Cruel Candy

Cozy Corgi Mysteries, Book 1
Narrated by: Angie Hickman
Series: Cozy Corgi Mysteries, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Estes Park, Colorado: picturesque mountains, charming shops, delightful bakeries, a cozy bookstore...and murder.  \

Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the Reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, and the only challenges she anticipates are adjusting to small-town life, tourists, and living close to her lovable mother, Phyllis, and hippie stepfather, Barry. When Fred steps into her soon-to-be-bookshop for the first time, she expects dust bunnies and spiders...not the dead body in the upstairs kitchen. 

The local police have an easy suspect - Barry. Determined to prove quirky Barry innocent of murder, Fred puts on her detective hat, and with Watson by her side, she explores her new town and gets acquainted with her fellow shopkeepers. Could one of her friendly neighbors be the real culprit? And what would be the motive for killing the owner of the Sinful Bites candy store? The secrets Fred discovers put her at odds with the local police sergeant and threaten her cozy future in Estes.  

With snow falling outside, all Fred wants to do is curl up by the fire with a good book and Watson snuggled at her feet. But before she can begin her new life and put her plans for her bookshop into action, Fred and Watson have a mystery to solve....

©2017 Mildred Abbott (P)2018 Mildred Abbott

What listeners say about Cruel Candy

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Nice story

Story is good and wasn’t too long. Nice characters that are likable. Perfect light mystery to pass an afternoon. Overall I enjoyed it very much.

This audiobook was given to me at no charge. This review is my own and was not required.

3 people found this helpful

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Cute mystery

I have only become a mystery fan in the last three years but I am a fan of this author's books under a different name. So I definitely wanted to check out Mildred's cozy mysteries. This is the first time I've listened to this narrator and I thought she did very well. She is good at providing different voices for the characters and has a pleasant voice.

I really like the character of Fred. First I love her name, I always thought girls with boys names (shortened from Winifred) were cool. She is your average woman. She has been through some tough times as well as good. She doesn't bemoan her life though. She just chalks it up to experience and moves on. Her description makes her sound like she's not particularly skinny while not being really overweight. She seems comfortable in her own skin and I like that. She is definitely someone I felt like I could relate to.

The secondary characters are great and well written too. Fred just moved to the town that her mother and stepfather live in. They are a little eccentric and absent minded but are supportive and loving, too. I thought they were likable as well as her two gay uncles who own a shop in town, too. There is a baker who seems like she might become friends with Fred, a police officer that hates her and another that seems a little interested in her. It is an interesting little town for sure.

Fred's dog, Watson, is also an important character in the series. The bookshop is going to be called The Cozy Corgi and the book series has the same name. I have never had a pet so I'm not a real big animal person. (I feel like I should be embarrassed about that.) I don't always think to mention pets in book reviews but in this series Watson is relevant. Fred talks to him and probably considers him a partner of sorts. Most people can't help but love the dog and if you have a treat in your hand, he might just like you back. I think as the story goes on he will remain pivotal.

The mystery in this book was interesting. After just about a day in her new home and business, Fred finds her shop neighbor murdered in the upper level of her own store. Immediately I had my suspicions of who did it, even though I had just met these characters, myself. Fred's late dad was a detective and with her stepfather being a suspect, she begins to investigate. There was a time or two where my original suspicion faltered and I wondered about what was happening especially when another murder takes place in a nearby town. And though, my original guess of whodunnit was correct, I liked seeing Fred work through the investigating and finding out the motive/reason for the murder. There seems to be a few persons of interest in terms of Fred's love life and I look forward to seeing her caring and quirky family again. It was an enjoyable story and a great beginning to the series. I can't wait to read or listen to more of them.

2 people found this helpful

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E cellent

Fred is wondering what she has gotten herself into, and knowing she has to be brave for Watson her corgi. She is now back where her mother and stepfather live, she has started a new phase for her life. Looking over her new shop, now showing a dead body. Opal was Katie’s boss, who she said wasn’t that nice. Now they are adding it was a drug den also. Determined not to lose to another man.or drugs, murder happened. Fred is literally tied up with the murderer can she get free, A good cozy mystery, getting to know the people adds to the story. The narration was good and clear and added to the story. Given audio for my voluntary review.

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An engaging, but still fun and light, mystery

What a *treat* of a story this was! Not only were there many red herrings to keep the listener guessing almost until the end, but the story was told from the perspective of a likable protagonist, who also happens to share her life with a pooch with lots of personality. Also, kudos for the top-notch narration by Angie Hickman!

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I’m going to love this series!

I’m going to love this series! Great story, great characters and it kept me on my toes! Love corgis:)

I received a review copy

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Really Good Modern Cozy

I listen to a lot of cozy mysteries- and while this isn't the best I've ever heard it was really pretty good. I really liked the main character- she seemed real and young (sometimes main characters are written in a way that makes them feel like old people- this one is not). I also thought the premise was good- she's moving to a new town with her dog to set up a bookstore in a town that turns out to be fairly unwelcoming. I was kind of surprised by a non-cozy element in the story (I won't give it away here) and honestly I'm not sure how I feel about it being included. I normally listen to my cozies while doing dishes etc. while my kids are around- but I'm not sure I'd do that with this one. Anyway- overall it was a very good listen and I'll definitely be checking out the next one!
I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Good start to a new series

I kinda knew the characters a little after reading the sample from the kindle version of this book (which I also ended up buying anyway) but hearing them come to life under the voice of Angie Hickman was just delightful. Her tone is just nice to the hear with just enough diffentiation between characters to make it an easy and fun listen.

