Obsidian, Apr 2009, $6.99
In Pigeon Cove, Police Chief Alex Vega and newspaper columnist and cleaning business owner Sky Taylor are on their first date at the Japanese Restaurant Shoka’s Minka. Their romantic dinner is interrupted when a herd of animals march through the restaurant including a monkey who clings to Sky. Chief Vega is notified that the animals are from Dr. Gail Pilsner’s veterinary practice; she is dead and her animal hospital torched.
Sky, fluent in Spanish asks Orlando the vet questions that Alex asked her so she can translate them and get the answers from the lab tech. He mentions three men seeking drugs arrived and that he escaped the carnage. Some things he says make no sense as a witness contradicts him and the drugs were in a place anyone could have easily found them. Vega arrests Orlando, but Sky thinks he is innocent and that there is a link to her friend Chloe who is lying to her as to where she has been. Her buddy conceals that she just left Natalie’s house and soon after she is murdered.
The monkey is adorable holding on to Sky for dear life while the puppies at the center of all the lies and murder are precious as the animals somewhat steal the show. The cleaning tips are informative especially house cleaning. While the relationship between the house cleaner and the cop is cute, the whodunit is fascinating mostly because people are lying about their involvement as if hiding an embarrassment is the lesser of two evils re homicide suspicion.