Raining Cats and Dogs ), Melanie Travis's standard poodle, Faith, is a finalist in a contes"/>

Chow Down: A Melanie Travis Mystery

Laurien Berenson, Author . Kensington $22 (295p) ISBN 978-0-7582-0815-6

In Berenson's enjoyable 13th dog-themed cozy (after 2005's Raining Cats and Dogs ), Melanie Travis's standard poodle, Faith, is a finalist in a contest sponsored by Champions Dog Food company, which is in search of the next "spokesdog" for a new dog food. Though Melanie and her new husband, Sam, have no modeling ambitions for Faith—her nine-year-old son, Davey, entered the pooch without her knowing—the other finalists' competitive owners are lured by the promise of a $100,000 contract. What begins as a matter of grooming and carriage becomes the stuff of life and death when Larry Kim, the handler of a Yorkshire terrier, plunges to his death down a stairwell. Once again, Melanie, a Greenwich, Conn., teacher, sets about carefully piecing together the clues to solve the crime. Berenson creatively combines a multitude of red herrings with plenty of twists and turns for a tight suspenseful package. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/17/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
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