Dogs Don’t Lie

Dogs Don't Lie by Clea Simon

I received a free e-galley of Dogs Don’t Lie by Clea Simon from the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press.

I am a big fan of animal-centric mysteries. My favorite authors include Spencer Quinn and Susan Conant, who both write series revolving around dogs. After reading Dogs Don’t Lie, I can add Clea Simon to my ever-growing list of series to follow.

Dogs Don’t Lie centers around the murder of Charles, owner of a pit bull named Lily (a.k.a. Tetris). The murder is staged to appear that Lily killed Charles. Animal psychic and behaviorist, Pru Marlowe, works as Lily’s trainer and finds Charles’ body during a routine training session. Recognizing Lily’s innocence, Pru must search for the true murderer in order to get Lily off the hook for murder and save her from certain euthanasia.

As a pit bull advocate, I was hooked right away. Simon did not disappoint in her portrayal of Lily as a sweet, loving dog that would never hurt anyone. Hooray to Simon for this portrayal of the breed!

The story took many twists and turns with lots of suspects and animals thrown into the mix. Pru communicates with the animals in the story – cats, dogs, birds and a lovable ferret named Frank. While it may seem hokey for animals to “talk,” Clea Simon handles the subject matter very well. I will definitely check out the next book in the Pru Marlowe series and also plan to check out Simon’s Theda Krakow series.

My rating: 4 stars

Description:

Pru Marlowe isn’t your ordinary animal psychic. A tough girl on the run from her own gift, Pru left the big city to return to her picturesque Berkshires hometown looking for a little peace. Too bad that her training as an animal behaviorist got her mixed up with Lily, a rescue dog, and Charles, her person. Now Charles is dead, and Lily looks good for it. After all, Lily is a pitbull, a fighting-ring dropout, and way too traumatized to give Pru a clear picture of what she has witnessed. But Pru knows something about bad girls trying to clean up, and, with a sense of justice strong enough to overcome her dislike of human society, she takes the case. Listening to the animals, Pru picks up clues – and learns there are secrets in the pretty little town that make murder look simple. Unable to tell anybody about her psychic abilities, uncertain at times about her own sanity, Pru comes to realize that if she clears Lily, she’ll likely become the prime suspect – or the next victim. While the only creature she can totally trust is her crotchety tabby Wallis, Pru’s got to uncover the real killer – and find a way to live with her gift – before the real beasts in the town savage her and those she has come to love. The first in the Pru Marlowe “pet noir” series.

Sleeping Lady

Sleeping Lady

Sleeping Lady by Sue Henry is the third book in the Alex Jensen and Jessie Arnold series. Since I have the unfortunate habit of reading series out of order, I read the eleventh book, Murder at Five Finger Light, first. I enjoyed Henry’s descriptions of Alaska, the island and the lighthouse so much that I read the book in a day. Then I decided to go back and start at the beginning. Murder on the Iditarod Trail and Termination Dust are first and second in the series, followed by Sleeping Lady.

Sleeping Lady is the story of a missing pilot and his loner wife (presumed widow) with a bit of poaching thrown into the mix. Henry’s descriptions of the Alaska wilderness are enough to keep me coming back to these books, but the mysteries are strong too. I was engrossed in this story, but I found it difficult to follow at times. Once the action picked up, I had to turn back a few times in order to keep the characters straight. Sleeping Lady brought a whopper of a surprise ending. I really didn’t see it coming.

Description:

Alaska State Trooper Alex Jensen is faced with solving the mystery of what became of pilot Norm Lewis, whose plane disappeared six months ago in the vast white wilderness. Even ore puzzling is the discovery of the broken hulk of his Cessna, half submerged in the icy waters of the Spring thaw—with the frozen body of an unidentified woman strapped in the passenger seat. Norm is nowhere to be found, and his wife, Rochelle, a pilot herself, has flown in, demanding to be included in the search.

Jensen and Rochelle begin their probe, an emotional trek through the forbidding Alaskan wilderness—a trail that turns even more ominous as they follow the fateful path of a man who has vanished without a trace, leaving behind a bundle of troublesome secrets, unanswered questions and some dangerous connections in the business of murder.

