“Yappy Hour”: Murder at The Wine and Bark Bar

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Yappy Hour is a light, entertaining murder mystery set in a quaint California beach town. There’s plenty of dogs, but the mystery-solving stays firmly (and believably) in the hands of the humans.

When Maggie’s sister Rachel asks her to hold down the fort at Rachel’s bar, The Wine and Bark, Maggie hesitates only a moment. It wasn’t like Rachel to text a last minute request.  Can Maggie handle the canine regulars at the Friday Yappy Hour? How hard can it be?

But Maggie’s good deed — and life in sunny Pacific Cove — quickly take a dark turn.

Opening the door to the bar, Maggie finds Yappy Hour regular Yolanda standing over a dead body in the back room. The body belongs to Dan Walters, the manager of the restaurant next door (DelVecchio’s). Someone at the restaurant had been complaining about The Wine and Bark’s Yappy Hours to the city and Alcohol Beverage Control.

Maggie is new to Pacific Cove. She lost her job as a financial planner in New York City due to a bad economy. Now, she’s hoping to join the Soleado Mexican Riviera Cruise Line as a local bookkeeper/purser. The cruise line has just opened a port of call at Pacific Cove.

Hidden discontents

Now, Maggie realizes how little she knows about Rachel’s life in Pacific Cove. Rachel’s friend Abigail mentions her disapproval of Rachel’s latest beau Chuck Hazelton. Maggie discovers the chef at DelVecchio’s, Gus DelVecchio, is a close neighbor of Rachel’s.

He disarms Maggie with an offer of a home-cooked dinner after the taxing day the murder occurred. Further clouding things is Maggie’s unwilling attraction to Officer Brad Brooks, who is investigating the murder. As much as Maggie is drawn to the hunky investigator, she’s so protective of Rachel that she withholds key pieces of information she finds.

There’s a lot going on in this novel that will keep you guessing about who did it until the very end. This is a perfect book for a lazy day at the beach or the pool

Author Diana Orgain is a San Francisco native who fell in love with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries.  She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Francisco State University. In addition to Yappy Hour and the other Roundup Crew Mystery that follow it, she has two mysteries series: Maternal Instincts and Love or Money.

You can read about Orgain’s sequel, Trigger Yappy in this post. And check out these posts for more mysteries featuring dogs: