On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
I lost a day of reading on Saturday due to the Walk for Hope, Kaden’s game and dinner out. I was exhausted when I got home and was awakened by my husband a little while later with my Kindle in my hand. So I got ready for bed and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Because of that, I am sharing a review will you again from 2016 and I have an Advance Review Copy to give away.
When her Aunt Peg lands a gig as judge at a Kentucky dog show, Melanie Travis welcomes the opportunity for a road trip. Too bad a killer has planned a deadly detour . . .
For a dog lover like Melanie, the opportunity to attend the Kentuckiana Dog Show Cluster is not to be missed. Fortunately, the timing coincides with her spring break from teaching, so she heads for central Kentucky with her sister-in-law Bertie and Aunt Peg, who’s accepted a week-long judging assignment. Once there, Aunt Peg reconnects with an old friend, Ellie Gates Wanamaker, a former Standard Poodle exhibitor and a member of a well-heeled Kentucky family. Miss Ellie has been out of the dog show world for more than a decade, but when Melanie invites her to spectate at the Louisville Kennel Club dog show, she’s eager to accompany her.
Miss Ellie’s presence at the expo center, however, provokes mixed reactions from exhibitors she hasn’t seen in years, including some outright animosity. The following day Melanie learns that Miss Ellie has suffered a fatal accident while exercising her dogs. Aunt Peg, however, suspects foul play. Wishing to avoid any scandal, Miss Ellie’s pedigreed family prefers to let sleeping dogs lie, but as Melanie begins to sniff around, she discovers Miss Ellie had many secrets, both in the dog show world and amongst her Kentucky kin . . .
Racehorses and dogs come together as Melanie, Bertie and Peg head to the Kentuckiana Dog Show Cluster and to check out Peg’s new inheritance. They aren’t just horsing around either when one of Peg’s old friends, Ellie Gates Wanamaker, is found dead. Accident or murder, Peg is like a dog with a bone to get answers.
I am so late to the Melanie Travis Mystery Party and I still don’t understand how I have missed this series. But let me tell you, Laurien Berenson made me feel right at home. I jumped right into this story and enjoyed it immensely. She gave enough of a backstory that I never felt lost or that I was missing some important details. That is hard to do with a long-standing series as this. I love these characters and want to go back up and read much more about them and find out how this wonderful group came together.
The only hesitation I had was understanding the horse breeding, selling, training processes but that is a very complicated thing unless you live in that world. It was totally on me not on the author’s storytelling.
I so enjoyed learning about the wonderful poodles and the Jack Russell Terriers. As a parent to two Border Collie/Blue Heeler mixes, I understand clearly how each breed has their own tendencies, traits, and idiosyncrasies. No matter what they are we love them and the author’s love was shining from the beginning of this story until the end.
Laurien Berenson writes a heck of a mystery too. Right up until the end we were guessing about what happened and why and who was responsible. It went right down to the wire just like a great horse race.
I am excited to read more of these stories, catching up and going forward.
Thank you, Ms. Berenson, for a delightful story to curl up with.
About This 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.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”