I’m thrilled to kick off the Hodder blog tour for Shady Hollow by Juneau Black. Published in the UK today (it’s been out over the pond for a while), this cosy crime series follows a small town community of antrophomorphic woodland animals as shady things start happening in their midst. It is a comfort read, lovely and bonkers – written by a team of co-authors, Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel, so I can only imagine the fun they’ve had while coming up with this story and its characters.
Many thanks to Ollie at Hodder for sending me a review copy and having me on the tour, all opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 03/02/2022
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: In the woodland community of Shady Hollow, you’ll discover a secret. Moose and mice, owls and
bears live side by side in civilized harmony. Shady Hollow has a coffee shop and a bookshop, a haberdasher and a bank. All is well… until the town’s querulous toad shows up dead. It’s something this village haven’t seen before: a murder.
Vera Vixen is new in town. She has a nose for news and catches the scent of a story, one that leads her to dark places. As she stirs up the still waters, the fox exposes more than one mystery, and the folks in Shady Hollow learn that some of their neighbours are lying, while others are downright dangerous. It will take all of Vera’s cunning and quickness to come out alive. (from Hodder)
OPINIONS: This book is so much fun. It’s bonkers, but in the best possible way. I’m not usually a big fan of stories for adults featuring animals, but I’m so glad that I gave Shady Hollow a shot, and now I can’t wait for book two in March. Imagine this as a classic murder mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie in terms of pacing, but with the most charmingly odd animal characters you can think of. Vera Vixen is the new reporter in town, so she ends up pulled into the investigation when the local toad is found dead – and the beaver mayor is poisoned.
It’s a short novel, around 200 pages, and thus makes for a very fast read. It is written in a light and humorous style, which is very hard to put down – my goal was to read 50 pages, do a chore, rinse and repeat… but I didn’t manage because I’m weak and the book is fun. It’s the kind of wholesome read that cheers you up and makes a gloomy day better. And it would make a wonderful animated feature *cough cough, Netflix, listen up*. While it is sold as an adult novel, I think it is ultimately a family-friendly book, and would be appropriate for readers around twelve and up – there is no graphic content or similar and it is relatively light and fluffy – so… FAMILY BOOK CLUB TIME!
Thus, highly recommended for a feel-good read! Add Shady Hollow to your Goodreads here, and order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link). And the good news is, books two and three are being released in March and April respectively so you don’t even have to wait very long to binge the whole series!