RendezVous, Dec 2003, 10.95, 273pp.
In Sudbury, North Ontario, mid to late forties Palmer Realty owner Belle Palmer worries that her office assistant fifty-five year old Miriam MacDonald will soon quit. Underpaid at her job, Miriam is seeing investment guru Mel, who has provided her some financial tips.
However, someone murders Mel, whose advice apparently has ruined several people and whose dealings are not what one would say were ethical and other would know are apparently illegal. The police believe that Miriam used an Inuit sculpture to kill her lover. Belle decides to make her own inquiries into the case though she has confidence in the abilities if Detective Steve Davis. Besides wanting to return Strudel the rodent looking poodle to her owner Miriam, someone is stalking Belle, making her wonder if there is a connection to the homicide. However, stalking is dangerous enough; active involvement may prove more perilous.
Amateur sleuth fans who enjoy a taste of a different locale will take immense delight with BUSH POODLES ARE MURDER. The lead protagonist is a beautiful person as her asides on every aspect of life and the people inside her sphere lighten up the tale. The north Ontario location adds depth to belle and the homicide yet is cleverly intertwined in the plot so that Sudbury is not intrusive, but interestingly enhancing. Sub-genre fans will receive much pleasure from this Canadian cozy and seek the previous Belle “are murder” entries (see BLACKFLIES ARE MURDER and NORTHERN WINTERS ARE MURDER).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner