Crossing The Lion by Cynthia Baxter is the 9th book in the “Reigning Cats & Dogs” mystery series. Publisher: Bantam, August 2010

CAN A SMALL-TOWN PET DETECTIVE HUNT DOWN A BEAST OF A KILLER IN ITS OWN LAIR?

Veterinarian Jessica Popper is still basking in newlywedded bliss when neighbors Betty and Winston beg her to investigate the suspicious death of Linus Merrywood, king of the corporate jungle. On stormy Solitude Island, the Merrywoods have enjoyed the lion’s share of wealth for generations. But from the suspects to the surroundings, Jess feels as if she’s walked straight into an old-fashioned game of Clue—except here the stakes are life and death.

There’s the butler named Jives, a sexy assistant named Scarlett, teatime in the conservatory, and a house with secret passageways, moving walls, and a wailing aunt locked in the attic. With a storm raging around the island and Jess’s least favorite police detective assigned to the case, things are looking dire until Jess’s lionhearted husband, Nick, braves his way to Solitude to rescue her. Now it’s the two of them against a family steeped in secrets—and a killer on the prowl who’s ferociously determined to protect the biggest family secret of all.

At the request of her friends, Betty and Winston, Jess heads to an island home to investigate the death of their friend Linus. Arriving at the ghostly-like mansion and after meeting the eccentric family and their staff, once the police states that Linus was murdered, Jess knows one of the people on the island with is the murderer and she’ll need to solve this quickly. In a rare first, the lead detective asks for Jess’ help in digging up clues. The plot surrounding the mystery was good and the information that Jess culled from her talks had me stumped until the last few chapters when I had an idea of who did the deed. This was an entertaining read and I can’t wait for the next book in this series. My rating: 5 stars

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