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  • Writer's pictureHannah Zunic

Calling All Corgi Lovers: A Review of Case of the One-Eyed Tiger by J.M. Poole

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Hello, Book Nerds! Welcome back to Reading Has Ruined My Life or welcome if you are new. As always, my name is Hannah and I am your captain on this journey into my bookcases.

Special hello goes out to the Isle of Man today. This is my first time ever seeing you in my analytics. It’s so nice to see you. I’m glad you’re here. Please enjoy your stay as I’m sure there are plenty of posts that will strike your fancy. I’m just glad you’re here.

Today’s post goes out to all the corgi lovers out there. And the general dog lovers, but mainly all the corgi lovers. I fall into that category. I have two fancy potatoes who bark at the wind and I would kill for them. Speaking of these two, let me introduce you to them. Their names are Truffles and Waffles. Truffles is a Cardigan Corgi. That means she’s a diehard Swiftie and was created by Taylor Swift fans. Waffles is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and he knew the moment the Queen of England died. Like I said, I’d kill for the two of them.

Two corgis
They're cute and they know it.

Because I have such adorable dogs, my neighbors know me and, more specifically, my dogs. So a couple of weeks ago, I took Waffles for a quick walk when my neighbor stopped me. She had something for me. A book. A book featuring a corgi. She gave me a lovely little cozy mystery novel with a certified Good Boy on the cover.

Please welcome to the stage Case of the One-Eyed Tiger by J.M. Poole!

Book cover of Case of the One-Eyed Tiger by J.M. Poole.

Does a book become a five-star read when there is a certified Good Boy in it? We’re about to find out. As always, a spoiler alert is in order. Also just a quick content warning, the main character has recently been widowed. His wife tragically passed in a car accident. Another character is also widowed. She lost her husband to cancer. I just want to mention these things in case anyone is grieving for similar reasons. I won’t bring this topic up in my review, but I do want readers to know it’s there in case they’re considering picking up a copy. With that, let’s get to the synopsis.

Romance writer Zach Anderson has recently become a very wealthy man. He’s inherited a large estate and winery from his deceased wife’s great aunt. No idea as to why he’s the one receiving this great wealth, especially considering this great aunt has kids, but he is. And he’s not turning it down. Much to the chagrin to this great aunt’s children.

Kim K flashing some cash.
Zach's rolling in cash thanks to an old lady he never knew.

Our boy Zach plans on reopening the winery in honor of his late wife Samantha and also because he wants a fresh start. He packs up his old life in Phoenix, Arizona and moves to Pomme Valley, Oregon. Alas, his fresh start isn’t off to a great start. The night before he arrives in town there is a murder at the local art gallery where a million dollar sculpture was also stolen and somehow Zach is a suspect. His first day in Pomme Valley includes a lovely interrogation from the police and being yelled at by one of the deceased great aunt’s children who is trying to get Zach to sign over all his new property.

Back to the crimes though. Obviously, Zach didn’t commit them. He wasn’t anywhere near Pomme Valley at the time! It’s up to Zach to clear his name! It’s him against the world. Sorry, that’s a lie. It’s him and Sherlock, the corgi cover star and true protagonist of this cozy mystery, against the world. Together they shall clear Zach’s name and begin life anew in Pomme Valley.

Sleepy corgi puppy.
And yes, Sherlock has Zach wrapped around his paw.

We've got lots to talk about so let’s get into it. Firstly, this is your standard cozy mystery. The plot is nothing groundbreaking. It’s pretty run of the mill. Seriously, raise your hand if you can come up with a handful of titles that sound like Case of the One-Eyed Tiger. Now, I’m not docking points for this. Cozy mysteries are very formulaic and I love that for them. You got the small town with a surprisingly booming economy, you have the cute/cozy/quaint element (in this case it’s the dog), the main character is an amateur sleuth who is busy running around solving the mystery faster than the cops, the violence is kept to a minimum; I’ll stop here, you get the idea.

