cover image Beaglemania: A Pet Rescue Mystery

Beaglemania: A Pet Rescue Mystery

Lynda O. Johnston, Berkley Prime Crime, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-24021-2

Animals play a passive role in Johnston's less than engaging first in a new series featuring Lauren Vancouver, who runs HotRescues, a private no-kill animal shelter in Granada Hills, Calif. After raiding a puppy mill, Lauren is certain that Efram Kiley, an animal care apprentice who'd abused his own dog and was working for her as part of a legal agreement, tossed beagle puppies down a drainpipe. When Efram is later found stabbed to death at Lauren's shelter, she briefly becomes a suspect, but she quickly transitions into a skillful investigator helping skeptical LAPD Det. Stefan Garciana and love interest Capt. Matt Kingston of Animal Services. Insights into the plight of homeless animals make this an informative, if sometimes too fervent, spinoff from the author's Pet-Sitter series featuring lawyer Kendra Ballantyne (Feline Fatale, etc.). (Mar.)