Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Sniffing Out Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Sniffing Out Murder (A Bailey the Bloodhound Mystery #1) by Kallie E. Benjamin

Rating:  Liked It! (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  When a murder unleashes a widespread investigation through Crosbyville, children’s book author Pris and her trusty bloodhound, Bailey, must sniff out the truth before the whole town goes to the dogs.

After deciding that life as a teacher wasn’t right for her, Priscilla found inspiration for her first children’s book in her three-year-old bloodhound’s nose for truth, and so The Adventures of Bailey the Bloodhound was born. After the book’s massively pawsitive response led Pris to move back to her hometown of Crosbyville, Indiana, to continue the series, she’s surprised by how things have changed in the town, but even more so how they haven’t.

Pris is frustrated to discover that newly elected school board trustee Whitney Kelley—a former high school mean girl—is intent on making Crosbyville more competitive by eliminating “frivolous spending” on the arts and social programs, including Pris and Bailey’s beloved pet-assisted reading program. A minor altercation between them isn’t anything unusual, but after Bailey sniffs out Whitney’s body in a bed of begonias, locals start hounding Pris and Bailey as suspects for the crime.

With Bailey’s sharp senses and Pris’s hometown know-how, can they prove to the community that they’re all barking up the wrong tree?

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I can never resist the first book in a new cozy series and throw in a dog and a children's book author and there's no way I could resist this one!

My Impression: If ever a cozy mystery victim deserved to be murdered it's Whitney Kelley.  She's hateful, spiteful, mean and just doesn't like dogs.  And unfortunately has a very loud altercation with our main character, Pris, the night before Pris and Bailey stumble upon her body.

I enjoyed this quite a bit.  I loved Bailey and Pris's friends.  The mystery was an interesting one.  There was no shortage of people who hated Whitney so narrowing it down to who actually wanted to kill her was interesting.  I loved the community that Pris lives in and her aunt and best friend Marcie.  The dog information was really interesting - especially since I've worked with scent hounds before.  I do wish the author would have specified that only a front fastening harness reduces pulling versus a harness in general but that's just a sore point for me in general!

There were a few things that kept me from rating this higher.  While I liked Pris at times her behavior was just ridiculous.  I get wanting to help but she was frequently hurting more than she was helping.  The pacing at times was a bit uneven and there were a few times where it felt like it was dragging.  I also guessed the bulk of the mystery fairly early on.

That said overall, I did really enjoy this book and the world this author created.  While this wasn't flawless it is definitely a series I am going to revisit.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would.  While this wasn't perfect I did enjoy it and am looking forward to reading more from this series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you like cozy mysteries and are a dog fan this is a fun book.  

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Well sounds like a fairly good start to a series, love the cover of the book.

  2. Love the dog on the cover and I love books with dog in them!