Desperate HousedogsDesperate Housedogs by Sparkle Abbey is the first book in the new “Pampered Pets” mystery series. Publisher: Bell Bridge Books, November 2011

When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help Kevin Blackstone with his two misbehaving German Shepherd dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors. What she doesn’t expect is that two hours later the police will find Kevin dead, his dogs impounded; and that as the last person to see Kevin alive (well, except for the killer) she is suddenly a person of interest, at least according to Homicide Detective Judd Malone.

What a good read to a debut series. Caro begins an investigation when at first she is a suspect in a client’s murder but later someone dear to her becomes the prime suspect and she’ll have to find a killer before their dog days are over. This was a joy to read. The tone was light and the mystery of who and why kept me turning the pages. Set in sunny California among the pampered set, Caro has to delve into her client’s past to find a killer who will stop at nothing to keep a secret buried. I liked how evenly this story flowed between Caro searching for clues and getting to know Caro and her friends. With amusing banter and comedic antics, this is a wonderful beginning and I hope this enjoyable series continues.

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter).

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