A reclusive young dog owner is forced out of her shell when she finds a body in the woods.
Anna Hopkins has tried to keep to herself since a childhood tragedy took her family away and walled her off from others. The only exception is Bonnie, her adopted white shepherd; Anna finds comfort with the dog in a way she could never find with other people. Unfortunately, she also finds a body. The body Anna and Bonnie stumble on one morning is that of Naomi Evans, a young woman Anna met and felt an immediate connection with. In fact, Anna had been intending to meet up with Naomi later in the day because Naomi had promised to research Bonnie’s origins. The shock of seeing a body brings back so much trauma for Anna that she’s overwhelmed. Luckily, two other dog-walking women come to her aid: older, outspoken Isadora and quiet, kind young Tansy. Though the women had been unknown to each other before the discovery of Naomi’s body, something about the tragedy brings them together, and they vow to find out what’s happened when the police cannot. Even the usually retiring Anna can’t help but get wrapped up with the potential new friends, each compelling in her own way. Adding to the mystery is Jake McCaffrey, a serviceman who claims Naomi reached out to him as Bonnie’s original owner, who shows up in Oxford to visit his former pet—and Anna, too.
Surprisingly entertaining in spite of the predictable plot, Dalton’s adult mystery debut is filled with amusing characters, each with her or his own imperfections.