Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Pedigree To Die For, Laurien Berenson

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Synopsis: The world of show dogs-and their handlers, judges, breeders and owners-provides the principle background in this competent, somewhat drawn-out debut. Melanie Travis, 30, a teacher in Stamford, Conn., and the divorced mother of four-year-old Davey, doesn't own a dog, although her aunt Peg and uncle Max breed standard poodles. One morning Max is found dead of a heart attack on the kennel floor; after the funeral, Peg asks Melanie to find Beau, the kennel's star stud dog that has been missing since the night Max died. Melanie, whose summer job has fallen through, agrees but doesn't necessarily agree with Peg that someone else must have been in the kennel that night. Setting out on the dog-show circuit, ostensibly seeking a world-class mate for her poodle, Melanie meets assorted handlers and breeders, a respected judge and an attractive hunk named Sam Driver who had tried very hard to buy Beau from Max. In fairly predictable girl-sleuth tradition, Melanie also encounters murder and the possibility of romance. A bonanza for ardent dog fanciers and for others, a likable heroine in a smoothly paced romantic mystery. 

Thoughts: Read this for the Big Library Read 2014. I'm usually a big fan of cozy mysteries that include animals--not so much with this one, though. I had to force myself to finish the last ten chapters, and by the end I really didn't even care who the killer was, particularly since it was a character that had almost no part in the story till nearly the end.

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