This Dog for Hire

Carol Lea Benjamin, Author Walker & Company $20.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3292-7
Benjamin's spirited debut, featuring Greenwich Village PI Rachel Alexander and her trusty sidekick, a prescient pit bull named Dash (short for Dashiell), is written with enough flair to make it appealing to more than just dog lovers. Rachel is hired by a gay man whose painter friend, Clifford, was the victim of a hit-and-run driver. In addition, Cliff's pet basenji, a barkless show dog, is missing. It takes Rachel no time to find the dog because he has a National Dog Registry tattoo. But she realizes that tracing the car and driver that ran over the young man as he stood on the Christopher Street pier won't be as easy. She begins by examining the three most obvious parts of Cliff's life: his lover, his art and his dog. She finds his lover in cahoots with his art dealer, who plans to make a killing from Cliff's sudden notoriety. Cliff's art is a disturbing, personal expose of his childhood, and the dog's handler has been making a tidy sum on the side in stud fees with frozen sperm. With this host of leads, Rachel goes from an elegant gallery opening to the most famous dog show in America, Westminster, becoming, alternately, both stalker and stalked. Street-savvy Rachel, resilient in the face of obstacles, and Dash, whose talent for opening doors and sensing danger is immense, come through it okay and nab the bad guy. And Benjamin writes with a wit nearly as sharp as Dash's teeth. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1996
Release date: 12/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-440-22520-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-440-79030-3
Hardcover - 373 pages - 978-0-7862-4191-0
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