Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dial C for Chihuahua (Barking Detective #1), by Waverly Curtis

Kensington, ISBN 9780758274953, October 2012

Geri Sullivan wants a more companionable pet than Albert, the somewhat dangerous cat her ex-husband left with her when they divorced, so she adopts a chihuahua from the local shelter, which was received quite a few from Los Angeles.

You may imagine her surprise when the little dog starts talking to her. His name is Pepe, and he has an endless supply of stories about his colorful past. They're barely home from the shelter, though, when Geri gets a phone call from Jimmy Gerrard, who interviewed her for a job in his detective agency a week or two ago. He wants to hire her, and oh by the way, would she drop everything and go to the home of Rebecca Tyler, to get information from her about her husband whom she says is missing? Off she goes, taking Pepe with her because he's upset at the idea of being left behind. When they arrive only to find the dead body of Mr. Tyler, followed shortly by the arrival of the police to find Geri standing over the body, it's clear something fishy is going on.

Geri is sometimes startlingly naive and trusting, and Pepe is as full of himself as a talking chihuahua should be. Impulse control is not a strong suit for either one of them, though Geri does better at it than Pepe. Between the two of them, they muddle through their murder mystery, the case of a dog who does his business in the neighbor's yard, and Easter dinner with Geri's bossy, controlling older sister Cheryl and her family--including Geri's ex-husband, Jeff, and Jeff's fiancée, Amber. (Jeff is Cheryl's husband Don's best friend.) The grieving widow, Rebecca, has ambitious plans for a Dancing With Dogs reality show; Pepe is infatuated with Rebecca's Pomeranian, Siren Song, and Geri meets a handsome, charming dog trainer when Pepe barks insults at the dog he's working with.

It's a silly, fun little book, with a promising set of characters for future installments.

I bought this book.