While usually protective, Melanie feels comfortable sending her sons to the Graceland School’s summer camp for two reasons: The institution is well-regarded and proprietor Emily Grace is a trusted friend. But Emily has been acting strange since three rambunctious Dalmatian puppies suddenly appeared on her doorstep. The unusual arrival marks the first of several mysterious happenings at camp, each more intense than the last. Emily’s rough streak takes a frightening turn with a discovery in the nearby woods—the body of her estranged ex-husband.
As suspicions rush in, proving that Emily didn’t murder her biggest mistake will be about as easy as raising prize-winning show dogs. Realizing she’s the only one who can prove her friend’s innocence and keep the Graceland School from shutting down, Melanie dives into an investigation on the victim’s whereabouts leading up to his demise. With a few spotty clues and Aunt Peg’s growing curiosity about the Dalmatian pups’ origins, Melanie must name the culprit before good intentions come back to bite!
Pup Fiction by Laurien Berenson has Melanie Travis looking forward to quiet summer days while Kevin is attending Graceland Nursery School summer camp and Davey is working there as a junior camp counselor. Melanie’s hopes are soon dashed when Davey tells her about the various incidents that are occurring at the camp. Melanie talks to Emily Grace, owner of the school and Melanie’s friend, about the incidents where one of the campers could have easily been injured. Emily hopes they will stop, but Melanie has her doubts. Melanie is soon proven right when Emily Grace’s ex-husband is found dead in the woods behind the school. Emily is at the top of the suspect list and asks Melanie for her assistance. Melanie begins digging in Grace’s ex-husband’s past and turns up a passel of suspects. Melanie will need to be careful or her good deed to come back to bite her.Pup Fiction by Laurien Berenson is the 27th A Melanie Travis Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to this engaging cozy mystery series. I could not wait to get my hands on Pup Fiction. I enjoy following the harried Melanie Travis on her adventures. Melanie Travis is a busy wife and mother with a summer free of work. Melanie is hoping for a relaxing summer, but it does not take long to discover that will not be happening. In addition to incidents happening at the school camp, Davey is busy trying to get the final points for Aunt Peg’s Standard Poodle, Coral whom he is handling. He needs two “majors” to finish off Coral’s competition days. I like the characters in this series which include Melanie’s kind husband Sam, Kevin, Davey, Faith (Melanie’s faithful companion), and the formidable Aunt Peg. I wish I had a fifth of Aunt Peg’s energy. The whodunit was crafty and thought out. It was clever how the Dalmatians were interlaced into the mystery. There are several suspects, subtle clues, and misdirection. I had fun solving this whodunit. I loved all the action which kept the story rapidly moving toward the conclusion. The family sections are some of my favorites. This is a character driven story with Melanie’s family at the heart of it. There are great family interactions that include their dogs. Faith is such a sweetheart while Bud is so mischievous. You never know what is going to happen next in their home. I enjoyed reading this entertaining cozy mystery and I cannot wait for the next tale. Pup Fiction is a boisterous cozy mystery with adorable Dalmatians, pushy Aunt Peg, a faithful friend, a close competition, a towering topknot, camp chaos, and one prying parent.
The Avid Reader
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