Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Shot in the Bark (Dog Park Mystery #1), by C.A. Newsome

Amazon Digital Services, September 2011

Lia Anderson and her dogs, Honey and Chewy, are regulars at the Mount Airy dog park. So are her boyfriend, Luthor Morrissey, and his dog, Viola. When Lia and Luthor break up and have an argument at the dog park, quite a few of their friends and acquaintances witness it. When in the predawn hours of the following morning, Lia finds Luthor dead of apparent suicide at the dog park, she's emotionally devastated--by the shockingly bloody sight, and by guilt at the thought that she was the cause.

But Luthor didn't commit suicide. And the faked suicide wasn't staged by someone who, like Lia, knew he was left-handed. Police detective Peter Dourson has to figure out which of the dog park regulars--a collection of individuals who for the most part have nothing in common except dogs--had the motive and opportunity to kill Luthor Morrissey.

The mystery is further complicated by the fact that the reader knows there's a serial killer involved, and the real motive is less obvious than a hardworking police detective would hope for. From Lia, Peter, and the killer's perspectives, we get to know the park regulars, and their sometimes complicated and unexpected interactions. At several points, I was certain I knew the identity of the killer, but this is a smarter mystery than that.

The characters are solid, interesting, and likable, and the story definitely held my interest.

Recommended.

I bought this book.