Rita Mae Brown
Ballantine, Oct 4 2011, $25.00
The financial meltdown nuked Mags Rogers' Wall Street career. Humiliatingly, Mags and Baxter the dachshund move onto the ranch of her octogenarian Great Aunt Jeep Reed and King her Shepherd mutt in Reno.
Nevada realtor Babs Gallagher tells her friends Mags and Jeep that several families she knows of live in squalid conditions in foreclosed homes; they have no utilities and if they did could not pay the bills. The three females are appalled that in this day and age in America people survive without running water. Led by Jeep they decide to launch a campaign to help the squatters.
Running for Congress on a tough on personal responsibility rather than government dole, Patrick Wentworth uses the unfortunates as a wedge issue. He plays up a homicide, another death and Jeep’s neighbor who was wounded as proof the sinful non taxpayers are destroying the community. However the politico failed to count on the dog-gone sleuths.
The latest Jeep-King canine amateur sleuth tale(see A Nose for Justice) is more a moral condemnation of big business and the political puppets who dance as marionettes to the string pullers than a mystery; though the whodunit serves somewhat as an enhancer into the plight of homeless families. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Jeep starts her campaign for sustenance with dignity and never slows down as the women and the dogs investigate crimes that break the law and crimes against humanity (and pets).