Thursday, August 12, 2021

Lost and Found in Dog Town (Dog Town #3), by Sandy Rideout

Sandy Rideout, September 2018

Mim is a single mother, raising a teenage son, working as a nurse in the local hospital, and also as a visiting nurse to earn some extra money. Mim and her son Kyle have a dog, George, from a local breeder of 'doodles, her friend Arianna, or Ari. Dorset Hills, a.k.a. "Dog Town," is a wonderful place for dog lovers to live--or should be. The local government is very into promoting it as a tourist destination; that's part of why they promote the "Dog Town" image. However, they also promote the town for Christmas, and have very strict guidelines for decorations that can be seen from the street, anywhere, under any circumstances. And they don't like negative news.

When George is stolen from Mim's back yard, the police initially have no desire to take it seriously, at all. They insist that George most likely just "wandered off"--out of a yard with a substantial fence and a locked gate. And having wandered off, he'll wander back, right? They really don't want a "dog stolen in Dog Town" story breaking right before Christmas, and it's at this point that I start to wonder how much Dog Town really loves dogs.

The evidence of a man's dropped glove, and footprints too large to be either Mim's or Kyle's, sways them not at all. Mim, Kyle, and Ari are on their own, looking for George.

Or, they're on their own until Ari starts rousing the neighbors, and then calls in the "rescue Mafia,", a group of women who, in addition to one of them running the local shelter, are experienced and skilled at tracking lost dogs. Meanwhile, Mim is finding out that her beloved but largely untrained George has  fewer fans in the area than she thought. In fact, a few people really seriously object to his barking and his tendency to express his friendliness by jumping on people. One of those people, her very handsome neighbor over the back fence, Carver, really seriously dislikes George.

When more evidence starts to accumulate, though, that something is seriously wrong with George's disappearance, Mim starts to get more support--even as one of her home nursing clients first persistently flirts with her, and then accuses her of leading him on, while another bitterly objects to her insistence on giving him the shots his doctor has prescribed.

When someone breaks into her house and steals George's things a long with some of her underwear, and other creep events start happening, things go from stressful to terrifying. Along the way, Mim starts to get to know more of her neighbors, and things she never suspected about Dog Town.

The story has its weaknesses, but it's light, fun reading, and no, George isn't the only dog whose antics we get to enjoy.

I bought this book.

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