Till Death Do Us Bark
Obsidian, Aug 2 2011, $7.99
After deciding she needed a dog, Ellie Engleman goes to the pound. There she met Rudy the Yorkiepoo who is the reincarnation of her beloved canine companion who died ten years ago. Rudy speaks to her and Ellie understands him as well as al caninines. Needless to say she adopts Rudy and they become a great crime solving team (See Begging for Trouble and Death In Show) though her job is that of a professional dog walker.
After not taking a vacation in about a decade, her best friend Vivian convinces Ellie to take Rudy and accompany her and her Terrier Twink to the Hamptons where her sister Arlene has a home and is also getting married in twenty-four hours. The groom fails to show up and later is found dead in his office on his estate. Ellie keeps reminding herself not to investigate. However, when the housekeeper’s son Tomas is arrested, seemingly everyone she knows including Rudy and Twink pressure her to make inquiries; so she acquiesces. With Rudy sniffing out clues, Ellie follows his lead one clue at a time.
The fun in this amusing amateur sleuth is the charming chats and camaraderie between politically correct human Ellie and irreverent canine Rudy; for instance she calls her boyfriend Sam and he dubs him “Detective Demento”. The action is limited, but Ellie who is always there for friends and family and Rudy make a dynamite detecting duo whose chatter brings humor and crime solving to the story line. Thus the great characterizations starting with the lead pair but also including Viv and her dysfunctional family make for a fabulous anthropomorphist whodunit.