Kensington, Sept 2002, 22.00, 288 pp.
Melanie Travis lives a fulfilling life working, as a special needs tutor in Greenwich, Connecticut. She also gets immense pleasure out of showing her standard French Poodle puppy Eve at the dog shows. Her ex-fiancÚ wants to get back together with her but she's holding back, not sure if she can forgive him for walking out on her when she needed him most.
Her life turns complicated when she agrees to watch Dax, a little Dachshund puppy, who is the rope in a custodial tug of war. Meanwhile Mel's ex-husband Bob is forging a relationship with their son and has a brand new girlfriend in his life. Things really begin to go crazy for Mel when doors she closed are reopened. When she returns home, her wallet and Dax turn up missing and the phone rings all night long. Sam wants to be there for her, but she rejects his overtures, determined to go it alone even if it kills her.
HOT DOG is the latest and best in the Melanie Travis mystery series to date. This book is as much a family and relationship drama as it is a mystery and for the first time the audience sees the protagonist as something less than a super win. Laurien Berenson has written a real treat for the human as well as the canine persuasion.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner