Genre: Thriller and Suspense, Cozy Mystery, Amateur Sleuth, Animals
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Print Length: 242 pages
Publication Date: Happy Release Day! February 12, 2019
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title and Cover: The Puppy Who Knew Too Much – Puppy pictures always catch the eye!
Lilly Echosby and her toy poodle Aggie find a fresh start in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spoiled by the scent of murder . . .
Having solved the shooting death of her cheating husband, Lilly’s left behind the drama of Lighthouse Dunes, Indiana, to start over in the hometown of her best friend, Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson. As she gets settled in her new rented house, Lilly gives Aggie, short for Agatha Christie, her own fresh start by enrolling her in the Eastern Tennessee Dog Club, where Dixie is a trainer.
But drama seems to hound Lilly like a persistent stray. Her cranky new neighbor appears unfamiliar with Southern hospitality and complains that Aggie barks too much and digs up his prized tulips. But what the poodle actually unearths is the buried body of a mysterious man who claimed ownership of the lost golden retriever Lilly recently rescued. Now it’s up to Lilly and Dixie to try to muzzle another murderer . . .
Lilly Echosby has moved from Lighthouse Dunes, Indiana, with her toy poodle Aggie to be close to her best friend Dixie Jefferson. Dixie is married, well established in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and conducts doggy obedience and conformation classes. She helped Lilly find a rental in a fairly new subdivision so she can get settled in her new environment, far from her dark history in Indiana.
Unfortunately, while getting to know the neighborhood, she has two very unpleasant experiences: A very nasty neighbor complaining about her dog and the discovery of a body in adjacent woods. Fortunately, her daughter, Stephanie, has come to visit and see her new digs with her significant other, a law enforcement K-9 officer. If all that isn’t enough to start on the wrong foot in the new hood, her daughter discovers a beautiful golden retriever hiding under the deck with what appears to be a badly injured paw and they are off to the nearest vet.
The K-9 handler goes back to work and takes his dog Turbo, but sends a TBI agent (Red), to “watch” over the house, which has now become suspect as holding a key to the victim. Stephanie stays behind to help care for the recovering golden and she and Dixie team with Lilly to help discover what the perpetrator was looking for when he “tossed” the house.
Lilly is a middle-aged woman and Red appears to be of the approximate same age. In her short time in Chattanooga, she is discovering butterflies in her tummy not associated with either the first or ensuing victim. She is intelligent and adept at handling a new job with her sleuthing activities and a possible romantic interest. As this is a new start for her and the dog, the narrative could function fine as a standalone. Aggie may only be six pounds of dog, but is a general dynamo who believes she might be part pit bull. Red is definitely engaging and the reader will be interested in knowing more about where the relationship might go. Dialogue is natural and evolves easily in the scene.
In the meantime, the reader is introduced to some insightful canine handling tips and clues that unveil a few of those doggy myths. It’s not difficult to imagine the dogs romping good-naturedly in the back yard, although I cringed a little thinking about the six pounder with several sixty-plus pounders. There is a mystery to solve, support characters to get to know and enjoy, and some suspense in the conclusion that easily unfolds with questions answered.
A few little details gave me pause; the amount of time Lilly could successfully be away from a new job and still keep it, her hyperactive hormones, a luxury RV (used for dog shows) that is not(?) a diesel pusher, and everyone scratching behind the dog’s ears. Still, an engaging book, well-paced, with savvy and appropriate characters, particularly Dixie, and I’ll be looking forward to the next in the series.
I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read for my unbiased opinion and review.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
The Author: V.M. Burns was born and raise in the Midwestern United States. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Seton Hill University. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. She currently resides in the warmer area of the U.S. with her two poodles. Readers can visit her website at http://www.vmburns.com
©2019 V Williams