Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Shady Hollow

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Shady Hollow (2015) Juneau Black (A Shady Hollow Mystery)

Shady HollowThis is cozy mystery, set in a fantasy world with intelligent animals.

The characters’ resemblances to real creatures, alive or cruelly murdered, is incidental indeed. For those who feel compelled to resolve this issue before continuing with the story, you may wish to think of the characters merely as humans with particularly animalistic traits…

Despite that fantastic element, it is a mystery first, and an utterly delightful one. It also isn’t a kid’s series–although you could easily read it with a kid–because it’s full of humor for adults.

He (Howard Chitters, mouse accountant) and his fine wife, Mrs. Amelia Chitters—the light of his humble life—had five small litters already, and he could tell you the exact number of children, too, if you gave him a moment to remember.

And lots of references to books and characters.

Traditionally, woodland creatures are not big readers, but things changed when Lenore opened the bookshop. “Nevermore,” she said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, “will the town have to do without quality entertainment.”

Utterly delightful references.

So far, she had written down a few key things:

  • Capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Gather data, then see what theory fits.
  • Eliminate impossible. Whatever is left (however improbable) MUST BE TRUTH.
  • Reichenbach Falls = bad spot for getaway vacation

The whole thing makes me think of Bugs Bunny cartoons: easily enjoyable by kids, but even funnier for adults.

Juneau Black is the pen name of authors Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel.

And underneath is all, a lovely cozy mystery with the kinds of details you’d expect, just presented unexpectedly.

As a beaver wife with ever-growing teeth and a lot of suppressed rage to deal with, Edith had knocked out quite a few masterpieces on that sheep’s account. She’d won the ice-sculpture contest at the Hollow’s Winter Carnival this past year,

This was precisely the cozy mystery I had been needing to read.

Characters: Gladys Honeysuckle, Otto Sumpf, Sun Li, Vera Vixen, BW Stone, Lenore Lee, Joe, Chief Theodore Meade, Deputy Orville Braun, Ruby Ewing, Reginald von Beaverpelt, Howard Chitters, Anastasia and Esmeralda von Beaverpelt, Edith von Beaverpelt, Lefty, Ambrosius Heidegger,

Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Cover design and illustrations by Perry De La Vega

Rating: 9/10


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