There’s monkey business aplenty as pet-detective Delilah Doolittle moseys on out to the Lazy D dude ranch to find out who killed the Duke of Paddington, Hilda Dorsett-Bragg’s prize stallion.
Even before the Duke’s death, Dorsett Farms had been in financial trouble. After her father Joseph Dorsett accidentally shot and killed her husband, Charles Bragg, Hilda ruled the famed horse farm with an iron will. But when a stroke left her partially disabled, she had to turn its day-to-day operation over to her manager Hank Carpenter; her daughter Fiona was away at college back home in England and her son Robert was too busy playing the ponies to know much about breeding them. Hank helped shore up the Dorsetts’ finances by turning part of the farm into a dude ranch, but Hilda had been counting on the Duke to bring home some sorely needed prize money at this year’s Dorsett Cup. Even before Hank follows the Duke into the great beyond, Hilda’s smartly clad cousin Evie Cavendish has put down her cigarette holder long enough to ring up her best friend Delilah (Delilah Doolittle and the Canine Chorus, not reviewed, etc.), who hurries out to southern California with her Doberman Watson and her terrier Trixie to carry out a covert investigation by questioning everyone in sight, inevitably incurring the wrath of the officer in charge—her would-be beau, Detective Jack Mallory, who, like his author, is another expatriate Brit.