Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Murder at the Puppy Fest: A Melanie Travis Canine Mystery

Murder at the Puppy Fest by Laurien Berenson is the twentieth book in A Melanie Travis Canine Mystery series.  Melanie Travis is driving her oldest son, Davey home from soccer practice when they see a car toss a puppy out.  The pair stop and rescue the poor pooch who gets named Bud by the time they reach home (this little pup has a new home).  The next day Melanie is off to help Claire Travis at the Third Annual Puppy Fest sponsored by millionaire Leo Brody. The money from the benefit goes help Puppy Posse, a dog rescue foundation (a very worthy cause).  Melanie agreed to help wrangle the pups, but she did not count on finding Leo Brody on the floor in his study.  Melanie immediately calls 911, but it is too late to save Leo Brody.  The suspect list includes Leo's nine children and several of his grandchildren.  The person who killed Brody knew his routine and about his nut allergy.  Melanie had decided to not get involved in the investigation, until she speaks with Libby (thanks to Aunt Peg’s meddling).  Libby Rothko, one of Leo Brody’s daughters, is confident that her father was murdered.  Someone deliberately left him cookies spiked with nuts.  Melanie agrees when she hears that Leo’s EpiPen was gone from his desk.  Libby arranges for Melanie to talk to her siblings to help gather clues and find the culprit.  Unfortunately, this does not help to narrow down the suspect list.  Every single one of them had a motive to harm Leo.  The killer, though, does not wish to be caught.  What will the murderer due to avoid capture? 

Murder at the Puppy Fest is well-written and has a good pace which makes for an easy to read (and engaging) cozy mystery.  I thought the characters well-developed, relatable and entertaining.  The only person I am not fond of is Aunt Peg (nosy, controlling busy body).  Though, she does provide some humor.  I like Melanie, Sam and her two kids.  It is a nice change to have a married main character (instead of someone who is dating).  While Murder at the Puppy Fest is the twentieth book in the series, it can be read alone (you might find it helpful to read A Pedigree to Die For).  Readers are provided the necessary background details on Melanie and her family.  I give Murder at the Puppy Fest 4.5 out of 5 stars.  The mystery is slightly complicated, but avid cozy mystery readers should be able to resolve it before the reveal.  Other readers will be surprised when the solution is revealed.  The author provides good clues to help readers solve the whodunit.  It is interesting to get an inside look at dog shows.  I had no idea so much went into preparing the dog and the judging criteria.  I look forward to reading Wagging through the Snow when it comes out (in September).

I appreciate you visiting today and reading my review.  I will be sharing my thoughts on Enforcing the Paw by Diane Kelly next time.  May each of you have a very special day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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