Killing Trail (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #1)Killing Trail by Margaret Mizushima
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review addresses the entire series. At this writing, the series consists of Killing Trail, Stalking Ground, Hunting Hour, Burning Ridge, Tracking Game, and Hanging Falls. All books are 9-10 hours of listening in audiobook format. More sequels to come.

Plot. The Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Series are police procedurals in a small town. The lead characters are Mattie Cobb and her partner, Robo, a 100lb German Shephard Dog. The overall stories stand-alone – murder the basis for good guys, bad guys and Mattie’s small circle of devoted friends, mostly co-workers, and, of course, Robo. However, there is a sub-plot that traverses the entire series – Mattie’s personal life. This includes a disturbing childhood incident, her current, fragile psyche, and a mutual attraction between her and a recently divorced veterinarian, Cole Walker, and his two girls. Each story comes to a satisfactory conclusion – but, start with book one to get full advantage of a budding romance.

Not so hot. Mattie’s a little too fragile for the role, IMO – maybe that’s just me. But, I don’t think I’d be willing to put a gun in the hand of someone so …. personally breakable – not frail physically, but she always seems on the verge of tears – nightmares included. That and her continued rejection of Cole isn’t real – he’s handsome, unattached, financially secure, and is over-the-moon crazy about her. Gimme a break, Mattie!

Narration is okay, but problematic in places. The entire series is narrated by Nancy Wu – and at times she’s a bit too breathy and whispering. A bit slow, so pumped the iPhone audio up to 1.4. No other issues with audio production,

Liked. Robo, of course! A gorgeous, devoted dog, beautiful in disposition, brains, and strength. A perfect representation of this magnificent breed. Robo will take pleasure playing with kids or a ball, protect Mattie with his life, and quickly bring a grown man to tears of terror. Great dog. The stories are interesting and realistic tales of small-town policing.

The Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries are not great literature and they’re not intended to be; just curl up on the sofa and enjoy. Try not to glare at your own dumb dog. 🤪


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