Creature Discomforts: A Dog Lover's Mystery

Susan Conant, Author Doubleday Books $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-49446-5
Most people who regain consciousness after falling down a mountain would think to call a doctor, but not Holly Winter, the bumptious heroine of Conant's 13th Dog Lover's mystery (after Evil Breeding). Of course, since Holly is suffering from amnesia, figuring out who she is initially occupies all her energies. Then she has to concentrate on appearing normal at a clambake given by wealthy socialite Gabbi Beamon, who has invited the intrepid journalist and her two Alaskan malamutes, Kimi and Rowdy, to Maine's Mount Desert Island. At the clambake, guests lament the passing of curmudgeon Norman Axelrod, who fell to his death while hiking the same trail Holly was on around the time of her ""accident."" Gabbi's guests are all investors--as was Norman--in the Pine Tree Foundation, a philanthropic organization that seeks to combine charity with high returns. Those returns, however, are suspiciously high. And why was Norman, notorious for his disinterest in exercise, climbing a mountain in Acadia National Park in the first place? Conant keeps plot to a minimum; the corpse and any medical or police authorities remain offstage. Such economy allows ample room for this lighthearted romp's real stars to shine--Holly's dogs, who are rivaled in the personality department only by her mooselike father, Buck Winter, whose antipathy to land developers brings the action to a head. Dog lovers will cheer Kimi and Rowdy as they help expose the killer, and even those not partial to canines will want to bark with pleasure at a good animal mystery in which the animals aren't portrayed as humans with fur. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Mass Market Paperbound - 224 pages - 978-0-553-58059-4
Hardcover - 228 pages - 978-1-57490-360-7
Open Ebook - 141 pages - 978-0-307-56933-2
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