Evil Breeding: A Dog Lover's Mystery

Susan Conant, Author Doubleday Books $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-48669-9
Few readers, other than Conant's most devoted fans, will yap happily at her latest Dog Lover's mystery (after The Barker Street Regulars). Canine-crusading sleuth Holly Winter has signed a contract for a book of photographs about the famous Morris and Essex Dog Shows. In researching the events, she encounters an elderly man, B. Robert Motherway, who attended the shows as a youth. Interviewing him, Holly is introduced to his disquieting household: a son and daughter-in-law who are treated like servants, an unseen and deathly ill wife and a haughty grandson. When seemingly natural death and then outright murder visit Motherway family members, Holly pokes her nose in to scent out the truth. With the help of some anonymous letters and her shrewd friend Althea, Holly pieces together the dangerous secrets behind the Motherways' facade of patrician privilege. Canine lore and Conant's proselytizing against evil dog-breeding practices tend to swamp the meager but melodramatic plot, and her villains are so hazily sketched that readers might wonder how they engender any fear. The Barker Street Regulars was a much more accomplished story than this; hopefully Conant's next will be, too. Agent, Deborah Schneider. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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