A doggone good look at dog training and murder.
Molly Madison has a way with dogs. Her dogsitting and training services have kept her busy since she left her job as an East Coast police officer and moved to California. Her own current dogs are golden retriever Harlow, an experienced agility competitor, and newly adopted Saint Berdoodle Noodle, whose nose makes him an obvious candidate for the barn hunt event. As she tries out a new training facility, Molly immediately notices tension among the dog owners. Felicity Gaines’ agility boxer, Royal, competes against wealthy, snarky Celeste Simmons’ boxer, Buster, who keeps edging out Royal. Molly makes a new friend in Felicity when her suggestions immediately shave four seconds off Royal’s score. But then Noodle’s great nose in barn hunting, where protected rats are hidden in hay bales, turns up Celeste’s body on top of a pile of bales, plunging Molly and her new pal into trouble. Although Felicity is the main suspect, pretty much everyone in the dog-training world disliked Celeste—though, as Molly discovers, they didn't dislike her nearly as much as the girls the former Olympian trained for gymnastics and pushed beyond their limits. Molly ends up with Buster when Celeste’s husband refuses to keep him. It’s nice that she has sleuthing to distract her from the unwelcome discovery that her own boyfriend is married.
Engaging characters and canine lore will enthrall mystery mavens and dog lovers alike.