Lauren Vancouver is the head of HotRescues, a no-kill animal shelter north of Los Angeles, but it’s often human nature that puts her in the path of danger. Just like when she helps rescue four adorable beagle puppies that were dumped down a drainpipe at a nasty puppy mill. One of the mill’s employees has a history of dog abuse-and a bone to pick with Lauren. And when he’s found dead at HotRescues after threatening her, Lauren will have to sniff out the real killer to keep herself out of a cage…
How do I explain my relationship with cozy mysteries? I discovered the cozy mystery genre when I began reading Susan Conant’s Dog Lover’s Mystery series. It is possible that I had read a cozy mystery before that, but the Conant series was when I first put a name to the genre. I love the Dog Lover’s series. I even love the Gourmet Girl Mystery series that she co-writes with her daughter, Jessica Park.
Unfortunately, I often feel that cozies are poorly written and/or edited. I felt this way about Beaglemania by Linda O. Johnston. I wanted to love it. I mean, just look at those cute beagles on the cover! Animals and mysteries are two of my passions. Usually magic happens for me when they are combined in a book, but Beaglemania fell short of my expectations.
1. In the book, it refers to neutering a female cat. This was a big negative for me. Female animals are spayed. Male animals are neutered.
2. HotRescues and HotPets are unlikeable names for an animal shelter and pet supply chain. HotRescues is repeated ad nauseum throughout the book.
3. The victim’s story line really did not make sense to me.
4. Lauren, director of the animal shelter, has zero animals at home. There is an explanation as to why this is the case, but it seems unlikely for a shelter director to not have any animals at home – not even a foster.
This was the first book by Johnston that I have read. I had been intending to read her Pet-Sitter Mystery series, but I got to this one first. Despite the negatives, I plan to read the next book in the series. I think the series has potential, but I wish it had started out stronger.