Dogged by Death: A Furry Friends Mystery

Laura Scott. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64385-657-5

Veterinarian Ally Winter, the heroine of this winning series launch from Scott (the Swat Top Cops series), returns to her hometown of Willow Bluff, Wis., where she purchases a retiring vet’s practice, only to find the good doctor apparently lied about the number of his furry clients. Broke and idle, Ally takes on dog walking. Problems multiply when Ally finds the body of her newest client, crooked attorney Marty Shawlin, on the first day walking Shawlin’s boxer. The first officer to respond to the murder scene is none other than Det. Noah Jorgensen, a former high school quarterback who remembers Ally all too well from several epic moments of high school klutziness. As Jorgensen uncovers a multitude of disgruntled clients with reasons to want Shawlin dead, another body turns up. When true crime aficionado Oscar Winter, Ally’s irascible Gramps, decides to investigate, Ally reluctantly joins in just to keep Gramps safe. Scott delivers distinctive characters, an appealing small-town setting, and a hint of romance. This cozy is perfect for animal lovers. Agent: Pamela Hopkins, Hopkins Literary Assoc. (July)