With the Dog Days of summer upon everyone, this is a good time to pick up some fun canine themed reading. Hopefully these books can be read relaxing poolside, stretched out by a lake or on the beach while your canine companion frolics in the water under your careful eye.
First up is the latest offering from Susan Conant. The latest addition to her Dog Lover’s Mystery series is Sire and Damn. Everyone’s favorite dog writer, Holly Winter, is back – this time helping her friend and upstairs neighbor Rita through a whirlwind wedding due to an unexpected pregnancy. That alone would cause some chaos, but when the families of Rita and her intended, Quinn, start showing up, things turn Malamute crazy.
The relatives range from conservative, pistol packing parents from Montana on Quinn’s side to a complete collection of eccentrics on Rita’s side. Think charming kleptomaniac, compulsive liar and cheat and throw in a wonderful psychiatric service dog Labrador Retriever named Izzy, assisting a former agoraphobic. A mysterious burglary attempt on dogs, psychiatric drug samples and wedding gifts leads to a dead burglar with no solid suspect.
Holly’s veterinarian husband suggests they work up a time line of who was where, when during the restaurant dinner that the various relatives had attended while the burglary took place. Easier said than done! In the meantime, Izzy is now kidnapped and being held for ransom. Holly’s Malamutes attempt to help track Izzy down and provide backup for the ransom exchange. Underlying that drama is a very curious unfolding of family dynamics that will keep you glued to this book. You may want a notebook handy to track the characters who fly in and out!
Susan Conant is a master at weaving a very complicated but intriguing web using dogs, people and of course, her beloved Cambridge, all as part of the story. Her books generally touch on some aspect of the canine/human bond whether through dog sports or, in this case, a special service dog. You won’t be disappointed. This is a book to start early in the day or early on in your vacation as you will want to read on and on.
Sire and Damn is a trade paperback. It retails for $11.99 from Amazon.com or your local book seller. It is also available for Kindle at $3.99.