Hiss & Tell is a cozy mystery with two timelines—the present and 1789–both set in the same location in rural Virginia. In the present day, when a man is found shot dead in a ditch with no ID and drugs in his system, the locals worry that big city problems have come to their small farming town. A local farmer helps her friend Deputy Cooper solve the crime while their animals make somewhat sarcastic comments under their breath.
There are a whole lot of discussions over lunch or while Christmas shopping within the book and not much action. The locals also compare the predicament of modern illegal aliens with the slave culture from the historical fiction tale.
I’m in the minority here but I really disliked Hiss & Tell. If you want pages and pages of discussing how much better things were in the “old” days, you have picked up the right book. This worldview is why I avoid lunching with my older in-laws. I certainly don’t want to spend my leisure time reading it too. Lazy young people, cars with too many newfangled computers, the ease of buying illicit drugs, illegals, homelessness and rampant crime, all the usual tropes are here. Ugh! I want to read the earlier type of stories from this series, where the focus is on sentient pets solving crime. While I may reread some of the earlier books in this series, I’m done reading the latest ones.
Once again, many reviewers loved this book. You may too. But unfortunately, it was a sad 2 star read for me that I struggled to finish.
Thanks to Bantam Books and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.