Best In Show
Melanie Travis Series #10
by Laurien Berenson
Murder’s on the ticket when intrepid poodle breeder Melanie Travis travels to Maryland for a world-famous dog show where the competition isn’t the only thing that’s cutthroat....
There are dog shows. And then there’s the PCA: The Poodle Club of America National Specialty Dog Show. For poodle purists, it’s the pinnacle of the show season, drawing thousands of competitors and spectators from all over the world. And though she has her own Standard poodle puppy, Eve, to show, Melanie gets leashed into helping out on the raffle committee by her formidable aunt. Selling tickets and sprucing Eve up for competition won’t leave much time for
Melanie to spend with her almost-fiancé Sam on their first trip together without their usual chaperone, Melanie’s seven-year-old son, Davey.
Once in Maryland, Melanie is put to work selling raffle tickets by the co-chairs of the raffle committee, Betty Jean and Edith Jean Boone. Sixty-ish steel magnolias from the South, the reclusive sisters make few appearances. But this year, they have a silver Toy puppy that has already caused quite a buzz on the show circuit.
Even though the poodles remain well behaved, it’s their owners and handlers who start acting up. And then murder takes center stage. Betty Jean is found dead at the host hotel. But this is the PCA -- and the show must go on. As Edith Jean staunchly resumes her raffle duties, Melanie instinctively starts searching for clues, and comes up with a compelling cast of suspects: a rival owner whose bite may be just as bad as his bark, a handler with a nasty reputation, and a possibly fraudulent pet psychic.
With all the attention riveted on the ring, someone out in the crowd is about to get away with murder. Scraps of conversations and suspicious goings-on have Melanie looking for a suspect—and getting ever closer to the killer. Soon she’s shocked to discover that in the dog-eat-dog world of showing, a life can be as easily lost as a blue ribbon. And unlike cats, dogs -- and their owners -- have only one to risk....
Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a four-time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She lives in Georgia with her husband, her son and four Poodles. Please visit her at her website: www.LaurienBerenson.com.