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Killing Trail

(Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,477 ratings  ·  367 reviews
When a young girl is found dead in the mountains outside Timber Creek, life-long resident Officer Mattie Cobb and her partner, K-9 police dog Robo, are assigned to the case that has rocked the small Colorado town.

With the help of Cole Walker, local veterinarian and a single father, Mattie and Robo must track down the truth before it claims another victim. But the more Matt
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published December 8th 2015 by Crooked Lane Books
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,477 ratings  ·  367 reviews

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Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I am a simple gal that appreciates a good mystery with a decent plot, fun characters, maybe a little romantic interest. Add in a dog and I am really one happy camper. This book, the first of a series, fits the bill. Mizushima does a great job of explaining the K9 training protocol. And also explaining the bond that goes into a successful K9 partnership. The main characters are well developed. And I love that the lead detective is another woman.

You have to enjoy her writing style as well, very s
 Li'l Owl ~ Incorrigible Reader
Officer Mattie Cobb is thinking that this could be the best partner she's ever been paired up with. He's dark, handsome, muscular, strong, and he's the only one who can out run her in cross country running. His name is Robo. He's a German Shepherd and he's Mattie's new K-9 partner. Together they've just finished three months of training and it's their first day on the job when Mattie gets a call on the radio to meet the Sheriff McCoy at a cabin in the mountains outside of her small hometown of T ...more
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-animals
I had a hard time putting this, the first in the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, down. I am absolutely in love with Robo, the German Shepard K-9 who is the "star" of the show.

There is a good story here and I can't wait to see where future stories in this series lead us.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
A little slow to get going but I enjoyed the characters enough to get past book one.
Mark Stevens
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Timber Creek Sheriff Deputy Mattie Lu Cobb has a new partner. “Born in Russia, he was a handsome guy: straight black hair, intense brown eyes, and white teeth that flashed when he grinned.” In fact, the new partner “was the only one in the department who could outrun her in a cross-country foot race.”

Mattie’s new partner is Robo. A German shepherd. Together, they form the first K-9 unit ever mobilized in the small fictional Colorado town of Timber Creek. Robo is new but Mattie knows the town—she
You'd think the murder of a well liked high school girl would inspire more intensity but this whole book felt, well, generic - from the characters to the dialogue to the mystery itself. I'm not one who ever tries to solve a murder mystery before the protagonist does but in this case the answer was so obvious that I knew the guilty party the second the character was introduced. The supposed red herrings were also equally obvious and uninspired. As for the protagonist, well there are actually two ...more
Cathy Cole
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Killing Trail is the first book in an extremely promising new series. Mattie Cobb is a fascinating character whose childhood in the foster care system gives her a rapport with children that sometimes leads her to err in the young ones' favor. Mattie is smart and brave, a loner who believes in the value of hard work. Her growing bond with Robo-- which is one of the strongest elements in this book-- has the added bonus of improving her social skills with her fellow humans.

Veterinarian Cole Walker
Ann Jones
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Killing Trail by Margaret Mizushima is a well written story about police officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo. Follow Mattie and her trusted partner Robo as they both learn to depend on and defend one another. Just enough twists and turns to keep me captivated! Will be reading more in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Series.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Office Mattie has lived in Timber creek all her life and has just completed training with a K-9 dog training. Her first case is a girl that has been shot and buried. There is also a drug problem in her town and she hopes to find the killer and stop the drug flow. A 6 year old shoplifter leads her to a family and she misreads the situation because of her past family life.
Kathy Martin
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Deputy Mattie Cobb and her new partner K-9 Robo are called in to search by a forest ranger who noticed something suspicious. Suspecting drugs which have started to be a problem in her small Colorado town, Mattie is surprised when Robo finds the body of a young girl being guarded by her wounded dog.