As for the story, I loved it. I’m an avid doggie story reader but kinda new to cozy mysteries. I know now that I will want to learn more about Fred and Watson and I will want to follow their future adventures. The interaction between Fred and her charming little furry man are simply great and should appeal to any dog lover...

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

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LOVED IT

Having listened to the second Cozy Corgi Mystery, “Traitorous toys” last year, I decided that it was probably about time that I did a rewind and listened to the first instalment, “Cruel Candy.” I loved it.In fact, I had trouble turning the story off at night in order to go to bed.

In terms of the characters, I believe any reader would be hard-pressed not to love Fred and Winston; they are just so likeable, and Winston sounds adorable. However, it isn’t just the main characters that are excellent, the secondary characters are also delightful - I especially liked the attractive sounding detective, Branson Wexler.

As for the actual mystery, I already kind of knew who the killer was as book two, 'Traitorous Toys' briefly mentioned this case. However, that fact didn't ruin the story for me, and I still loved following Fred and her investigation.

Finally, in terms of the narration, Angie Hickman did a decent job bringing the story to life. It took some time to get used to her style, but there was enough character differentiation in her voices to tell who was who.

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Entertaining Cozy

bookshelves: audio 


I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own.

Let's start with the cover - how cute is that face? Absolutely adorable cover.

Fred is a likeable smart woman who is starting anew with a bookshop in her stepfather's building (a former taxidermy shop) when she finds the body of her surly neighbor in her bookshop's kitchen and the prime suspect is her stepfather. Fred tries to help by investigating the murder.

What a fun cozy! I love the quirky characters - from Winifred's (Fred) parents - tie dye and flamingo loving - to the rest of the town. The mystery is a good one with a major red herring - I figured it out at the same time as Fred. 

The narrator, Angie Hickman, was delightful. She has a light, pleasant voice which was very easy to listen to and she did various voices for the various characters. A real compliment to the written word.

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Don't miss!

pet, dogs, law-enforcement, amateur-sleuth, small-business, small-town, family, cozy-mystery, murder-investigation

Nothing like going into what will be your new store and new life before dawn and finding the dead body of someone you only met the day before. And topping that off are a patrol cop with a very negative attitude, the police discovery that not only is there a basement but that it is a marijuana grow house, and an attractive police detective who hauls inoffensive step father off to jail. All before being in town twenty four hours! Let the sleuthing begin!
A nice comfortable read narrated by Angie Hickman.
Won in a giveaway!

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  • Julie
  • 06-28-20

A sweet treat

I started with book two and then went straight on to book three but enjoyed them so much I had to go back to the start of the series to where it all began. Glad I did because otherwise I missed out on a really treat. Having heard the other books I had an idea who I thought the killer was but it didn't diminish the enjoyment of finding out I was right. I love the characters and the author writes about them so well that you have no problems visualising them and the small town. If it wasn't for all the murders that take place there it sounds like a nice place to visit, especially if you are a dog lover. The mystery was good and was well thought out giving you plenty of suspects and clues. The cozy Corgi is a fun cozy series that I look forward to adding to my collection.
Winifred, or Fred as she likes to be called is moving back to her home town to start a book shop. With her mother and step father's help she secures a premises and can move in straight away as the previous owner had died a few months ago and it is standing empty. It is a cute shop sandwiched between two very different sisters and is just what she was looking for. What she wasn't looking for was the dead body her dog Watson finds in her kitchen or the dead owl in her freezer. With the pot farm growing her basement the police focus on her hippie step father, as owner of the shop he had access to the shop and a long history with the dead woman. Fred with her cop fathers blood running through her veins she can't sit by and let the police arrest her step father and vows to find the police another suspect. With Watson by her side she goes from shop to shop introducing herself and asking questions, somebody has to know something that will point the finger or feather in a different direction.
I have heard a number of stories read by Angus Hickman and she always leaves me feeling impressed by her talent and skill.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • paddlefoot1397
  • 03-14-19

Quirky, cozy mystery

I have seen many Facebook friends post about this series, and it has been a while since I have read a cozy mystery, so why the heck not dive in.

I dove right in to the audiobook.

This is a cute and quirky series that I will definitely be reading/listening to more of in the future.

At first, I found the narrator a little - I won't say annoying as that is not the word, but she sounded for a while like a young girl rather than the woman that Fred is. However about 1/4 in I got used to her and it didn't bother me after that.

I enjoyed the story, even though I figured out pretty quickly who the killer was, but was not sure of their motives.

Watson is my spirit animal -feed me snacks, pronto!

One thing that irked me - the constant talk of Fred's height - she is 5'10", not gigantor!