WATCHDOG by Laurien Berenson


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Frank Turobull just can't stay out of scrapes. Even though he lives one town away, he only drops in on Melanie Travis, his sister in Greenwich, to ask for money or emergency help. So it figures that when Frank seems to land a big deal, a partnership with deep-pockets Stamford developer Marcus Rattigan, there's trouble ahead. Neglected by the contractors, the partners' proposed coffeehouse languishes and begins to collapse; then, after unlovely revelations of Marcus's slick perfidy and a hot-tempered scene between the two ill-matched partners, part of the building itself collapses on Marcus, and the police get more interested in feckless Frank than they ever were in comer-cutting Marcus. Luckily for Frank, Melanie has enough time to take from her son Davey, her software sweetie Sam Driver, and her lovingly described round of dog shows with Faith, her Standard Poodle, to poke into still another case, this one revealing an eager ex-wife heiress, a jilted secretary, a resentful neighbor, a posse of protesting environmentalists, another more lucrative project the coffeehouse was covering for, and Marcus's long-ago sponsorship of a champion Wire Fox Terrier. ""There isn't a puppy in the world that's that important,"" snaps Melanie's Standard-Poodle-mining Aunt Peg, who's obviously forgotten the pedigree of Melanie's first four cases (Hair of the Dog, 1997, etc.). Mild entertainment for friends of man's (and woman's) best friend. The interested canines take a lot of grooming, but at least they don't try to solve the mystery.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1998
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Kensington