Here Comes Santa Paws (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
24th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Hardcover: 208 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07MB475ZK
It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Connecticut, but Melanie Travis finds surviving this December may take a real Christmas miracle when a yuletide murderer comes to town . . .
As Melanie attempts to deck the halls in a house overrun by pampered Poodles, her event planner friend, Claire, is busy playing Santa—beard and belly not included—for the wealthiest clientele on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. A personal shopper gig in the affluent town of New Canaan seems like business as usual. Except Claire’s stylish stint comes at a higher price than she bargains for when she stumbles over her newest customer’s dead body on the job. Named a prime suspect for murder, she begs for Melanie’s help, then vanishes like cookies and milk on Christmas Eve . . .
Determined to track down Claire, Melanie and her nosy Aunt Peg dash into a dizzying investigation that leads to even more questions. Why was homicide victim Lila Moran, a secretive woman with an untraceable past, permitted to live on a well-known socialite-turned-recluse’s private estate, and is Claire keeping her own incriminating secrets under wraps? Now, with a grinchy New Canaan detective on their case and disturbing clues piling up like presents beneath the tree, the crime-solving duo must rein in a sinister Kris Kringle before they’re the next ones on someone’s deadly wish list . . .
Christmas in Connecticut this year comes with a case of murder for Melanie Travis and she is wrapped right into it because her friend Claire finds the body and becomes the prime suspect. Claire trying to expand her event planning business has become a private shopper for the well-to-do residents of New Canaan including Lila Moran. She had just stopped by to drop off some presents when she found her client murdered. She panics but calls the police and then calls Melanie.
Melanie with her school on holiday break has plenty of time to snoop, and of course, Aunt Peg includes herself in the amateur investigation. At first, they have more questions than answers and the detective on the case wants them out of his case, but before Santa can come down the chimney he may be wishing he paid more attention to Melanie because she always seems to be one step ahead of him.
Also, Aunt Peg finds something very special in her stocking!
I love visiting the Travis family, they are always up to something!
It’s holiday season so no dog shows to attend or for Peg to judge but that doesn’t mean drama won’t find these sleuths. Claire is married to Melanie’s first husband but they have become friends. That is part of the reason I love this series, Melanie has a huge open heart and an amazing amount of energy. She is always willing to help friends, family, neighbors, fellow dog owners, actually, anybody, even when it may put her in danger.
A husband, 2 sons, 5 Standard Poodles, 1 spotted mutt, and the formidable Aunt Peg, really keeps Melanie on her toes and that is before you add friends, work, dog shows, everyday life, and a murder. Ms. Berenson has created a fantastic protagonist and surrounded her with a marvelous supporting cast. They are credible and real. I could see myself dropping by Melanie’s house for a cup of coffee while enjoying not only her company but plenty of canine love.
In this installment, Melanie does her best but hits a wall while investigating the victim. Aunt Peg just may have a way to help her out. A few suspects in addition to Claire finally come to light and I enjoyed following step by step along with Melanie right up to a very exciting ending. Wow, the edge of my seat, check!
This holiday story was a quick read and as with the previous books in this series, held my attention was beginning to end. The characters are engaging, the mystery is well-plotted and the story leaves me excitedly waiting for the next one.
Reading Here Comes Santa Paws is a great way to kick off your holiday season and would make a great gift for the dog lovers on your list. Ms. Berenson writes each story to stand on its own so don’t be put off by it being number 24 in the series. I do predict that after reading this one you are going to want to read more about Melanie Travis and her wonderful family though. 🙂 Woof!
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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