Bantam, Feb 2004, 6.99, 372 pp.
Veterinarian Jessica Popper has a very unique practice called Reigning Cats and Dogs. She has a clinic on wheels and travels allover Long Island meeting her clients in their homes. She just broke off with her boyfriend, a private investigator who she still loves, because he wants to marry her and she wants no part of the institution after seeing all the fights that happened between her parents.
One day while driving along the back road of the Atherton Farm to treat a sick horse, her two dogs find a dead body. When Jessica looks at the murdered victim she sees a canary with his neck broken lying next to the human victim. Jessica wholeheartedly throws herself into the investigation determined to unmask the killer. Although she has never done such a thing before, she gets very close to getting some answers but also almost gets herself killed in the process.
This amateur sleuth novel has plenty of action and enough romance to appeal to readers of both genres. The heroine has two rescued dogs, an arthritic cat and a parrot that repeats back anything he hears. Jessica is a smart, independent and clever woman who works the case as well as a private investigator and readers will find her actions very believable once the audience overcomes the initial doubt that is part of any first time amateur sleuth voluntary involvement in an investigation. Cynthia Baxter's DEAD CANARIES DON'T SING is a mystery lover's delight.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner