A brace of basset hounds bring joy and chaos to a writer’s life.
Widowed Beanie MacBean fosters homeless basset hounds from South Lake Tahoe's Lakeside Animal Shelter. Unfortunately, the shelter is managed by Rhoda Marx, a woman who’d rather euthanize the hapless strays as quickly as possible than try to find them homes. When Beanie goes to pick up her foster Calamity to join her own basset, Cruiser, she discovers Rhoda’s dead body in the euthanasia chamber. No stranger to murder (Embarking on Murder, 2009, etc.), Beanie is always ready to help her friend Sheriff Skip Cassidy. But she’s distracted by her concern for the health of her daughter Nona, a successful model who’s found a lump in her breast. Mother and daughter return to Beanie’s Native American roots to do a healing ceremony. Calamity, who has all kinds of issues, is causing problems at home but seems to have adopted Nona as her special person. Now if only Beanie could pick out Rhoda’s special person from among the long list of suspects who detested her. Could it be one of the downtrodden shelter workers? A woman whose basset was euthanized before she could reclaim her? Or perhaps a member of a local militant animal rights group? Despite her dislike for the dead woman, Beanie does her best to find out.
Hard-core animal lovers will focus on the detailed information about the many problems with animal shelters and forgive the disjointed plot.