Enforcing the Paw
Paw Enforcement, Book #6
By Diane Kelly
Author’s website: http://www.dianekelly.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
A TAIL OF TWO LOVERS
When relationships go south, some people just can’t or won’t let go. When Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz and her pawed partner Brigit investigate a series of stalking incidents involving a couple who recently broke up, their detective powers are put to the test. Is this a case of a controlling creep who refuses to accept rejection or one about a woman scorned whose fury has been unleashed?
WHO END UP IN THE DOGHOUSE. . .
As hostilities escalate between the former lovers, the situation goes from romantically dysfunctional to downright dangerous. He insists his former flame has become a crazy ex-girlfriend intent on vengeance. She alleges that he is a master of manipulation and lays blame entirely at his feet. Who’s the culprit and who’s the victim? Can Megan and Brigit sniff out the truth. . .before somebody ends up dead?
Oh, how I love this series! Officer Megan Luz has an LOL dry humor and wit rivaling that of Kinsey Milhone. Her K-9 partner, Officer Brigit, is smarter and more protective than any three men on the force put together. Add some of the more bizarre cases in the whole Fort Worth Police Department, and handsome firefighter Seth and his bomb sniffing dog, Blast, and the reader is treated with a deliciously intense novel.
Officer Megan Luz has been paired with Officer Brigit for quite some time – since she … um … tased her former partner who had made one too many obnoxious comments. Megan is an intelligent young woman who wants to make detective one day, as long as she doesn’t get partnered with Derek Mackey again. Brigit was Megan’s last shot at making it through her first year, much less the five years required to be a detective. Much as she didn’t want a huge, furry beast as a partner and roomie, she and Brigit eventually made peace with each other.
Megan is currently following two crimes on her regular beat. One (that the author reveals only as The Devoted One) is baffling, a stalker case in which a teary-eyed female tells just enough of a believable tale, including the indisputable evidence of a brick thrown through her window, that Megan looks for the woman’s ex-boyfriend. He, likewise, accuses her of trying to frame him, including having an order of protection against her for an alleged attack at the location of one of his installation customers. It begins funny…but many stalkers can be dangerous, especially when police aren’t sure who the culprit is.
There is also the lollipop bandit, who enters several convenience stores dressed in hospital scrubs, mask, and cap, then walks out with a handful of grape tootsie pops. In an area where there is a hospital and many medical clinics, there are a lot of possible suspects. Brigit puts her life on the life as she tracks this clown! It is the case of who the real stalker is who is keeping Megan up at night, though.
The author has given us a protagonist that many women can identify with. While most of us probably didn’t aspire to be police officers or detectives, the day-to-day challenges of being a woman in a male dominated field carries through too many positions. A young woman who learned about rejection by her peers at a young age, Megan is now a model of how that rejection can be used to better herself except when creeps like Officer Mackey pushes buttons. I really like Megan for many reasons. She is a delightfully complex, caring person. She is intelligent, with the earmarks of one who will be an excellent detective, especially as she takes time from her personal life to learn from detectives in the squad who are willing to help her grow. Brigit is clearly the co-star, not allowing anything less for herself. Love that pup and her antics!
The men other than Officer Mackey aren’t depicted as buffoons. Detective Bustamente is one of Megan’s go-to people to learn from when working on a case. While he reminds people of Columbo, one would make a serious error to pass him by as a bumbling detective. He and most of the male cops are respectful and hard-working. Ditto for Megan’s boyfriend, Seth. What a great guy he is! As well as the firefighters at his fire station.
Stalking may not sound like a serious crime, not something to cause a cop sleeplessness nights. Stats show that when a stalker is serious and their behavior continues to escalate, the results can be deadly. The detective is still uncertain who the real bad guy or gal is even as property damage increases. There are plot twists that confuse the course of the investigation, leading to a stunning, explosive conclusion. I highly recommend Enforcing the Paw to fans of Diane Kelly and the earlier books in this series, to fans of well-written cozy mysteries that include humor, hardworking cops, and a lovable K-9 pooch who shows that rescued dogs (and cats) have a tremendous value.