Furbidden Fatality is the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Deborah Blake. Due out 23rd Feb 2021 from Penguin Random House on their Berkley imprint, it's 288 pages (print edition) and will be available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
This is an engaging and undemanding read. The plucky protagonist is a waitress turned millionaire lottery winner who buys a dilapidated animal sanctuary threatened with closure. She finds herself unwillingly involved in a murder investigation when the local animal control officer is found strangled on her property after a public contretemps.
This is a promising start to a new cozy series by an established author, and it ticks a lot of boxes: funny and down to earth protagonist, lots of animals, twists and red herrings blended into the plot, decently written dialogue that isn't clunky, and a satisfying denouement and resolution. I enjoyed it as a fun and enjoyable clean cozy mystery. The language is "PG" rated, a few hells and damns but nothing worse. The crimes occur off-page and there's no graphic content. There is some mention of illicit drugs, but nothing egregious or triggering (in my opinion).
Four stars. It'll be fun to see how this one develops. (Especially recommended to fans of cozy mysteries featuring animals).
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.