Hounds Abound by Linda O. Johnston is the third book in the “Pet Rescue” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2012

Saving animals and solving murders seem to go paw in paw for shelter manager and amateur sleuth Lauren Vancouver. But this time, mixed up in a murder that may close a much-needed new shelter, she’s perhaps too quick to catch the scent of the killer.

For Lauren, Save Them All the newest no-kill shelter in Los Angeles, is just what the vet ordered: a place for handicapped kitties and senior spaniels to find a loving home and a second chance. There’s just one problem. It’s charming owner, Bella Frankovick, is now suspected of murdering her ex-husband, a powerful and animal-hating cosmetic surgeon. And it’s up to Lauren to use her bulldog grip on the case to rescue Save Them All and decide Bella’s fate, while keeping herself and own critters safe from an unleashed killer.

I love books that bring attention to societal concerns and in this one the focus is on shelters for handicapped and elderly animals. In this caper, the woman in charge of this facility quickly becomes the prime suspect in the death of her husband. Knowing that she’s innocent, Lauren begins an investigation and soon Lauren is in the crosshairs of a killer. In this evenly-paced mystery, I was so sure I knew who the killer was until the author’s direction led me to other possibilities with the many twist and turns that kept me guessing throughout most of this page-turning drama. Lauren is a likable character and I enjoy watching her dogged pursuit in bringing a killer to justice. This was a good read and I look forward to the next book in this endearing series.

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