cover image Under the Dog Star: A Rachel Goddard Mystery

Under the Dog Star: A Rachel Goddard Mystery

Sandra Parshall. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-59058-878-9; $14.95 trade paper ISBN 978-1-59058-880-2

In Agatha-winner Parshall's well-paced if unsettling fourth mystery featuring Virginia veterinarian Rachel Goddard (after 2010's Broken Places), it appears a pack of feral stray dogs killed Dr. Gordon Hall, "one of Mason County's most prominent citizens," but deputy sheriff Tom Bridger suspects a vicious human killer used his dog as a murder weapon. While Tom tries to identify Hall's killer and close down an illegal dog fighting operation, Rachel and her vet assistant, Holly Turner, must act fast to catch the strays and save them from being shot by local farmers. As Rachel gets entangled in Tom's investigation, Rachel and Holly come too close for comfort to the leaders of the dog-fighting ring%E2%80%94and the killer. Dog lovers may be disturbed by the depiction of animal cruelty and the all too real world of illegal dog fighting. (Sept.)