If Melanie Travis was planning on a quiet family summer with her Standard Poodle Faith, son Davey, and new husband Sam, her plans are about to turn upside down. An unexpected competition, a trip to New York, and--oh yes, a murder--later, Melanie finds herself in a choke collar of deceit and corruption.
When she receives the letter from the Champions Dog Food Company informing her that Faith has been selected as a finalist in the "All Dogs Are Champions" contest, Melanie is mystified--until she discovers it was Davey who entered Faith in the contest.
At the reception where they meet the other finalists, Melanie immediately picks up the scent that this pack is a bone's throw away from a major dog fight. And when Larry Kim, one of the finalists, dies in a suspicious fall, something smells rotten to Melanie. With the final decision for a winner drawing near and the competition getting downright ferocious, Melanie and Faith will have to watch their backs--because Melanie's digging may well unearth a barking-mad killer who'll do anything to win.
"Enjoyable…plenty of twists and turns for a tight suspenseful package." --Publishers Weekly
In Berenson's enjoyable 13th dog-themed cozy (after 2005's Raining Cats and Dogs), Melanie Travis's standard poodle, Faith, is a finalist in a contest sponsored by Champions Dog Food company, which is in search of the next "spokesdog" for a new dog food. Though Melanie and her new husband, Sam, have no modeling ambitions for Faith her nine-year-old son, Davey, entered the pooch without her knowing the other finalists' competitive owners are lured by the promise of a $100,000 contract. What begins as a matter of grooming and carriage becomes the stuff of life and death when Larry Kim, the handler of a Yorkshire terrier, plunges to his death down a stairwell. Once again, Melanie, a Greenwich, Conn., teacher, sets about carefully piecing together the clues to solve the crime. Berenson creatively combines a multitude of red herrings with plenty of twists and turns for a tight suspenseful package.