Mattie brings the dog to local veterinarian Cole Walker for treatment. Cole recognizes the dog because it is owned by one of his daughter's friends. Cole is overworked and stressed because his final di
Mark Robison
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The writing is workmanlike, whodunnit is easy to figure out early on, the characters are all regular people and thus not especially memorable, and the showdown in an abandoned mine was very “Scooby-Doo” — and yet I liked this. It’s probably because there’s not only a strong female lead (a sheriff’s deputy who is a K9 handler) but a number of strong women characters; the knowledge of veterinary work, dog training and law enforcement protocol is spot-on; and there’s a good heart and moral compass ...more
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story.

Really enjoyed this book, good start to series. Story is about the small town in Colorado, small but very capable officers. Maggie and her partner Robo joined them three months ago, she had a very painful life growing in this town. Abusive father's beatings made her call the police, he went to jail and mother left her and her brother. They grow up in foster homes. You'll know most everything about Maggie character, she hasn't seen her brother for years and wants to find her mother. M
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of anthropomorphism.

Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Good. Liked the characters. Will read another. I did like the other K9 series I started more but that I’m still waiting for next book.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A young girl is found dead in small town Colorado. a rookie K-9 officer is on the case, looking for evidence and clues. A veterinarian is involved, and wouldn't you know it, sparks fly. It also seems his daughter knows more than she is telling.

Not bad, but overhyped.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Real review to come when it's not 3:30am!
Later: This is a 5-star debut, easily.

I did guess the killer pretty early on, and the ending did seem to come on rather quickly and felt a tad rushed, but neither of these details outweigh the major plusses of this book.

So many first books are so rough - the writing isn't as good as it could be (or at all), the plot is predictable, the characters flat - all the usual first-time author issues. When I'm reading a debut, I keep that stuff in mind, because
Darcia Helle
I love dogs. In fact, I am surrounded by my own three as I write this. I'm always happy when a main character has a special bond with his/her dog, and this book shines in that aspect.

Mattie had to overcome a lot of challenges in her life. Consequently, she is a loner and tends not to trust easily, if at all. Her partnership with Robo teaches her about trust in unexpected ways. The author clearly did her research on police dogs. The details of Mattie working the case with Robo, and Robo's respon
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A first class police procedure featuring a K- 9 dog. Drugs are making a headway into the small town of Timber Creek, Colorado. Money was raised to add a K-9 dog to the police. A contest of physical strength among the focus to see who would be his handler. Mattie Cobb is nervous as this is Kobo, the German shepherd she trained for 14 weeks the first case. A large pool of blood found in a hunting cabin. Much to her dismay, Kobo wants to go off the grid. Mattie follows Kobo and he finds another dog ...more
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent debut novel!!! Well researched, realistic actions and scenes. The first book of this series is every bit as good, if not better than some already established authors. I am glad I purchased this copy so I can share it. Looking forward to the next in her series.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read about a young cop who just got certified to work with a canine partner. I loved all the dog stuff and I thought the heroine was interesting but the author did not go overboard with her background. It made me want to read more in the series to find out more about her brother, mother, if anything will happen with her love life.

I thought the mystery was really well done with just enough clues (always pay attention to Robo!) to make it fair. I did sort of suspect the guilty par
Westminster Library
In this debut novel by this Colorado author, Margaret Mizushima begins the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series. Officer Mattie Cobb and her new K-9 partner, Robo, start the story by discovering a dead teenage body. We learn a great deal about the law enforcement team in this small town. A great mystery with a mix of drugs, murder, and a troubled family makes this an exciting read.

This reminds me of: Detective Gemma Monroe’s series, Inherit the Bones and A Season of Lies by Emily Littlejohn.

Quotes I
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

With Killing Trail, Margaret Mizushima's Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series is off to strong beginning. Starring an intrepid and appealing crime fighting duo, this debut police procedural is a suspense-laden murder mystery that I highly recommend to fans of the genre.

