The Dog Across the Lake (A Paws & Claws Mystery)
9th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Berkley (January 2, 2024)
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593436970
ISBN-13 : 978-0593436974
Kindle ASIN : B0BV679L5W
Holly and Trixie meet a strange new dog in Wagtail that leads them right into murder. . . .
Holly Miller is looking forward to finally taking a few days to relax. Enjoying an early morning on her terrace, she spots an unfamiliar reddish-gold pooch across the lake. She’s intrigued, but never expects to find the very same dog smiling at her in bed when she wakes up the next morning! Trixie and Twinkletoes appear to accept this cute stranger, but Holly doesn’t know to whom he belongs.
Oma thinks the dog looks familiar, and it turns out the wayward pooch belongs to Holly’s cousin Josh. Holly knew her cousin well as a child, but she hasn’t seen him in over a decade. He’s camping with his girlfriend across the lake. Holly returns the cute dog to Josh’s campsite twice, but the second time, Josh and his girlfriend are nowhere to be found. Instead, a guest of the Sugar Maple Inn is dead in their tent. Now it’s up to Holly and Trixie to suss out a sneaky killer.
The good people of Wagtail and her family are getting ready to celebrate Mayor Liesel Miller’s (Oma’s) birthday. Family is coming into town to surprise her and a couple of events have been planned. Holly is looking forward to it all but her attention right now is on the strange dog smiling at her as she wakes up. How did this dog get in her room? Where did he belong? Is he the dog she noticed across the lake?
Small world, the dog belongs to her cousin Josh. They haven’t seen each other since they were children. In town to surprise Oma for her birthday, he and his girlfriend are camping across the lake. After Holly takes the dog back, she wakes up to him smiling at her again the next day. At least now she knows where he belongs. She still doesn’t understand how he is getting to the inn and into her room but again takes him back to Josh. Only Josh isn’t at his campsite and neither is his girlfriend. Instead, she finds Fred Burton, a guest from her inn in their tent, and he is dead.
This is truly one of my favorite series. If Wagtail and the Sugar Maple Inn were real, I would either move there or vacation there as often as possible. The inn really caters to their guests, human and animal, from the food to the lodgings. Plus the town has great shops and restaurants and pets are welcome in almost every establishment.
Ms. Davis’s core cast of characters are so genuine and welcoming not only to humans but cats, dogs, and other pets too. They have huge hearts, creative ideas, and are just plain fun. They all grow from one book to the next in realistic ways. Holly loves the inn, Oma loves the inn and the town, and Gingersnap, Twinkletoes, and Trixie are just perfect pets. This time Holly’s father, half-sister, aunt, and cousin arrive for Oma’s celebration and play major parts in the story. We also meet Josh’s dog Radar.
Ms. Davis has written a complicated mystery. The inn is overflowing with guests and family members but it is cousin Josh and his girlfriend, Dana, that appear to be in the middle of everything. Holly can’t believe Josh could kill someone but he does nothing to prove his innocence. Secrets, lies, twists, turns, and another murder keep the pages turning rapidly. A missing item appears to be the key to everything. I loved tagging along with Holly and Officer Dave and they ferret through all the clues. A surprising twist reveals part of the mystery. It felt good to know that I was kind of on the right track. There is an exciting reveal and showdown but the story doesn’t end there. There is still one dangling thread . . .
The Dog Across the Lake was a Perfect Escape. Loveable characters, a fantastic mystery, and a wonderful setting come together to test us armchair sleuths and keep us totally entertained. Each visit to Wagtail ends much too soon. I am beyond excited for my next virtual vacation to visit Holly and the Sugar Maple Inn.
I highly recommend every book in this series. They can all be read on their own but to really enjoy Wagtail and all that happens there you will want to read them all.
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About The Author
New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. The first book in the series is the New York Times Bestselling Murder, She Barked. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with dogs, cats, and a hidden stash of chocolate.
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.”