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The Mystery of the Blue Dolphins is a Cozy Mystery Event pick #cozymystery #freebiealert #giveaway
Title: The Mystery of the Blue Dolphins
Author: Sandra Baublitz
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Cozy Animal Mystery
He's digging up clues. Literally.
When struggling freelance writer, Clarissa Hayes, and her trouble-making Saint Bernard, Paw, visit their relatives in Upstate New York, they are saddened to find the family in mourning. Clarissa's amateur sleuth uncle has died, evidently from a heart attack.
But was the death truly an accident? An anonymous note hints that her uncle was murdered, and now Clarissa and Paw are determined to sniff out the truth.
Soon the duo find themselves nose deep in their uncle's final baffling case: the theft of the fabulous Blue Dolphin diamonds. Clarissa's determination to find her uncle's killer leads her deep into a world of glittering gems and deadly secrets, where each new discovery threatens to bring her to the notice of a ruthless murderer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. Can Clarissa and her detective dog Paw crack the case, or will they become the killer's next victims?
The bright sunshine highlighting the orange and red of the fall leaves seemed to lessen my melancholy mood. I was driving through upstate New York to visit my cousin, Lucinda. My name is Clarissa Montgomery Hayes, freelance writer, mystery lover, and dog owner. The dog in question is PaudiusPernivius - Paw, for short, due to his love of digging in the wrong places at the worst times.
Anyway, Paw and I were on our way to cheer up Cousin Lucinda after the recent death of our uncle, Josh. Lucinda’s parents had been killed in a tragic car crash when she was ten years old. Josh and his wife, Mavis, had taken Lucinda into their home and raised her.
Lucinda liked her aunt, but she adored her uncle, and they were devoted to each other. His sudden death two months ago from a heart attack had hit her quite hard.
I hadn’t seen the family for many years. We had grown apart after Lucinda moved in with Josh and Mavis.
I pulled in front of the old Victorian home where until recently the trio lived in harmony. Lucinda came out to greet me. She was dressed in a yellow plaid jumper with a beautifully engraved silver clover locket. She was smiling, but her eyes betrayed her sadness.
Lucinda, thirty, was always the beautiful one with auburn hair and clear blue eyes. She had the grace of a swan.
In my mid-twenties, with blonde hair and hazel eyes, I was no match for Lucinda’s beauty.
Paw jumped out of the car, licked Luce’s face, and headed to investigate the garden for chipmunks and other such “enemies.”
“How are you?” I asked Lucinda as we embraced.
“Fine,” she said and quickly changed the subject. “You’re looking well. How was your trip?”
“Everything went well. It was a smooth and easy drive.”
“Paw is adorable. I see he has already found the garden.”
I turned to see Paw trotting up the path to the garden. “I better get him. Paw loves to dig, and I wouldn’t want to upset Aunt Mavis. I know she prizes her garden.”
As we entered the garden, I saw the furry brown tail of my very large Saint Bernard waving in the air as he dug furiously in a bed of mums.
“Paw, get out of there!” I yelled as I ran toward him. He gave me one of his “I am innocent” looks and backed away. He had dug up a rather well-used meat bone, but what caught my eye was a corner of shiny plastic. It turned out to be a plastic garbage bag with a red dress inside.
“This is an odd thing to bury in the garden.”
“Yes, I’ve no idea who put it there. I’ll take it in the house; perhaps Aunt Mavis will know.” Lucinda took the dress and headed for the house.
Entering the house, I was transported back in time. Aunt Mavis and Uncle Josh were avid antiques collectors; this was evident in every room in the house. Uncle Josh had always loved antiques and had had a thorough knowledge of pre-1920s culture.
Aunt Mavis greeted us in the living room. She was a tall, agile woman in her mid-fifties with graying hair and dark brown eyes. I never liked her very much. The set of her chin and the hardness of her eyes always gave me the feeling that she looked down on her niece and friends. I am usually a good judge of character, but the few times I had met Mavis, she had been kind and caring.
Lucinda held up the dress. “Aunt, have you ever seen this dress before?”
“Why it’s nearly brand new. No, I’ve never seen it before. That was so sweet of you to bring Lucinda a gift, Clarissa.” Mavis smiled.
I frowned. “I didn’t, Aunt Mavis. I have a confession to make. Paw dug it up out of your garden. He dug up some of your lovely mums too.”
She scowled at this.
I hurried on, “Don’t worry. I will replant the mums and replace any damaged ones.”
Aunt Mavis looked displeased, especially when she looked down at Paw who had just stepped into the house. He had dirty paws from digging in the garden.
I blushed. “Sorry. I will take Paw back outside and wash him off. Lucinda, do you have a hose I could use?”
Lucinda began to nod, but Mavis interrupted.
“Don’t be silly. Take Paw to the laundry room and wash him. And don’t worry about the mums. I will replant them. I love to get out and work in the garden.”
I took Paw to the laundry room and began washing him. Of course, I got as wet as he did. Lucinda came in with towels and laughed at us. Just then Paw shook himself and sprayed everything and both of us with water. It took a while, but we got him dry, and the room cleaned up.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
The Mystery of the Blue Dolphins is a fun read with an adorable and mischievous Saint Bernard who digs up clues to help his owner solve the crime.
Enter to win a $10 Amazon US or Amazon Canada gift card
Open Internationally. You must have an active Amazon US or CA account to win.
Runs February 20 – February 28, 2023.
Winner will be drawn on March 1, 2023.
Sandra Baublitz loves mysteries. Both reading and writing them. And animals.
She fell in love with the Saint Bernard from the Beethoven movies. Since she couldn’t have one of her own, she created her own in her cozy mystery books.
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