Berkley Publishing, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-425-21744-3.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 12/04/2007
What happens when a dog-walker loses the blue malamute that has been entrusted to her and refuses to tell anyone the name of the owner because she finds out that the woman—Holly Winter—was murdered?
To add to the dog-walker's dilemma, a dog rescuer—a second Holly Winter—shows up to help her find the lost dog.
As if that weren't enough, a third Holly Winter emerges to protest the theft of her identity. Mayhem ensues when a Harley-riding stranger who mistook Holly Winter the dog rescuer for the dead Holly Winter shows up at her house looking for...guess what! It's a good thing the dogs know one Holly from another because they become the human rescuers.
Susan Conant weaves this who's-who mystery around interesting people and places with catchy names—like dog owners named Yappel and Woofenden (do their dogs yap and woof a lot?), the LaundroMutt (a self-service dog wash), and the Loaves and Fishes supermarket. She also gives us some insight into dog shows, dog trainers, and folks who rescue dogs. Aren't dogs lucky that there are people who are so dedicated? There's also some history thrown in about Massachusetts and Maine.
This story has it all—murder, mystery, drug dealers, identity thefts, dog rescues, and a pack of out-of-the-ordinary characters. Sometimes I was confused, but maybe Conant meant for that to happen with the identity thefts of people and dogs alike. Still it's a delightfully convoluted plot made even more so by all of the sub plots.
So, curl up in your favorite chair—with your favorite furry friend if you have one—and enjoy.
Susan Conant is a three-time recipient of the Maxwell Award for Fiction Writing given by the Dog Writers Association of America. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with her husband, two cats, and two Alaskan malamutes. Visit her website.
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