cover image No Holds Barred: A Daniel Whelan Mystery

No Holds Barred: A Daniel Whelan Mystery

Lyndon Stacey. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8064-2

In Stacey’s absorbing second Daniel Whelan mystery set in the West Country (after 2011’s No Going Back), the former police dog handler and current animal feed delivery truck driver takes a job at Maidstone Farm—ostensibly to work as a driver, but in fact to look into an attack that left the husband of Maidstone’s owner, Jenny Summers, in a coma. Dan receives a number of warnings that spell trouble for him and his German shepherd, retired police dog Taz, as well as his visiting nine-year-old son, Drew. Dan uses connections from both his old job and new affiliations to supplement his investigation into members of the farm’s haulage team, a local family of poor repute, reports of missing pets, and more. Readers will forgive the contrivance that leads to the exciting climax. Fans of Stacey’s horse-centric novels like Deadfall will be pleased that Jenny’s stable means a lot of equine scenes in addition to the canine-human interactions. (May)