Melanie Travis’ offer to render professional assistance to a retiring dog-show judge turns into much more for a mother returning to work.
When Melanie agrees to help Edward March write his memoir, she assumes that Edward will be highlighting his life as a judge of dog shows. But Edward has something else in mind. He immediately launches into a tell-all of his life and loves, which are far more prolific than Melanie would have expected of the aging, otherwise reclusive former businessman. Melanie has already told her husband, Sam, of her confusion about why her Aunt Peg recommended her for the job in the first place when the nature of the assignment changes abruptly. Andrew, Edward’s adult son, is struck and killed by a car while jogging, and Edward insists that Melanie take responsibility for investigating whatever the police might have missed. Since Edward and Andrew were alike in their rather cantankerous ways, Melanie is stuck wading through a long list of potential suspects from both the business and dog-show worlds. Meanwhile, she uncovers more than she anticipated about Edward’s background, and the knowledge she gains puts her own safety at risk.
Berenson (Doggie Day Care Murder, 2009, etc.), who has a nose for balancing fun and fright, devises another story that will appeal to dog aficionados and cozy lovers alike.