DOG EAT DOG by Laurien Berenson


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 A third outing for Melanie Travis, Connecticut teacher and single parent, presently coping with five-year-old Davey, boyfriend Sam Driver, an ancient Volvo, her bossy, dog-breeder Aunt Peg, and Peg's recent gift--a poodle pup named Faith. Add to this the reappearance of long-gone ex-husband Bob, no longer penniless and determined to get to know his son, and Melanie's own tentative excursions into the world of kennel clubs and dog shows--which includes being shepherded by Aunt Peg to meetings of the Belle Haven Kennel Club. It's there that beagle-breeder and corresponding secretary Monica Freedman is found dead in the parking lot, killed by a blow to the head. The police are stymied, so in light of her previous detecting forays (Underdog, 1996, etc.), and with Peg urging her on, Mel manages to question most of the club members- -among others, Mark Romano and heavy-drinking wife Penny; wealthy Cy and Barbara Rubicov; elderly, frail Paul and Darla Heins; insurance agent Joanne Pinkus; club president Lydia Applebaum, and treasurer Louis La Plante. It soon emerges that Monica had something on all of them, and let them know it, with a note enclosed in club correspondence. It takes a lot of dull interviews, interspersed with a lot of dull dog shows, though, before Melanie gets her killer, even as her home life returns to relative tranquility. The dog-show world, with all its fussing, pressures, politics, and ego trips, gets top billing here, while the juiceless plot skitters around the edges. Only the author's amiable heroine and cozy narrative style might hold the nonenthusiastic reader to the end.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-57566-103-9
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1996


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