Those staples are all in this read. It’s a cozy mystery, it’s what you’d expect. J.M. Poole is not straying from the tried and true in this case. Don’t get me wrong, the author kept me reading and entertained enough. Just don’t expect a mind-blowing, genre changing read. Case of the One-Eyed Tiger is a classic cozy through and through.

Next up I want to talk about our main characters. We’ll start with Sherlock before moving onto Zach. Sherlock is a certified Good Boy! He is the smartest dog in the existence of the world, and most certainly the smartest character in this book. Seriously, this mystery is only solved because of Sherlock. Pretty sure he’s smarter than his namesake. He's definitely smarter than every other character in this story combined. A 10-out-of-10 Good Boy! We stan Sherlock in this household.

Pixel hearts.
In Sherlock the Corgi we trust.

Zach? Not so much. I found Zach annoying. Zach is our narrator and this novel is told in first-person. He goes on tangents a lot and then apologizes for said tangent. He also says, and I quote, “sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself” a lot. I feel like the author does this to be funny or to make the narrator charming, but it doesn’t work for me. And I know that sounds hypocritical seeing as I too go on tangents and get ahead of myself a lot in my own writing. But Zach’s voice just isn’t for me.

In general, Zach doesn’t do it for me. He is somehow both immature and an 80-year-old man at only 43. Seriously, he doesn’t even know how to open his phone’s contacts because he’s a member of Gen X. You have to go through a lot of mental gymnastics for very little payoff when it comes to Zach and even more with all the tech clues the mystery has. Oh, Zach’s also sexist by the way. Women can’t be into science-fiction and if they claim they are, they’re lying. Female sci-fi geeks don’t exist! Like I said, Zach doesn’t do it for me. I have a lot more bullet points about why I don’t like this character but we’ll cap it where it’s at.

Paris Hilton making a disgusted looking face.
Zach is ew.

I’m not going to lie, Sherlock was the main reason I made it through this book. Sure, he’s a little too all knowing. He’s the one to find all the clues in order for Zach to somehow piece together the mystery, but he’s a dog and can do no wrong in my eyes. It’s at this point I realize I haven’t mentioned the mystery once throughout this review; so let’s talk about it.

Despite this being a cozy mystery, the mystery didn’t feel like the main focus of the novel. Honestly it’s because the mystery was solved by Sherlock walking up to things and pointing them out. As stated in the synopsis, the day before the protagonist arrives in Pomme Valley, a woman named Debra Jacobs was murdered in the town’s art gallery. The titular one-eyed tiger was also stolen this night. Ok, so it’s a fairly standard crime…at first.

Warning, tons of spoilers ahead about the crimes. Skip ahead to my favorite waving bears if you don’t want spoilers.

After the original crime is committed, Zach is a main suspect despite not having been anywhere near Pomme Valley at the time of the murder. This mystery’s villain is unhinged and does way more than he, she and/or they need to. The villain plants evidence that points to Zach. They then proceed to murder another person, plant the body in the winery Zach now owns, put cyber stalking technology on his phone without him knowing, and threatens to shoot Sherlock. All because they want Zach’s inheritance. There are far easier ways to obtain the inheritance.

Bears waving.

Spoilers are over now. You are in the spoiler free zone now. Listen, things get convoluted real quick. I went through tons of mental gymnastics for little to no payoff. The mystery in this cozy mystery is not its strong point. Too much hinges on Zach’s ineptitude of using a smart phone and I don’t like it cause it doesn't make sense. I read this book for Sherlock and Sherlock alone.

This book could have been worse. I’ve read much worse. I feel that there are better options, but this book will do in a pinch. We stan a 10-out-of-10 Good Boy in this house so if you want a story about one of those and nothing else then this book is for you.

With that, I shall bid you all adieu. I will see you next week with another new review that may or may not be kicking off Spooky Season on this blog.

It's time!

Until then, stay safe, wash your hands, and read some good books for me.

Bears waving.
See y'all then, bye!


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