Gone With the Woof (A Melanie Travis Mystery)

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9780758284525: Gone With the Woof (A Melanie Travis Mystery)

Despite Melanie's domestic demands - a toddler and a house full of Standard Poodles - helping Edward March pen his life story is an opportunity she can't pass up. Of course Edward turns out to be a growly old man who wants his book - "Puppy Love" - to consist mainly of his amorous encounters with women from the dog show community. It's juicy gossip, but not dangerous...until Andrew, Edward's son, pays Melanie an angry visit to stop her from working on the book. When Andrew suddenly turns up very dead, the victim of a seemingly intentional hit-and-run, the police are looking at Edward as Suspect No. 1. There was lots of bad blood between Andrew and his father, but Melanie is looking at the bigger picture. Would some of Edwards' ex-trysts have gone after Andrew to shut Edward up? How about all of those husbands and boyfriends with bones to pick? And who is that woman who everyone is avoiding at the funeral? Between getting caught up in the bafflingly dysfunctional March family, sorting out two generations of disgruntled ex lovers, and uncovering a shocking case of secret hoarding, Melanie's running into dead ends almost as fast as she's running out of time. The longer the killer stays unleashed, the sooner she may end up in the dog house for good.

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About the Author:

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Review:

Melanie Travis' offer to render professional assistance to a retiring dog-show judge turns into much more for a mother returning to work.

When Melanie agrees to help Edward March write his memoir, she assumes that Edward will be highlighting his life as a judge of dog shows. But Edward has something else in mind. He immediately launches into a tell-all of his life and loves, which are far more prolific than Melanie would have expected of the aging, otherwise reclusive former businessman. Melanie has already told her husband, Sam, of her confusion about why her Aunt Peg recommended her for the job in the first place when the nature of the assignment changes abruptly. Andrew, Edward's adult son, is struck and killed by a car while jogging, and Edward insists that Melanie take responsibility for investigating whatever the police might have missed. Since Edward and Andrew were alike in their rather cantankerous ways, Melanie is stuck wading through a long list of potential suspects from both the business and dog-show worlds. Meanwhile, she uncovers more than she anticipated about Edward's background, and the knowledge she gains puts her own safety at risk.

Berenson (Doggie Day Care Murder, 2009, etc.), who has a nose for balancing fun and fright, devises another story that will appeal to dog aficionados and cozy lovers alike. --Kirkus

In Berenson's sprightly 16th pooch-packed escapade (after 2008's Doggie Day Care Murder), stay-at-home mom Melanie Travis accepts Aunt Peg's push back into the work world. She agrees to help Edward March, a crotchety but highly influential dog-show judge, write his memoirs, but is dismayed to learn that he's planned a tell-all book about his numerous affairs with well-known women within the dog breeding and show world. Almost immediately, Edward's son, Andrew, vows to stop the book's publication, only to become a hit-and-run victim several days later. Edward insists Melanie help find the killer, but this requires combing through the huge pool of suspects created by father and son's shared philandering ways. Juggling two kids, a husband, and a houseful of poodles, Melanie is one busy lady as she gets on the killer's trail. With unexpected twists, humor, and a wealth of information about the story's milieu, Berenson wraps this caper up in a tail-wagging finale. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Sept.) --Publishers Weekly

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