Chow Down ), puts her four-months-pregnant self into the back of a min"/>

Hounded to Death: A Melanie Travis Mystery

Laurien Berenson, Author . Kensington $22 (295p) ISBN 978-0-7582-1603-8

Dog show enthusiast Melanie Travis, starring in her perky 14th whodunit (after 2006’s Chow Down ), puts her four-months-pregnant self into the back of a minivan and heads off to a canine judging symposium in the Poconos with her sister-in-law, Bertie, a professional dog handler, and Aunt Peg, a respected judge of poodles. The three expect a relaxing vacation, but a few hours after keynote speaker Charles Evans shocks his audience by announcing that dog shows are unethical, Melanie and Co. discover Evans dead in the hotel hot tub. Was he offed by an angry judge, or did his wife finally decide that his countless affairs were intolerable? Sleuthing isn’t the only thing occupying Melanie—she’s also busy looking out for her 60-something aunt, who’s pursuing romance with a younger man she met over the Internet. Berenson refrains from overloading the mystery with too many dog details, and though a few character development devices never get off the ground, this canine cozy is still absorbing enough to delight even cat lovers. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
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