Being An Underdog Can Be Murder. . .
Amateur sleuth, single mother, and pedigreed poodle owner Melanie Travis returns to Connecticut's elite canine circles--and unmasks a murderer lurking among the handlers and their prize-winning pets. . .
When Melanie's education in breed-handling at Connecticut's classiest obedience school is cut short by sudden death, she smells a murder. So, with her rambunctious puppy, five-year-old son, and sexy fellow breeder Sam Driver in tow, she hits the championship circuit. In this dog-eat-dog world where winning is everything, Melanie discovers that more than one suspect had a bone to pick with the victim, including a kennel owner whose secret recipe for dog biscuits isn't the only thing she's guarding.
Between laps around the show ring, Melanie learns some tricks of her own. But will she learn fast enough to collar an unleashed killer who's begging for the dogged detective to play dead?
Introduced in A Pedigree to Die For, Fairfield County, Connecticut's Melanie Travis returns in another mystery revolving around dogs. Trying to get her puppy ready for the show circuit, Melanie, a single mom who teaches learning-disabled students, befriends professional handlers Jenny and Rick Maguire, whose dogs consistently win trophies. When Jenny says her pet, Ziggy, was run over in a street accident, Melanie tries to console the woman over dinner. Then Jenny dies of arsenic poisoning and, later, Melanie finds Ziggy being boarded at a distant kennel. Clearly, something was rotten about the seeming idyllic life of the Maguires. Was Jenny planning to leave her husband? Or did she commit suicide as her sister, who found a note, insists? Ever curious, Melanie goes after the answer like a hound on a scent--and yaps charmingly about her son, her poodle and her potential beau, Sam. Aided by her equally snoopy Aunt Peg, Melanie is indoctrinated in the mores of dog shows and, along the way, discovers who killed Jenny. With this new case, Berenson throws dog lovers a treat they will relish.