Signet, July 2003, 5.99, 256 pp.
Pet owners in the English Seaside village of Taviscombe are in an uproar because the new head veterinarian in the only practice in the area is an arrogant, unfeeling know it all who isn't kind to his patients or their owners. Besides alienating his clients, Malcolm Hardy also causes dissension in the office as well. He fired one vet who has been with the practice for years and is making unreasonable demands on the other partner.
During an operation, the animal dies. Malcolm blames the junior partner but in reality it is his fault. He fires an assistant and replaces her with his girlfriend. When he is found dead in his office, it almost comes as a relief for all concerned. The police rule it a murder but there are so many suspects and few leads that Mrs. Sheila Mallory, a widow who has solved homicides in the past, decides to investigate.
MRS. MALLORY AND DEATH IN PRACTICE is the quintessential British cozy that is rich in characterizations and short on blood and gore. Readers get a fascinating glimpse into life in a small English village where the same families have lived there for generations so that everyone knows their neighbor. Hazel Holt gives the reader an interesting who done it to solve, one that has many viable suspects, all with credible motives.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner