Murder is going to the dogs. . .
Bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Claire Malloy has donned another hat (or is that a collar?)-as a petsitter extraordinaire. Her furry charges are Miss Emily Parchester's beloved basset hounds, Nick and Nora, and two very good dogs they are. Everything is just ducky...until they vanish. Other neighbors' pets have also disappeared, and no doubt a dognapper is on the prowl. . .
Switching to her sleuthing chapeau, Claire quickly locates the shabby abode of Newton Churls, who runs a black market in stolen animals. But instead of a pen filled with purloined pooches, Claire finds one very dead Newton-and it appears his own pit bull terriers did him in. Or did they? Claire smells a human rat behind the brutal murder. And mysteriously, Nick and Nora are still missing. Now Claire is doggedly determined to find them...and run a killer to the ground.
Agreeing to care for two basset hounds while their elderly owner is away, bookseller Claire Malloy is introduced to the underworld of pet snatchers.redundant, if they're stolen When the hounds left in her care disappear, Claire discovers other neighborhood pets in her small university town are also missing. A check at the animal shelter turns up the information that the unsavory Newton Churls runs an operation licensed to sell animals for medical research. An official inspection, authorized by an unwilling sheriff, proves unavailing. The bereft pet owners and Claire's teenage daughter Caron attempt a nighttime commando raid; when Claire follows them, she finds Churls torn to death by his pit bulls. On the lam to keep up the search and avoid being called as a material witness, Claire is attacked by several unsavory country boys at an animal sale; a ransom demand further complicates the case. Hess again provides lively and diverting entertainment via her brash and articulate detective, last seen in A Diet to Die For .