Bark If It’s Murder
(A Dog Club Mystery)
by V.M. Burns
About Bark If It’s Murder
Bark If It’s Murder (A Dog Club Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Lyrical Underground (August 27, 2019)
Paperback: 162 pages
Digital ASIN: B07L2G3DJ1
Lilly Echosby just witnessed a murder on a pet cam. Or did she?
When a last-minute opportunity arises to accompany her boss to an art auction in Atlanta, Lilly throws some money at the problem of where to board her toy poodle Aggie (short for Agatha Christie). Posh Pet Haven offers the most luxurious canine accommodations in all of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The place even provides pet cams so anxious owners can check in on their pampered pooches.
But when Lilly tries to take a peek at her poodle, she gets a terrible shock—she witnesses what she’s sure is a murder. She thinks the victim may be the wealthy co-owner of Pet Haven. The police follow her lead but find no body, no evidence of a crime, and no video record. Starting to feel like the dog owner who cried wolf, Lilly decides to go undercover to catch a killer who may be hiding in plain sight …
Lilly Echosby has been enjoying her temporary accounting job at the art museum. She jumps at the chance to go with her boss to Atlanta for an art auction. She just needs to find someone to care for Aggie, her toy poodle. After a friend recommends Pet Haven Lilly decides to give the place a try. On arrival, she sees it is an elite pet care facility with themed rooms and pet cams that can be accessed by the pet’s families.
Relaxing in her hotel room, almost as nice as Aggie’s accommodations, Lily decides to check up on her pooch. Instead what she sees is something that looks like murder. She places a call to “Red” Olson, a Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Officer, a man she has been spending quite a bit of time with, to report what she saw. When he arrives at her hotel the next morning he informs her there was no body or evidence that anything bad had happened at the post pet hotel. She can’t believe it. With her boss’ blessing, she returns to Chattanooga to find the truth. Offering her accounting services she goes undercover to do just that.
This was an extremely fast read, more novella length than a full-length mystery and Ms. Burns packs those pages full. In addition to the murder, Lilly’s son, David, the actor comes to visit, her daughter’s boyfriend also drops in for a day, Aggie continues her puppy training, Lilly volunteers at a dog show for the job no one really wants, her co-worker Jacob is suffering from a broken ankle and is at his mom’s mercy, and Lilly is finally moving out of the residential hotel and into a home of her own.
I really enjoyed this story. As always the characters are well developed and pulled me right into the story. The friendship between Dixie and Lilly continues to shine. We meet some new characters this time and get to know some recurring characters better. I was very happy to have Lilly’s son come to town. It is great that we have now got to know both her children. Of course, the canine characters always steal my heart.
The author blends the mystery with all the happenings in Lilly’s daily life very well and Lilly’s life is very complicated even before you throw a probable murder into the mix. Thankfully she is a strong independent woman and knows just who to call for help when needed. For me, part of the whodunit was clear very early, but as the story continued to play out there was a huge twist I didn’t see coming. Excellently played Ms. Burns!
Bark If It’s Murder is a great addition to this series. V.M. Burns gives readers a page-turning mystery full of wonderful characters, humor, Southern charm, and just a little bit of romance. I highly recommend the entire series and can’t wait for the next installment.
More Praise forBark If It’s Murder
(A Dog Club Mystery)
by V.M. Burns
The mystery was well plotted and had enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider. There was enough intrigue to keep me engaged and the mystery was not easily solved. That’s my kind of mystery.
The friendly character dynamics and relationships are also a delight to follow, “cozy” vibe was definitely oozing off the pages throughout.
~Diary of a Book Fiend
A mystery with a surprising outcome, BARK IF IT’S MURDER is the perfect installment into the Dog Club Mysteries. Once you’ve read it, you’ll be begging for more!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews
I so love this series!! . . . Full of fascinating details that will keep you guessing about what is going on all mixed up with some of the most fun dogs ever throughout the whole book.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
About V.M. Burns
V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com
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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.”