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.
Pup Fiction (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
27th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington Cozies (June 29, 2021)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496718380
ISBN-13 : 978-1496718389
Kindle ASIN : B08KKYX1W6
With a new litter of Standard Poodles on the way, it’s shaping up to be a vibrant July in Greenwich, Connecticut, for Melanie Travis. Too bad there’s a killer in town who would love to drain the life out of her summer . . .
While usually protective, Melanie feels comfortable sending her sons to the Graceland School’s summer camp for two reasons: The institution is well-regarded and proprietor Emily Grace is a trusted friend. But Emily has been acting strange since three rambunctious Dalmatian puppies suddenly appeared on her doorstep. The unusual arrival marks the first of several mysterious happenings at camp, each more intense than the last. Emily’s rough streak takes a frightening turn with a discovery in the nearby woods—the body of her estranged ex-husband.
As suspicions rush in, proving that Emily didn’t murder her biggest mistake will be about as easy as raising prize-winning show dogs. Realizing she’s the only one who can prove her friend’s innocence and keep the Graceland School from shutting down, Melanie dives into an investigation on the victim’s whereabouts leading up to his demise. With a few spotty clues and Aunt Peg’s growing curiosity about the Dalmatian pups’ origins, Melanie must name the culprit before good intentions come back to bite!
Summer in Greenwich, Connecticut means summer camp at the Graceland School. This year Kevin will be a camper and Davey will be a counselor. Emily Grace, the owner of the school is a good friend of Melanie’s but she didn’t know her friend had been gifted 3 Dalmatian puppies. Puppies who somehow escaped from their outdoor enclosure and were running free. It is clear to Melanie that Emily doesn’t understand the training and care needed for the pups but Melanie is willing to help her learn.
As the first week of camp continues some strange things happen. Things that could have been quite dangerous. Then a neighbor makes a ghastly discovery in the woods near the school. A dead body that is quickly identified at Emily’s ex-husband. Could he have been responsible for the strange series of events? Of course, the police immediately cast Emily as the killer much to Melanie’s dismay. She knows she needs to help her friend and Aunt Peg feels she can help especially where the pups are concerned. They all just need to be careful not to become the killer’s next targets.
I love checking in with the Travis family. There is always a lot going on in their lives well before the dead body makes an appearance. I was so pleased to see that the poodle that Davey has been showing continues to do well and that his confidence has grown enough for him to stand up for his abilities to Aunt Peg and do it in a respectable way. I would expect no less from this young man that has grown up before our eyes. Melanie and Sam have done an excellent job raising their boys and the passel of loveable dogs in their care. Melanie has to juggle a lot as she tries to help Emily and Sam is a wonderful husband ready to pick up whatever slack that arises. The author has created a fantastic family unit. I always enjoy dropping by to see what they are up to.
Ms. Berenson has also penned an excellent mystery. Melanie’s life gets very entangled in her investigation even reaching into the dog show world. I loved all the twists and turns so much especially as we got closer to the big reveal. There were several viable suspects to work through. I had a little inkling toward the real guilty party but was still taken aback when everything was all spelled out.
Of course, again the settings were beautiful even though some were a little damp due to rain. The school grounds sounded idyllic and a great place for summer camp. It rained during a dog show and it was fun to see how much exhibitors went through to keep the dogs show-ready under those conditions. There was a funny moment when one dog wanted nothing to do with that rain at all. There were many other humorous passages as well.
One part that I love about every book in this series is Melanie’s relationship with her poodle Faith. She talks to her dog and Faith seems to understand. The dog’s feelings are portrayed so beautifully when she is left behind at home or when Melanie takes her along or on a walk. It sets each story in a delightfully believable way. Any true animal lover talks to their pets and is able to read their pet’s thoughts and wishes. The pure joy emitted by Faith when Melanie enters the house matches the joy all our dogs feel when they welcome us home. She is so lucky to be able to take Faith to so many places with her. She truly is a special pup.
Pup Fiction is a marvelous addition to this series. I just can’t get enough of Melanie and her family. I am now all caught up on the series and ready for Show Me the Bunny releasing later this month.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
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.
Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.
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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.”