Seattle yoga instructor Kate Davidson often acts more like a champion fighting rooster than the Dalai Lama. When she's not teaching yoga, she spends her time hiding from her creepy landlord and dodging her best friend's relentless matchmaking attempts. Even though her father was a cop, Kate has zero crime fighting aspirations. She has enough trouble keeping her struggling yoga business afloat while trying to live up to yoga's Zen-like expectations.
Then she stumbles over a body in the studio's parking lot.
The police dismiss the murder as drug-related street crime, but Kate knows that George - a homeless alcoholic she had befriended-was no drug dealer. And if the police won't take his murder seriously, she'll just have to solve the crime herself. After all, "Drunk Dies in Drug Deal Gone Bad at Yoga Studio" isn't exactly the free publicity she's been hoping for.
Kate stretches herself and takes on two new challenges. First, solve George's murder. Second, find someone-anyone-willing to adopt his intimidating, horse-sized German shepherd, Bella, before Animal Control sends her to the big dog park in the sky.
But with Bella's time almost up and the murderer hot on her trail, Kate will have to work fast. Or the next time she practices Corpse Pose, it may be for real.
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Cats are nice, but a dog like Bella is the best!
Murder Strikes A Pose is the first book in the Downward Dog Mystery series by Tracy Weber. I received an audiobook copy in exchange for an honest review.
Kate Davidson owns a Yoga studio in Seattle. Her voice on the audiobook is so quiet and light that you just know she is serene and Zen-like. Well, almost. Turns out she’s just like the rest of us: tries to stay calm and above it all, but that doesn’t always work.
Kate meets George, a homeless alcoholic, and Bella, a big, scary German shepherd with an expensive, serious illness, when they set up outside her yoga studio to sell newspapers. She persuades George to move down the street a bit, and as time goes by a friendship forms. Although she really doesn’t know George very well, when she finds his body behind her studio she knows it can’t be just a drug-related street crime like the police think. And it turns out “Zen Kate” has a feisty side and a stubborn streak a mile wide. Against the advice of everyone she knows she starts looking into George’s past trying to prove he was murdered, while also looking for an appropriate home for Bella. After all, she can’t keep Bella, can she? – Bella is too big, scares the clients, her medicine is too expensive, Kate doesn’t have time . . . .
This was an absolutely delightful story. The descriptions of Seattle were so vivid I almost felt like I was there, and the yoga sounded so relaxing I just might sign up. The plot was strong and the mystery engaging and not easy to solve. There were a lot of viable suspects and interesting characters, and Kate recklessly went down a lot of dangerous paths and met a lot of strange people while trying to find the killer and someone to adopt Bella. Kate has some old issues to deal with, wants to do things her way and isn’t ready to love again, but she cares, a lot – about Bella and maybe about Michael, the pet store owner in the neighborhood.
I loved the understated delivery of the audiobook. It was perfect for Kate and for the story. I have to admit, though, that I sometimes did a double take when I realized just exactly what Kate has just said or thought, like when Michael tried to tell her to stay out of the investigation: “Michael spoke slowly and sternly, as if scolding an obstinate child. ‘Kate, let me be very clear about this. You will not continue this murder investigation, under any circumstances. I forbid it.’ Michael’s words were unequivocal, not to be challenged. He was man. He was in charge. He expected no argument. He was an idiot.”
I loved Bella, enjoyed my visit to Seattle and my introduction to yoga, and want to spend more time with Kate and see what happens with Michael. I highly recommend Murder Strikes a Pose and will be reading the rest of the stories in this fun series.