Cooking the Books: Mission Impawsible by Krista Davis

I’ve greatly enjoyed Krista Davis’s Domestic Diva series, so I was quite excited to check out her Paws and Claws series—even though I’m jumping in here on the 5th book, Mission Impawsible. In the pet-friendly but entirely fictional, alas, town of Wagtail, Virginia, Holly Miller runs the Sugar Maple Inn with her sprightly grandmother, Oma. They’re preparing the inn for Animal Attraction, a matchmaking event for pet owners, and have invited a celebrity matchmaker to assist with the proceedings. 

Oma is quite intent on matching Holly with someone new, despite Holly’s reluctance, which only deepens when her ex-boyfriend shows up in town needing a place to stay for the event. He claims to want her back, which puts her off the idea of romance altogether (and the guy that the celebrity matchmaker does wind up pairing her off with is no prize either, in my opinion). Still, Holly is determined to make the experience a terrific one for her guests, unwanted or otherwise, as she helps both the lovelorn and the meddling fumble their way towards happiness.

Alas, Animal Attraction gets off to a rocky start when a cold-fish naysayer appears and does nothing but dump water on the very idea of love. Holly and Oma are only too happy to be rid of him … until Holly’s dog, Trixie, discovers him stone dead later that same evening. Suspicion quickly turns to Holly herself, only deepening after another body is found. Holly must clear her name—with the help of both Trixie and her cat, Twinkletoes—before a cunning criminal frames her for these vicious murders.

Mission Impawsible was as delightful a read as any of the Domestic Diva series, more so if you’re an animal lover who longs for a place as idyllic as Wagtail. I have a sweet little Bichonpoo myself—though, at the age of ten, he’s getting along in years and requires a restricted diet. As such, I decided against making him any of the interesting pet treats included in the recipe section of the book, though I did very much appreciate that Ms. Davis included recipes for nearly every dish—for pets or humans—that she mentioned in the novel. I chose these two to attempt:

Egg and Avocado Toast

*For two people—double or triple for more


1 avocado

Olive oil

2 eggs

2 slices of bread

Salt and pepper

Baby spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes for garnish (optional)


Peel and pit the avocado. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. After a couple of minutes, turn the heat up to medium. Crack the eggs into the pan and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low. Toast the bread. Mash the avocado and spread half on each slice of toast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the whites are set, remove eggs from heat, leaving the lid on until the yolks are done to your liking. Place one egg on each piece of toast. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make a little fan with a few baby spinach leaves and add a grape tomato as garnish. Serve immediately.

I’ve never made avocado toast, though I hear it’s been quite fashionable these past few years. I have tried baking eggs in avocado and did not care for it at all, but since eggs and avocado by themselves are quite a favorite with me, I was quite game to attempt this. I tried both white and rye bread for this recipe and found, surprisingly, that I preferred the white. I also found that the taste was much enhanced by liberally sprinkling the spread avocado with salt before topping off with the egg. My house was surprisingly devoid of spinach the day I made this, but I found the cherry tomatoes to be a perfect addition, as they add a brightness to the creamy, salty goodness of the rest of the dish.

Then, for something sweet, I made these:

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

*For people only


6 ounces semisweet chocolate

4 ounces white chocolate

1 pound strawberries


Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the semisweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 40 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. If not melted, microwave 10 more seconds until melted and smooth. Repeat with the white chocolate in another bowl. 

Grasping the strawberry by the stem, dip in the semi-sweet chocolate. As it begins to set, use a fork to drizzle white chocolate over it. Allow the chocolate to set.

I futzed with the timing here a bit, only melting the white chocolate after dipping the strawberries into the semisweet. Pro tip: make sure your berries are nice and dry before dipping, or else the chocolate won’t adhere properly. You can also see in the photos where my lovely assistant, Karin, took over drizzling the white chocolate for me, as my first attempts were not the greatest: fortunately, she is better at these artistic touches than I am.

One of my favorite things about both recipes was how uncomplicated Ms. Davis made them, allowing us to make an entire meal that was both fancy and delicious in very little time. She is easily one of my favorite cooking-cozy-mystery authors, for both the quality of her recipes and her novels.

Next week, I travel further south to Georgia to try out a peach recipe and plunge into the machinations of small-town politics: do join me!

See also: Cooking the Books: Pop Goes the Murder by Kristi Abbott


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Doreen Sheridan is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C. She
microblogs on Twitter @dvaleris.

Read all posts by Doreen Sheridan for Criminal Element.


  1. Melissa Keith

    YUM! I will have my hubby make this for me. He has made chocolate covered strawberries before. He’s an excellent cook! I also plan to read MI. I’m still going crazy for cozies and it’s on my TBR list. Cheers!

  2. Doreen Sheridan

    It’s a good series, especially if you have pets! And yay for having your husband make these for you! They’re super delicious, and not difficult at all, so likely won’t pose much of a challenge for him :D.

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