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WITHOUT A WORD by Carol Lea Benjamin


by Carol Lea Benjamin

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-053901-1
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

A new task for Dash the sleuthing pit bull, who’s asked to fetch a missing wife.

Sally Spector went out five years ago to walk Roy, her Border Collie, and vanished. Now her daughter Madison, who hasn’t spoken ever since, is suspected of killing her doctor after he gave her a botox injection that caused a drooping eyelid. Sally’s husband Leon Spector hopes Sally’s return will encourage Madison to speak again. So he asks Rachel Alexander, walking Dash in Washington Square Park, for help. Though Sally’s abandonment left both Leon and Madison with deep psychological scars, Dash’s past as a therapy dog helps Rachel (Fall Guy, 2004, etc.) establish a connection with them while she digs up some surprising facts about Madison’s biological father, who never knew she existed, and her late doctor, who had a secret life. Rachel reopens the cold case by talking to Madison’s father and to an actor who still lives in the Spectors’ apartment house. Meantime, she tries to solve the doctor’s murder with grudging help from Ms. Peach, his receptionist. When the doctor’s mistress is listed as a victim of suicide, alarm bells ring.

Fans will wag their tails for the empathetic characters and all-too-plausible plot.