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by Rita Mae Brown

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-345-51183-6
Publisher: Ballantine

The mortgage crisis meets murder in Reno, Nev.

When Mags Rogers’ Wall Street career crashed and burned, she and her wire-haired dachshund Baxter moved in with her aunt Jeep Reed. Now that their friend, real-estate broker Babs Gallagher, has discovered a number of desperate families living in foreclosed homes with no heat or water, the friends mount a campaign to do something about it. That means taking on the banks and utility companies. Meanwhile, another friend, police officer Pete, and his partner Lonnie, find a murdered man in an abandoned house taken over by drug dealers. The whole mess is grist for the mill of politician Patrick Wentworth, who, oblivious to the plight of his constituents, has eyes only for sin. Jeep, who owns a big ranch, must also contend with the problems of her neighbor Howie, who gets shot and wounded, presumably by the miscreants who are rustling has cattle. Too bad Jeep and Howie can’t consult more closely with Baxter, Jeep’s German shepherd mix King and Howie’s Zippy, who know a lot about rustlers and an unidentified man who’s discovered the treasure long rumored to be buried on Howie’s ranch. Mired in her merely human abilities, Jeep must call in a lot of favors before there’s any sign of success.

Fans of Brown’s long string of popular series featuring animal sleuths (A Nose for Justice, 2010, etc.) will note that her latest is less mystery than political polemic.