A Lauren Vancouver "Pet Rescue" Mystery by Linda O. Johnston
Review: Linda O. Johnston, author of the Pet Sitter mysteries, spins off a new series featuring private animal shelter manager Lauren Vancouver, who is accused of murder — the human kind — in Beaglemania.
Lauren and her staff at HotRescues are devoted to caring for small animals until they are adopted and placed into loving homes. She is proud of her facility and the success they have had. But a nearby puppy mill has Lauren up in arms. She knows of at least one instance when part-time employee Efram Kiley dropped four beagle puppies down a drain pipe with the expectation they would drown, leading to a very loud, and very public, argument. When Kiley is later found dead on the floor of her shelter, she immediately becomes a person of interest in his murder. Though she hated him for his mistreatment of animals, she has enough respect for life not to take it herself. While the police look for evidence to hold her for the crime, she begins her own investigation. Number one on her list of things to learn: How did the police know to come to the shelter so quickly, only to find Lauren leaning over the body? Did the killer try to frame her by calling them?
Despite this book's title and premise, there isn't much focus on animals in Beaglemania, which will likely disappoint some readers, who may expect them to play a more prominent role. Lauren Vancouver is a likeable, efficient amateur sleuth, passionate about her work and smart about how she goes about her investigation. The whodunit element plays out well, keeping readers guessing until the end. All in all, a good, solid start to this series, but one might hope for a more animal-oriented case next time, maybe where the dogs help sniff out the clues, as it were.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Beaglemania.
Acknowledgment: The author provided a copy of Beaglemania for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The More the Terrier
Berkley Prime Crime (Mass Market Paperback), October 2011
ISBN-13: 9780425243794; ISBN-10: 0425243796
Location(s) referenced in Beaglemania: California
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Beaglemania by Linda O. Johnston — A Lauren Vancouver "Pet Rescue" Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: March 2011
List Price: $7.99