Book: Sleeping Lady | Author: Sue Henry | Published: William Morrow & Co; September 1, 1996 | Format: Hardcover
Source: Library | Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Audiobook Review: Deadly Housewives

Deadly Housewives To be honest, I was not expecting much from this collection of short stories. I was in the mood for a new audiobook and Deadly Housewives was available right away through overdrive. So, I gave it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself hooked on some of the stories. My favorites included “Lawn and Order,” “The Next-Door Collector,” “Acid Test,” “He Said…She Said” and “How to Murder Your Mother-in-Law.”

There was a problem with the sound on the version that I checked out. Some parts were so quiet that I had to turn the volume up very loud, only to have the next story blast out too loud. I also favored one narrator’s style over the other.

Description:

Wisteria Lane has nothing on the grande dames of mystery. A Bitch In the House for the fiction set, Deadly Housewives is a mystery anthology from fourteen of today’s best–loved and bestselling female mystery and suspense writers.

Critically acclaimed mystery writer Christine Matthews has gathered the biggest names in women’s mystery and suspense writing today, in this intriguing short story collection. Nevada Barr, Sara Paretsky, S.J. Rozan, Denise Mina, Carole Nelson Douglas, Marcia Muller, Nancy Pickard, Julie Smith, Vicki Hendricks, Suzann Ledbetter, Elizabeth Massie, Christine Matthews, Barbara Collins and Eileen Dreyer have all signed on.

The millions of viewers tuning in every Monday night to see the latest installment of Desperate Housewives are compelling evidence that there’s a huge audience hungry for entertainment based on the premise that there’s more to suburban housewives than meets the eye. With each never–before published story illuminating a different dark corner of the housewife–psyche, including sex, marriage, careers–left–behind, jealousy, kids, and female friendship, this anthology is perfect for the audience that’s made Desperate Housewives must–see T.V. And the murder and mysteries on Wisteria Lane will look like a chorus bake sale compared to the thrills and suspense that these masters of crime writing cook up!

Book: Deadly Housewives | Authors: Nevada Barr, Sara Paretsky, S.J. Rozan, Denise Mina, Carole Nelson Douglas, Marcia Muller, Nancy Pickard, Julie Smith, Vicki Hendricks, Suzann Ledbetter, Elizabeth Massie, Christine Matthews, Barbara Collins and Eileen Dreyer
Published: Phoenix Audio; August 1, 2006 | Format: Audiobook | Source: Library | Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review: A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8)

A Lesson in SecretsI acquired A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear through a first reads giveaway.

I had been intending to read the Maisie Dobbs series for a while. I am not a stickler for reading a series in order, but I am trying to be better about starting at the beginning. With that said, I was thrilled to win this book – the eighth in the series – and read it right away!

I very much enjoyed the historical setting, references to the war and the strong female characters that Jacqueline Winspear has created. I am quite eager to go back and begin with the first book in the series, although I suspect a few things have been spoiled for me by reading book eight first.

This is a light, intelligent mystery. Highly recommended!

Description:
In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ career goes in an exciting new direction when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities “not in the interests of His Majesty’s Government.”

When the college’s controversial pacifist founder and principal, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, Maisie is directed to stand back as Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Stratton spearhead the investigation. She soon discovers, however, that the circumstances of Liddicote’s death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty and students under her surveillance.

To unravel this web, Maisie must overcome a reluctant Secret Service, discover shameful hidden truths about Britain’s conduct during the war, and face off against the rising powers of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei—the Nazi Party—in Britain.

A pivotal chapter in the life of Maisie Dobbs, A Lesson In Secrets marks the beginning of her intelligence work for the Crown. As the storm clouds of World War II gather on the horizon, Maisie will confront new challenges and new enemies—and will engage new readers and loyal fans of this bestselling mystery series.

Book: A Lesson in Secrets  | Author: Jacqueline Winspear | Published: HarperCollins Publishers; March 22, 2011
Format: Paperback, ARC | Source: Goodreads giveaway | Rating: 4 out of 5