"Killer Contest" A Maid Ivy Cozy Mystery By Hazel Smith: Review/Giveaway

Review by Tracy Condie

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.

In book 5 of the Maid Ivy Cozy series, we find that the La Fontaine Hotel has gone to the dogs, the posh and pampered show dogs, that is. The hotel is playing host to the Pooch Pageant contest. Head maid Ivy and her staff will certainly be busy, but not too busy to solve a murder.

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Ivy Stone is the sweetest cozy character I have ever come across. She has the sweetest friends, a sweet pup named Monty and a sweet new romance with hotel owner Mr. Humphrey, I mean Max (they are still in the early stages). Ivy is almost as sweet as the Bakewell Tart made by hotel chef and friend, Moira. I bring this up because the recipe is at the conclusion of the story (don’t be afraid to try it––this isn’t the Great British Bake Off after all). The sweet treat will counterbalance the sour taste that is left in your mouth from Ivy’s interactions with the new concierge, Ernest Godfrey, formerly employed by THE ROYALS (said in a rather snooty way).

The only person with more snoot than Ernest is Greta Barkhausen, the most prestigious Poodle breeder in all of Europe. I think it is safe to say that no one measured up to her standards except her precious Poodles. So when she drops dead there are plenty of suspects with secrets and some who are not quite so quiet about their disdain for the deceased. Ivy certainly has her work cut out for her, and with all of the clues and misdirection mixed in, not to mention Ernest acting as an overseer, it is a miracle that she doesn’t go barking mad.

One silver lining to her adventures this go-around is the amazing date that she and Max go on which takes place on the London Eye, in a private pod, with all the plush posh niceties. This was an enjoyable and lighthearted read that is a stand-alone mystery, with some wholesome Gramma Stone life lessons woven throughout the pages. I give this mystery 5 feather dusters out of 5, or maybe in this case, 5 pooches out of 5.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Killer Contest, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "killer,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 16, 2024. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. 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.

Sarah Erwin started her career as a children’s librarian, later becoming a public library director and now she’s a stay at home mom. While her career might have changed, her love of reading has been a constant since 4th grade and she reads over 200 books a year. Read along with her on her blog Sarah Can’t Stop Reading or on Instagram. Sarah lives in St. Louis, MO with her two kids, her husband and a family dog and cat.

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. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  2. Sounds like a fun read.

  3. This is an exciting, clever series with a unique twist … a maid in a posh London hotel gets tangled up in murder investigations! She has good friends, a budding romance, and a big dog as a roommate. Fun! Kathleen Costa kat8762(at)aol(dot)com

  4. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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