Melanie Travis and her beautiful show poodles have filled
twenty-one books effortlessly, as Melanie's little family
expanded and her dog family expanded to match. Now comes
the twenty-second book, RUFF JUSTICE. From Christmas tree
farm capers and cat burglars of earlier books, Melanie is
now back at the Connecticut show ring as she tries to gain
a championship certificate for one of her dogs.
To be more specific, Davey, Melanie's young son, is showing
his own dog, but so is Melanie's formidable Aunt Peg. After
the ringside drama there's less welcome excitement, when an
artist who painted dogs is found dead near her booth.
Jasmine Crane made custom leashes and other goods, and was
a popular figure at shows. But Aunt Peg finds the bohemian
lady lying dead, strangled with one of her leashes. As
before, Peg won't rest until she establishes the culprit.
Melanie will hunt out the clues.
Abby Burke, who shows hounds, arrives and asks Peg if she
knows where her twin sister Amanda is; Amanda is Peg's
occasional dog-sitter. She lives in a flat above Jasmine's
garage. This sparks a hunt for the missing young woman as
well as for a killer. Melanie's caring side comes out more
clearly while she works as a special assistant teacher. And
Davey, only thirteen, is turning into a responsible,
determined, brave young man.
I really admire the way this crime story is pieced
together, both by author Laurien Berenson creating the
story and by Melanie unraveling the mystery. Unlike police
dogs and guard dogs, of course, poodles don't leap at
criminals or sniff out explosives. That doesn't stop them
recognizing when their owners are in danger. All the dogs
in this book have individual personalities and dog-lovers
will have a treat in store with RUFF JUSTICE. Highly
As owner of prize-winning Poodles, Melanie Travis knows
how to handle fierce competition. But when a conformation
show turns deadly, itâ€™ll take every trick in the book to
outsmart a murderer who refuses to lose . . .
With the excitement of the spring dog show season sweeping
Connecticut, Melanie is determined to help her son finally
lead his Standard Poodle toward a championship title. Aunt
Peg even skips the judging panel to exhibit a pup of her
own, and sheâ€™s set on standing out from the pack with a
handmade leash from Jasmine Crane, a talented canine
portrait artist who also crafts stunning accessories for
discriminating show-goers. Jasmineâ€™s handiwork is to die
forâ€”but Aunt Peg didnâ€™t expect to discover the woman
murdered behind the concession booth, strangled by one of
her dazzling custom creations . . .
Another shockwave ripples through the close-knit show
community when Amanda, Aunt Pegâ€™s longtime dog sitter and a
renter on Jasmineâ€™s property, ominously vanishes that same
day. While nosing around for clues, Melanie suspects a
dangerous connection between Amandaâ€™s disappearance and the
homicide caseâ€”a hunch that grows as her investigation
reveals sketchy secrets about the late artist. Juggling a
demanding teaching job, the pressures of the show ring, and
a daunting suspect list, Melanie finds herself entangled in
a mindboggling murder mystery . . . and hot on the trail of
a desperate killer . . .