cover image PUTTING ON THE DOG: A Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery

PUTTING ON THE DOG: A Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery

Cynthia Baxter, . . Bantam, $6.99 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-553-58642-8

Dog lovers rejoice! Baxter is back with a frisky sequel to Dead Canaries Don't Sing, her debut Reigning Cats and Dogs mystery. This time around, amateur sleuth Jessica Popper, D.V.M, is manning the "Ask the Vet" booth for a week at a high-profile SPCA fund-raiser in the Long Island Bromptons (think Hamptons). Her first night there, Devon Barnett, a sleazy tabloid photographer, is killed when an enormous ice sculpture falls on him as he lurks in the shrubbery at a swank dinner party. The police and celebrity residents of the Bromptons seem content to write off his death as an accident, but Jess thinks otherwise. Snooping, however, is a little tough when her boyfriend, Nick, shows up with romance in mind, and her host, hunky film star Shawn Elliot, is determined to sweep her off her feet. Jess has a sneaking suspicion the answer to Devon's murder lies in his locked photo studio, but according to his gay lover, Chess, the studio is off-limits to everybody. The tale moves smoothly as Jess mingles with the film industry's hottest stars, tracking down clues, but readers will derive the most pleasure from the antics of Jess's canine companions, Max and Lou, the author's behind-the-scenes look at dog shows and the sprinkling of information she provides on each breed. Agent, Faith Hamlin. (Sept.)