Linda O. Johnston
Berkley, Dec 2009, $7.99
When she was a big shot Los Angeles attorney Kendra Ballantyne hated her on call 24/7 life. She reengineered her lifestyle becoming a pet-sitter who also works animal rights cases. Adding to her belief she lives the near perfect harmonious life is her boyfriend Dante DeFrancisco, owner of HotPets pet supply chain.
Dante sponsors HotWildAnimals sanctuary in the San Bernardino Mountains. Everyone is ecstatic over the birth of three wolf pups. However, the elation is tempered by the fact that the mother is missing, which means feeding the infants from bottles. The biggest concern is that for the wolf to vanish from the compound required a human letting her out or perhaps abducting her for ransom. Kendra meets Dante’s friend, movie star Brody Avilla, who seems to exclude her when the men talk seriously with one another. She conducts an inquiry starting with Dante’s computer that leads her to employee Jon Doe, who’s found dead in the wolf enclosure.
The latest Pet Sitter amateur sleuth whodunit (see Double Dog Dare and Never Say Sty) is an enjoyable tale with two mysteries; first there is the missing she-wolf and second identifying a killer. The shift in locale refreshes the fun series as Kendra’s enthusiasm is catching. Although she has success in catching criminals including murderers, readers, especially newcomers, will have doubts that the pet sitter should investigate the homicide even with the missing mother mystery seemingly tied to the murder. Still fans will enjoy Kendra’s latest whodunit as her energy, élan and love of animals (as well as Dante) make for an appealing investigative story.