Kensington, Sept 2003, 22.00, 288 pp.
Melanie is leaving her son behind in Connecticut with his father while she and her Aunt Peg travel to Maryland to attend the annual Poodle Club of America event. Melanie is going to show her puppy Eve while her aunt is going to make sure everyone knows their job. Melanie's lover Sam Driver is also going to be at the dog show and Melanie hopes to have some quality time alone with him.
Aunt Peg ropes her niece into helping the Boone Sisters, Edith Jean and Betty Jean into selling raffles. Although the sisters are eleven months apart in age, they look like identical twins. When Melanie walks Eve in the designated area of the hotel, she hears a scream and when she and others look to see what happened they find Betty Jean lying dead on the ground. When the police start investigating, they discover she was murdered but this time Melanie vows not to get involved, a promise that doesn't last the full week of the conference.
There are plenty of suspects who could have wanted the victim dead but readers won't be able to figure out this complex, multi-layered who done it until the author is ready to reveal the identity of the killer. Members of the audience may have fragments of the solution but Laurien Berenson holds back one shocking, unbelievable fact that changes the whole picture and the best part is that the clue is hidden in plain sight. BEST IN SHOW is a mystery and dog lover's delight.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner