Double Review: Left Fur Dead and Who’s Dead, Doc? (Jules & Bun Mysteries Books #1 and #2) by J.M. Griffin

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Juliette “Jules” Bridge prides herself on the tender rehabilitation she provides for injured or abused rabbits on her New Hampshire rescue farm, but she has a very special relationship with one bunny in particular. Bun is a black-and-white rabbit who happens to have the ability to communicate through mental telepathy. Once she got over the shock, Jules found her furry friend had a lot to say. 

One frigid March morning on their walk together, Bun spots a body. The police identify the frozen stiff as Arthur Freeman, aka Arty the Mime. Jules and Arty knew each other on the children’s party circuit, where he’d perform magic tricks and she had an educational rabbit petting pen. With Bun egging her on, Jules decides it’s time they hop to it and put their heads together to discover who silenced the mime. But their investigation leads them down a rabbit hole of more suspects and lies, while a killer sets a trap for them…

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Source: Purchase          Rating: 4/5 stars

As a survivor of a horrific car accident that left her near death, Jules Bridge understands the value of and protecting life more than most.  Since her accident and long recovery, Jules has dedicated her life, time, energy, and love into rescuing, rehabbing, and rehoming bunnies.  Fur Bridge Farm is well-known in the area and Jules works tirelessly to promote her cause and her bunnies.  What Jules doesn’t do is solve crimes.

Jules constant and faithful companion is a recued bunny affectionately known as Bun.  Though he is like most other bunnies, Bun is special in one very important way, he is able to communicate with Jules and that is just what he does the morning he and Jules stumble upon a dead body. Though Jules is initially happy to leave the investigating to the police, Bun has other ideas; according to Bun only he and Jules can uncover the truth and with their combined skills they can most certainly suss out who killed Arty the Mime.

As Jules and Bun begin their investigation, they discover two things: 1) there are times when they are completely out of their depth and, 2) there are things they can do and people they can access that the police simply can’t.  What’s more, with Bun’s superhero level hearing and ability to maneuver where humans cannot, there’s a great deal of information and pieces of the puzzle that Bun and Jules are pulling together.

The more puzzle pieces Jules and Bun pull together, the more confusing the whole mess becomes. The more puzzle pieces Jules and Bun pull together, the more dangerous the whole mess becomes for them and for the farm.  With each new bit of information and each new incident, Jules becomes more and more determined to find out the truth behind Arty’s death.  What’s more, Jules is determined to protect her bunnies, her farm, and her life. 

The Bottom Line:  I am always going to be a fan of any book with a talking animal and Left Fur Dead is no exception.  I found both Jules and Bun to be wonderfully quirky, smart, fun, funny, and intelligent characters who certainly do their part to carry off this story!  Bun is simply wonderful and crazily determined to solve a crime and he simply can’t do it without Jules’ help.  To be completely fair, this is the first in a series book and there were a few slower spots that were meant to lay the groundwork for the rest of the series.  If you can muddle through those spots and focus on the characters and the beatific setting, then you’ll find a delightful little cozy mystery.

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When Juliette “Jules” Bridge began caring for rabbits on her beloved Fur Bridge Farm in rural New Hampshire, she never imagined she’d be solving murders with one of them. Not only can her black-and-white rabbit, Bun, communicate with her telepathically, he happens to be a pretty sharp sleuth. Bun comes along as part of a petting pen for a birthday celebration—but for one of the guests, the fun is soon over. Evelyn Montgomery is found lying in the bushes with a knife in her chest, and the distraught hostess begs Jules to help . . . 

To her surprise, so does Sheriff Jack Carver—who usually discourages Jules from getting involved in criminal investigations. But now she’s drafted at the last minute to fill in for Evelyn as a judge at a rabbit show, and Jack wants her to go undercover. Yet as she and Bun expose the dark—albeit fluffy—underbelly of the world of rabbit competition, a killer is ready to act as judge, jury, and executioner . . .

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley and Kensington Publishing          Rating: 4½/5 stars

Jules Bridge is not a cop, nor is she a detective, yet, much to the great consternation of the local sheriff, she is a curious human with a knack for sussing out the truth of a situation.  To be fair, some of her sussing out is aided by her constant companion, Bun, a rescued rabbit who can communicate telepathically with Jules.  While the sheriff has often warned Jules off her investigations and poking about, he has also had to admit there are simply things she can do and find out that he cannot.

While the sheriff isn’t happy about bringing a civilian into his investigations, he currently has a case on his hands that is going nowhere quickly.  While no one in town particularly misses Evelyn Montgomery, they do want to know who plunged a knife deep into her chest during a child’s birthday party.  Jules and Bun were at the party so, to the sheriff’s way of thinking, they are the perfect pair to start asking questions and rooting out information.  What’s more, Evelyn Montgomery was actively involved in the local, upcoming rabbit show which gives Jules and Bun a perfect place to start asking their questions.

The rabbit show is truly an eye-opener for both Jules and Bun.  Not only do they discover how awful the shows can be, but they also discover that no one liked Evelyn Montgomery, especially not her colleagues.  In fact, the more digging Jules does, the more suspects she uncovers.  Narrowing down the field of suspects is going to take some super-sleuthing which leads Jules and Bun to a little breaking and entering, a little kidnapping, a little rescuing, and a lot of blackmail.  Yes, Evelyn Montgomery was not a nice person and, even in death she is causing awful things to happen.

The Bottom Line:  Round two of the Jules and Bun Mystery series was even more entertaining than the first.  The training wheels have come off and Jules and Bun are officially sleuths!  I found this book to be a bit more complex than the first and that is because the author has already largely set the scene in the first book.  This time around, there is not as much to explain and describe which leaves more time and space for sleuthing and shenanigans.  With that said, this isn’t a frivolous read at all, simply a more detailed and complex story that I found wholly engaging.  The characters – especially Bun! – are evolving and growing in their confidence and are supported by a cast of generally likeable minor characters.  Once again, the setting is idyllic, the pace is just the right speed, the story is just complex enough to keep you guessing, and the characters are the highlight of the whole shebang!  I am absolutely on board with this series and can’t wait to see what kind of mischief Bun and Jules get into next.

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One Comment on “Double Review: Left Fur Dead and Who’s Dead, Doc? (Jules & Bun Mysteries Books #1 and #2) by J.M. Griffin

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