Beaglemania by Linda O. Johnston is the first book in the brand new "Pet Rescue" series. It stars Lauren Vancouver, who runs HotRescues, a no-kill shelter in L.A.
The mystery starts with a litter of beagle pups being rescued from a storm drain, in which someone has so nastily "discarded" them. Lauren is quick to blame Efram Kiley, an employee at a local puppy mill, who has a history of animal abuse. When he shows up at HotRescues verbally threatening Lauren and her animals, she has reason to put him even lower on her list. But later, when Efram is found stabbed near the HotRescues kennels, Lauren has some explaining to do and needs to clear her name as the main suspect in his murder!
I was really excited to read this book. I couldn't wait for it to come out, first of all because I had seen pictures of the cover and just fell in love (as you know, my dog Daisy who died in September was a Bassett Hound, who looked similar to the Beagles on the front). Secondly, I really love mysteries that have to do with animals.
A promising start to this new series, I am hooked. I liked Lauren Vancouver's spunky character. She displayed the real life passion that animal lovers possess. Defensive, and ever on guard of her charges, it seemed Lauren would stop at nothing to protect her four-legged friends.
The story was fun and believable. Unfortunately, there are many puppy mills out there where dogs are bred strictly for money, and once they are not producing anymore, they are just as easily gotten rid of as the pups in the book. So it was easy to relate to the events that took place.
I think this definitely has potential to become one of my favorite cozy series. It reminded me of a series my kids read when they were younger. It was the Animal Ark series by Ben M. Baglio. We used to read the books together when they were each in about second or third grade, and it was one of the only series my boys enjoyed... Maybe because we are animal (especially dog & cat) lovers. And by the way, I loved the covers of the Animal Ark books too!
Linda O. Johnston is also the author of the Pet-Sitter Mysteries starring Kendra Ballantyne, who did make a cameo appearance in Beaglemania. Kendra's love interest Dante just happens to be the rich benefactor behind HotRescues!
So it was kind of neat how she brought the two different series together, while maintaining totally separate premises.
I do not know what the next installment in the Pet Rescue Mysteries will be, but I look forward to finding out. I'm hoping it's a cat story next.
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