Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Desperate Housedogs, by Sparkle Abbey


Bell Bridge Books, ISBN 9781611940508, October 2011

"Sparkle Abbey" is the pen name for collaborators Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter, who have joined forces to write a series of mystery novels featuring cousins Caro Lamont (pet therapist) and Mel Langston (pet boutique owner) in Laguna Beach, CA.

In this first entry, it's Caro who has a murder mystery land in her lap. She's been getting a lot of calls from clients in an exclusive, gated-community section of Laguna Beach, where the dogs are suddenly all very nervous and watchful. Shortly after her visit to one of these clients, Kevin Blackstone, and his two German Shepherds, Kevin is murdered.
At first, based on timing, Caro looks like a really good suspect. Her situation is further complicated by the fact that her relationship with her cousin Mel is not currently a friendly one.  They're disputing ownership of a brooch that their grandmother left to "my favorite granddaughter," and they've stolen it from each other several times recently. And when she's finally in the clear, it's because her friend and fellow fundraiser for the local animal shelter has been arrested for the crime. (She's a retired film star and is milking it for all it's worth, for publicity for the upcoming Fur Ball fundraiser for the shelter.)

Caro clashes with the police detective, Judd Malone, her cousin Mel, and and coaxes information from the dead man's neighbors, including a reclusive ex-rock star. She also finds herself juggling two handsome and interested men. Her own pets, her dog and two cats, as well as her clients' and friends' pets play an active role in her quest to find the real killer.

It's a fun book, with more fun to come.

Book trailer:


I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley..