Hounded To Death
Kensington, Sept 2007, $22.00, 304 pp.
Her husband Sam and her Aunt Peg persuade four months pregnant Melanie Travis to take a break from all her activities. She agrees and goes with Peg and her sister-in-law Bertie to a symposium for dog show judges and those who want to be one in the Pocono’s. Melanie is shocked to learn that Peg is going to meet Richard Donner, whom she corresponds with on the internet; he brought his mother, who is very possessive of her son and her she also brought her Chihuahua with her.
When Melanie goes for a walk she finds an abandoned German Shepard who is terrified of people. That night they try to find him buit instead come across well known dog judge Charlie Evans floating dead in the Jacuzzi. The police discover it’s a homicide and everyone at the symposium expects Melanie to find out who the killer is. Many people think the controversial keynote speech he gave led to his murder; but Melanie thinks otherwise. Although she tries to stay out of the investigation, she keeps getting pulled into it until she finally surrenders and aggressively investigates wondering whose bite was louder than their bark amidst the many canine loving suspects.
Fans of dog lovers and amateur sleuth mysteries will thoroughly enjoy HOUNDED TO DEATH, a doggedly good who-done it. There is lots of humor in this book as the author plays up the pitfalls of the heroine’s pregnancy (an amusing salute to Fargo) to the enjoyment of the audience. The abandoned German Shepard and the adorable Chihuahua also are played for laughs although dogs play an important role in protecting humans. Laurien Berenson keeps her series fresh by having her key characters change.