Review: Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy

Will this paper trail run cold?

As the new co-owner of Tundish Montana’s stationery shop WANTED, Delta Douglas knows how to organize a killer crafting event. Creativity and cardstock are all she needs to move one step closer to her ultimate dream: developing her own line of crafting products. But on the night of the workshop, at the swanky hotel venue, glitter isn’t the only thing found sprawled on the floor. A hotel guest is discovered dead in the bar, and amid the confusion, Delta’s best friend is suspected of the crime.

Enlisting the help of her Paper Posse and Spud, her canine sidekick, Delta dives into the investigation. But with many high-powered suspects on the line, Delta soon realizes her sleuthing may come with deadly consequences.

Last Pen Standing by Vvian Conroy. This is book 1 in the Stationary Shop Mystery series. 288 pages. Published by Poisoned Pen Press, Sept. 24, 2019. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first time I’ve read anything by this author. I had never heard of her before. The cover is what caught my eye. So pretty! When I read the plot blurb about the book, I was even more interested. I love a fun cozy mystery that involves a crafty theme. I had never read one about a stationary store before. Sounded too fun to pass up.

Last Pen Standing is the start of this new series. We are introduced to a variety of characters from this small Montana town. Our main character is Delta. I really enjoyed getting to know her. Sometimes, in a cozy mystery, the main female character comes off very pushy or rude when confronting people, following the law, and digging for clues. Delta was a delight though. She is friendly and caring. She wanted to help, but she never got overly pushy.

Two other characters I really liked are that of wildlife guide, Jonas, and his retired K-9 doggo, Spud. I loved that the dog in the series is a bigger breed then what we normally see in a cozy. Also, pretty cool that Spud is retired from the police force and that his handler, Jonas, helps other retired K-9s return to civilian doggy life. I never really thought of what retired K-9s had to do after their time on the force. This could lead to Spud and Jonas having guest dogs hanging out all the time. šŸ˜€ Yay! More dogs, the merrier! I’m looking forward to seeing more of Jonas and his dogs.

Delta, Jonas and Spud made a great team tracking down the clues. I was surprised that Spud – the dog from the cover- isn’t Delta’s dog. Normally the dog always belongs to the leading lady in the cozy mystery series, and it was fun to see a change up to that formula.

I was so incredibly happy that the love interest / romance angle was not over the top. It is annoying when a new series starts, and we are just bombarded with the leading character gushing over how hot so and so is and ends up drooling all over him or her throughout the book! Bleh! I loved that Delta never acted like a fan girl over anyone who could be a potential future crush.

Last Pen Standing was a very pleasant start to a new series. Entertaining plot, interesting characters and setting. This was a pretty fun book and I am looking forward to reading more of this series.


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