Wagging Through The Snow by Laurien Berenson is the 21st book in the “Melanie Travis” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, coming September 26, 2017

Melanie Travis needs a little peace from her busy life this Christmas. But the usual holiday hubbub is a joy compared to the killer surprise she finds tucked underneath the tree . . .

With a demanding teaching job at Connecticut’s elite Howard Academy and five poodles scampering around the house, Melanie barely has energy for the upcoming Christmas rush. But she unwraps an unexpected challenge when her brother and ex-husband, elated by the recent success of their country café, make a spontaneous bid on a dilapidated pine tree farm. Although the ten-acre lot had been a popular seasonal destination while the original owner was still alive, it’ll take some sprucing up—and a small miracle or two—before the neglected place is in shape for December.

Unfortunately, the impromptu business venture goes cold when the group discovers a purebred Maltese whimpering in the snow-covered grove—right beside a dead body. Pete, a squatter who camped out on the land, apparently met his end after a fallen fir tree branch knocked him on the head. But as Melanie and Aunt Peg investigate Pete’s history and the terrible habit that cost him everything, it’s clear his death was no accident. Now, Melanie must run through a flurry of likely suspects and muzzle a dogged murderer in time—or she’ll be next on someone’s deadly list.

The latest adventures with Melanie and her friends quickly embroiled me in all that was happening, making it hard to put down until the last page was read. The author did a great job in telling this story with narrative that was visually descriptive and dialogue that was engaging and humorous at times. The mystery was well-written and I like that the author keeps me in suspense mode with how Melanie’s investigative efforts will turn out. I also love the family dynamics that plays heavily in this story which always warms my heart. This was an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next book in this endearing series.

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FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the author.

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