Death by Dog Show
Creature Comforts Mystery #1
By Arlene Kay
Author’s website: arlenekay.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Army vet Persephone “Perri” Morgan has big plans, as her custom leather leashes, saddles, and other pet accessories are the rage of dog and horse enthusiasts everywhere. But when murder prances into the ring at a Massachusetts dog show, Perri must confront a cunning killer who’s a breed apart.
Accompanied by her bestie Babette and four oversize canines, Perri motors down to the Big E Dog Show in high style. Perri hopes to combine business with pleasure by also spending time with sexy DC journalist Wing Pruett. Until a storm traps everyone at the exposition hall . . . and a man’s body is found in a snow-covered field, a pair of pink poodle grooming shears plunged through his heart.
Turns out the deceased was a double-dealing huckster who had plenty of enemies chomping at the bit. But as breeders and their prize pets preen and strut, the murderer strikes again. Aided by her trusty canine companions, Keats and Poe, Perri must collar a killer before she’s the next “Dead in Show” winner.
Death by Dog Show’s premise was promising and looked like a book I would really enjoy – dogs! But, it is terribly disappointing.
Perri is a military veteran and leather smith. She and her best friend Babette, who competes with her border collie in agility, and her boyfriend’s seven-year-old daughter Ella with her pointer in tow, travel to the Boston area for a dog show. Things quickly go awry when Lee Holmes, notorious in the dog show community, is found stabbed with grooming shears. Perri puts on her sleuthing cap to investigate the dark side of dog shows as the body count rises and danger mounts.
Honestly, I do not care for any of the characters. Perri lacks character development, Babette is shallow and annoying, boyfriend Wing is secretive because of his job as a journalist, the victim is atrocious, the police unpleasant, and the suspects just as unappealing as the victim. The only redeeming characters are Ella and the dogs.
The mystery is weak with the perpetrators easily identified early in the tale. There are red herrings along the way, but they are obvious, and the “surprise” twist at the end came as no surprise to me. The pace of the story is slow and the book way too easy to put down. This said, the main problem I have with the book is the constant, and I mean CONSTANT, mention of how attractive Wing is and how appealing he is to women. Perri claims to not be jealous, but her inner monologue show otherwise. There is also coarser language here than in the average cozy and lots of references to sexual exploits.
Unfortunately, Death by Dog Show misses the mark for me.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*