Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fashion Faux Paw-Judi McCoy

Fashion Faux Paw
Judi McCoy
Obsidian, Mar 6 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451236272

It's Fashion Week in New York City and professional dog walker Ellie Engleman has been hired to take care of the canines. Each dog will wear identically matching clothing that matches her human model; they will walk together on the runway.

One designer Lilah Perry insults Ellie so quickly after their introductions, she belongs in the Guinness Book of Records for speediest derision. However, Ellie realizes that offensive Lilah lashes out at everyone. Lilah and Ellie receive gift baskets that include perfume strips. The mean spirited designer goes to talk to the “important” people, but begins to choke. Someone recognizes the symptoms of Anaphylactic Shock and asks if anyone has an Epipen. Ellie retrieves an Epipen from Lilah’s bag, but the gizmo is empty. The police discover peanut oil was an ingredient of the perfume strip that Lilah wore and declare the death a homicide. They soon arrest Jeffrey King, brother of designer Kitty King. Elle is fond of the young woman so when Kitty and others plead with her to investigate she does. Finding someone who did not loathe the victim is like finding a needle in a haystack so Ellie seeks whose motive could lead to murder.

The heroine and her Yorkie Rudy are adorable especially when they communicate as their humorous discussions reduce the tension when Ellie and her canine companion posse begin sleuthing. Also adding an element of humanizing Ellie is her strong romance with Sam the homicide detective as they have a lot in common. Although the reason Ellie investigates is a paradoxical sub-genre default, fans will enjoy the latest Dog Walker amateur sleuth (see Till Death Do Us Bark, Begging for Trouble and Death In Show) as this is an entertaining canine cozy.

Harriet Klausner

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