An unexpected bequest brings joy and complications for Melanie Travis (The Bark Before Christmas, 2015, etc.) and her Aunt Peg.
Margaret Turnbull is a household name in the world of standard poodles. But horses? Her niece, Melanie, is more than a little surprised when Anthony Stone, a friend of Peg’s late husband, Max, leaves her a broodmare named Lucky Luna. Since Peg has an invitation to judge at the prestigious Kentuckiana Cluster, she and Melanie take advantage of the opportunity to stop at Six Oaks in Midway, Kentucky, to check out Peg’s new acquisition. Peg also relishes the chance to see her old friend Ellie Wanamaker, who grew up at Green Gates Farm, adjacent to Six Oaks. Ellie dropped out of the standard poodle world after a fatal accident claimed the life of her best dog, Champion Gatewood Dunaway. She’s also moved to town because her late father lost his share in Green Gates, now run by her nephews Sheldon and Billy. But Ellie can’t resist Peg’s invitation to see the Kentuckiana. Since Peg is judging, Melanie escorts her around, and she can’t help noticing the cool reception Ellie gets from some of the breeders. So when Ellie is killed in a fall down a ravine, Melanie and Peg both have their suspicions about the so-called accident. But suspicions are one thing and evidence is another. Now Melanie’s poodle, Faith, isn’t the only one nosing around for a scent of something out of the ordinary.
Adding a thoroughbred to the mix doesn’t do a thing to quicken the pace of Berenson’s 19th Melanie Travis canine mystery, which run like the old gray mare.