares is not the highest form of flattery. Sam overhears the barbs and threats traded between Lucy and Hilda about the stolen designs, and later, she doesn’t pass up an opportunity to insert herself when Hilda’s posse is oohing and aahing another of Hilda’s so-called original designs. “What a beautiful pattern,” Sam agrees. “Lucy did a fine job designing it, didn’t she?” Hilda’s red face and hemming and hawing about “slight resemblances” says it all. But, is it a reasonable motive for murder?

Wool-onderful! S.A. Kazlo has created another entertaining mystery with a delightful group of women. Despite varying in age, personality, marital status, and family dynamic, they are good friends who just get all “knotted” up in a murder mystery, but do any of them harbor ill-will against the victim? The crime is dramatically discovered early, like I prefer, and the rest of the drama checks off all the cozy elements I enjoy: karmic justice, realistic motives, clever misdirection, well hidden clues, conflicts with law enforcement, and a surprising, yet perilous, conclusion. I enjoyed the diverse suspect list with a plethora of motives to ponder: theft of intellectual property, a scorned wife, a disgruntled client, development shenanigans, and a long ago tragic death. Hilda may have been the perfect karmic choice of victim, but it’s whether or not one of Sam’s friends took out their revenge that made for a “couldn’t put down” reading experience.

Kazlo’s writing style is very entertaining, witty, and, using descriptive language to depict the environment and character appearances, gives readers a delightful picture. The dialogue provides an insight into the multi-generational personalities as well as showing mood and emotions. Sam is a strong lead, of a mature age, and very enjoyable to follow. Her sidekick Candie is a real hoot sharing her southern nature through various idioms to describe an incident, a feeling, or a mood. I’m not a “hooker,” although in my youth I tried making a rainbow rug, so the information shared by the characters was quite fascinating. Clever mystery. Endearing characters. A bit of romance, and a dachshund. A must read cozy!

It all started here!

Kibblesand Death Earns 5/5 Rug Hooks…Entertaining Gem!

I read Kazlo’s debut book in her Samatha Davis Mystery series like a prequel and found it to be just as exciting and entertaining. It provided extra background and insights into break-ups, friendships, and more than one romance opportunity. The crime has a bit of karma involved since the victim, the local pet shelter owner, wasn’t very popular and with the number of suspects and clever motives, it turned out to be an intriguing cozy drama. Sam’s neighbor pleads for her help which introduces Sam and her cousin Candie to the ins and out, ups and downs, even peril of snooping which includes run ins with Sergeant Peters who’s been a source of anxiety since kindergarten. Did he just accuse her of murder? There’s amusing dachshund antics, hooking talk, Candie’s insightful southernisms, hidden agendas and secrets to hide, and enough red herrings to delight my inner detective. Loved it!

Samantha Davies Mystery

Kibbles and Death (2022)

A Doggone Death (2022)

Be a Big S.A. Kazio Fan!

S.A. Kazio (aka Syrl Ann Kazlo) is a retired teacher, and says, like her heroine in her novel Samantha Davies, “I'm a hooker, rug hooker that is.” She also has two very active dachshunds who are featured in many of her blog articles: S.A. Kazlo—Blog.

Facebook: S.A. Kazio author of Samantha Davies Mysteries

Website: S.A. Kazio

Be a GHP Fan!

Gemma Halliday Publishing is a “small, boutique publisher of quality women's genre fiction.” There library of stories have “laughter, heart, and lots of clever plot twists,” with no graphic descriptions, their books perfect for eighteen-year-olds to eighty-year-old.

Facebook - Gemma Halliday Publishing

Website - Gemma Halliday Publishing

To enter to win an ebook copy of A Doggone Death, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "doggone,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 3, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds so good. I love dachshunds. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Wow, I love animals in stories and can't wait to read this series.

  3. Great info Kathleen! I would love to win this!

  4. oops! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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