A chance encounter on a stormy Maine night involves Liss Ruskin, nee MacCrimmon, in yet another murder.
Liss, the owner of the Scottish Emporium in Moosetookalook, is on her way home in a sudden downpour when something furry darts in front of her and she swerves off the road. The furry beast turns out to be an obviously well-cared-for Scottish terrier whom Liss rushes to a veterinary clinic. After the Scottie is diagnosed with only bumps and bruises, Liss takes her home, annoying her cats, until she can discover the owner, who turns out to be the exceedingly grateful Deidre Amendole. Deirdre uses the precious Dandy and her brother Dondi in a dancing-dog act that is currently favored to win a reality television competition, Variety Live. When Deidre, who insists that Dandy was dognapped, turns up dead, apparently from an accidental overdose, her daughter, Desdemona, begs Liss, formerly a professional Scottish dancer, to finish the show, which is about to anoint the champion of champions. With her business in the winter doldrums, Liss agrees and moves into the hotel at the Five Mountains Ski Resort along with the other contestants, a jealous bunch vying with each other to win. When someone starts playing dirty tricks on the group, Liss goes into sleuthing mode and carefully guards the Scotties. Discovering that Deidre’s death was indeed murder makes her wonder whom she can trust while she attempts to find the killer.
Dunnett’s latest (Ho-Ho-Homicide, 2014, etc.) is full of local color, suspicious characters, and adorable fur-babies. What’s not to like?