Dog-loving divorcée and amateur sleuth Lilly Echosby is not the only one who wants her new foster poodle. Some are willing to kill to have him . . .
Lilly’s best pal Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson has done it again! She’s convinced eccentric poodle-loving billionaire Archibald Lowry to sponsor a grand fundraiser for the Eastern Tennessee Poodle Rescue. Tragically, it’s too late to rescue Lowry, who is murdered at the event. His pet poodle is now orphaned, so Dixie begs Lilly to foster the adorable pup. Of course, she already has a poodle—her beloved Aggie, named after Agatha Christie. Fortunately, Aggie seems to like the new addition to the family, whom Lilly renames Rex, after her second favorite mystery author, Rex Stout.
But she’s barely welcomed Rex into her home when there’s an attempted poodle-nabbing, foiled with Aggie’s help. As desperate characters try to get their hands on the canine cutie, Lilly turns to Dixie’s dog training class to help her sort through a litter of suspects. Ultimately, she may have to unleash Rex as bait to collar the killer . . .
Lillie Ann Echosby moved from Indiana to a new life in Chattanooga,TN. She became involved in a local poodle rescue having one of her own she calls Aggie (after Agatha Christie). She’s a little thing but feisty and full of heart and personality. Lillie is thrilled to be hosting an event for the local poodle rescue at the museum where she’s employed when a tiny poodle shuts down the event after he leads the curious back to his murdered owner, who it turns out is the billionaire sponsor for the event. Lillie is asked to foster the little thing until they can square away the details of the deceased. Of course, Lillie falls in love with him and promptly renames him Rex (after Rex Stout).
The two canines get along just fine but there are ensuing attempts to dognap Rex. In the meantime, Lillie’s daughter Stephanie comes for an impromptu visit. Lillie has a cadre of great friends and support that lend a sleuthing effort to solve the canine caper, and the reader is introduced to both Stephanie and Lillie’s romantic interest, Joe and Red, both in law enforcement.
Lillie is a great character surrounded by additional strong support characters, including Dixie, dog show judge and trainer and owner of a dog castle RV, and there are interesting tidbits of dog speak, which I always enjoy.
My first experience with this series, albeit not the author, and the storyline moves at a cozy pace while including the mystery with the appealing friend associates. There are details that bother me, including whipping around in an RV for errands (at 6-7 mpg) and the conclusion that I found a bit contrived wrapping up a few loose threads but not all.
Receiving this digital ARC download from the publisher and NetGalley did not affect my opinion of the book or the content and this is my honest opinion. Recommended for all who enjoy cozy mysteries, especially including dogs.
Genre: Cozy Culinary, Cozy Craft and Hobby Mysteries
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Print Length: 225 pages
Publication Date: To be released August 11, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
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 is the secretary of her local chapter of Sisters in Crime (The East Tennessee Smoking Guns) and the Education Grants Coordinator for the national 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
©2020 V Williams