Deputy Mattie Cobb's first case with her new K-9 partner, Robo, is particularly heart wrenching. The teenage victim, Grace Hartman, is well-liked and has never been in trouble, leaving everyone mystified as to why anyone would
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-vine, mystery
"Killing Trail" is a K9-detective mystery. Officer Mattie Cobb is learning to trust her dog and pick up on what he's telling her. Since she's going to run the local high school's anti-drug program, she also has to move beyond her past as a foster kid and rebellious teenager. Cole Walker is very busy with his veterinarian practice which has led to his wife leaving him and their daughters. Add to that pain, his teenage daughter's friend has been murdered. He struggles to be there for his daughters ...more
Pamela Barrett
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Deputy Mattie Cobb and her newly trained K-9 partner Robo are on their first case in Timber Creek, Colorado. From the moment Robo hits the trail, Mattie learns a valuable lesson: you must always listen to your dog. Mattie is also learning that her small town, Timber Creek, isn’t the peaceful safe place she thought it was. The deeper she gets into this case the more she is pulled back into disturbing memories of her childhood. Mattie has been mostly a loner, but with the help of a new female dete ...more
Terri Wino
I really enjoyed this book and the characters of Mattie and her K-9 partner Robo! Though more of a "light" mystery, the story had just enough possible suspects to keep it interesting.

Mattie is a very likeable character, and there are a few future storylines set up in this book that I will enjoy seeing play out. I will definitely be continuing with this series. ROBO ROCKS!!

(2017 reading challenge category: a book with an animal as one of the main protagonists [does not have to be a talking animal
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
New series for this author and I believe she has pulled it off brilliantly. The character of Mattie is a very strong figure without being obnoxious or feeling that she had something to prove as some female law enforcement characters do. The author also did a good job in articulating the capabilities of a trained police dog. You gotta love a good dog character and Robo is perfect. This is certainly a very good first effort for Margaret Mizushima. I look forward to meeting Mattie and Robo again.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Finally, I got hold of the first book in this series as an e-book. I really, really enjoyed it. The K-9 team of Mattie and her dog Robo are just delightful. I love that dog! Just after her 12 week K-9 training, Mattie and Robo are thrown in at the deep end and are are called to investigate a large pool of blood found at a remote cabin. When they search the area they find a wounded dog (Belle) guarding the partially buried body of her owner, 15 year old Grace Hartman. The death shocks ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see where this is going and I am happy to follow Margaret Mizushima’s series. Killing Trail is a mystery. This is a story about drugs coming to a small Colorado town. This is a story about a young cop from a broken home who has finally found some steady ground as the human part of a sheriff department’s K-9 unit.

Mattie Cobb doesn’t seem to have much of a life outside of her job as a member of this rural county’s police force. She works long hours, has little or no social life and spends h
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't often read debut novels, but Margaret Mizushima's "Killing Trail" (Crooked Lane 2015), set in rural Colorado, main character a K-9 officer, and sufficient murder and mayhem for my thriller appetite, caught my attention. It only added to my excitement that it's recommended for those who love CJ Box (writes the Joe Pickett series based in the backwoods of Wyoming). "Killing Trail" is the story of a young officer, Mattie Cobb, and her K-9 partner, Robo. They are both new to their jobs, just ...more
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mattie and Robo - quite a team

UPDATE: I just finished re-reading KILLING TRAIL and I'm off to re-read the second book in the series STALKING GROUND before I read the Advanced Reading Copy of the third book I received recently HUNTING HOUR, which is due out August 8, 2017.

I revised my rating on this book from four stars to five after reading it again. I'm not sure whether the book has been revised since I read it last but I noticed many more descriptions of the Colorado landscape during this read
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Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. KILLING TRAIL, book one in the series, was nominated for the RT Reviewer's Choice award for Best First Mystery and named a Library Journal Debut Mystery of the Month. Book two, STALKING GROUND, is a finalist in the 2017 Colorado Book Awards mystery category. Her short story "Hay Hook" is included in the RMFW anthology CROSSING COL ...more

Other books in the series

Timber Creek K-9 Mystery (5 books)
  • Stalking Ground (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #2)
  • Hunting Hour (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery, #3)
  • Burning Ridge (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #4)
  • Tracking Game (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #5)