Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Louisiana Lies (Roxy Reinhardt #3), by Alison Golden

Alison Golden, March 2020

This is the third of Roxy's unplanned plunges into investigation of murder. It's a fun visit with our old friends, though Evangeline is mostly unseen. She's busy with her new dog.

Which leads me to my one complaint about the book. The dogs. I count a total of four, if we include Evangeline's new pet, whom we never actually meet.

No, no dogs die in the telling of this story, though it might be unwise to inquire what happens to the two German shepherds after the end of the story.

We have the two German shepherds, stereotypes of the vicious, snarling "police dog," or, in the UK, I've been told, "Alsatians,"  dogs who are nasty, vicious, hard to control, and likely to turn on their owner. Then there's the little dog belonging to one of the suspects, a fluffy little dog who gets carried around constantly, as if he were a purse. And finally we have Evanageline's new pet,  "French pug."

What, you may ask, is a "French pug"? I certainly did, and I googled it. It is, as I feared, a designer mutt. Half pug, half French bulldog. Because, you see, mixed breed dogs are always healthier.... No, they're not always healthier, and you don't get the potential benefits of crossing gene pools if what you cross is dogs of two breeds that have the exact same designed-in health risks. Both pugs and French bulldogs are at high risk of serious breathing difficulties and some other problems, because they are brachycephalic dogs, i.e., dogs with extremely short skulls and flat faces. No advantage is gained in terms of health by crossing these two breeds. And while you can, with effort, find a responsible breeder of either pugs or French bulldogs who is breeding for good breathing and reduction or absence of the other problems, someone who is banking on you believing that crossbreeds are "always" healthier is not going to be putting in this effort.f

So, every dog in this book is either a stereotype or a surrender to gullibility.

Yes, this did affect my enjoyment of the book.

But Roxy, Nat, Sam, Elijah, Sage, and Dr. Jack are all their usual likable, enjoyable selves. Detective Johnson remains arrogant, obnoxious, and nevertheless a smart man and a good cop.

The  victim here is a medium, arrogant and difficult herself, who comes to New Orleans to stage a big event, and to stay at Roxy's Funky Cat Inn. On her first night in the city, she holds a small seance for a regular client, and invites Roxy to be part of the seance. During it, the medium is shot--and at least initially, Dr. Jack is the most obvious suspect.

But just scratching the surface reveals that of all the people present for that seance, Roxy was the only without a plausible motive. She digs into the investigation, to the annoyance of Detective Johnson, determined to clear Dr. Jack. It's a lot of fun, despite the unfortunate depiction of every single dog mentioned, and well worth a read.


I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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