I try to read every book Laurien Berenson writes. “Death of a Dog Whisperer” is the seventeenth in the Melanie Travis Canine Mystery series. I’ve read as Melanie progressed from a divorcee with one child and one standard poodle, to a happily married woman with two children and six standard poodles. Along the way, her dogs have become champions in the show ring and she has even bred Faith, her original poodle.
After reading this series, I have become fascinated with dog shows and have actually thought about owning a standard poodle, much to my cats’ dismay. The mysteries have always been enjoyable whodunits, but I’ll admit, I read her books for the dogs.
In “Death of a Dog Whisperer” Melanie meets Nick Walden, the self-proclaimed dog whisperer. While she anticipates that he is a charlatan, she soon realizes he understands dogs well and works with their owners to solve behavior issues. Melanie decides to introduce him to her Aunt Peg, a well-respected judge in dog shows.
When Nick turns up dead, Nick’s sister turns to Melanie to help solve the murder. Along the way Melanie meets many of Nick’s clients and their dogs. As you can predict from the cover, this book features basset hound, Barney, one of Nick’s clients. Laurien’s books do introduce other breeds of dogs.
The strength of the book and the series, outside of dogs, is in the set of characters, as it often is with most successful cozy mystery series. Melanie is in education and while this book is set in the summer, she is balancing the needs of two children, six dogs, a husband and an ex-husband. Melanie is relatable, which makes us root for her. Another great character is her Aunt Peg, a smart and sometimes intimidating woman that offers advice to Melanie both in life and in solving the mystery.
Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America.
If you like cozy mysteries and if you like dogs, you will want to read “Death of a Dog Whisperer” by Laurien Berenson.
Five stars out of five.
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In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge. I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.