Bantam, Sept 2004, 6.99, 368 pp.
During the month of June, Jessica does a favor for a fellow veterinarian by managing the “Ask the Vet” booth at the society fundraiser to raise money for the SPCA in the Bromptoms, a rich enclave on Long Island. Since her office is a large trailer, she will also treat pets as well as offer advice. She is staying at the guest house of famous movie star Shawn Elliot who shows that he is interested in her even though her boyfriend Nick, a private investigator is staying with her.
She also meets paparazzi Devon Barnet the most hated person attending the fundraising because he has no ethics, stalking the celebrities to take embarrassing photos of them to sell to the tabloids. When an ice sculpture falls on and kills Devon, the police conclude it is an accident, but Jessica thinks it is murder. The ice sculpture was held to the gazebo with strong wire and she doesn't believe that the wire could come loose by a dog bumping into it. She starts her own investigation to prove someone got away with murder and she intends to find out who it is.
Jessica is PUTTING ON THE DOG, especially her own pets who she loves beyond measure and are an integral part of the plot. She has a tailess Welter and a one eyed Dalmatian who she lavishes with love; this endears her to any readers who has an animal companion. The mystery is simple but hard to crack because the victim had so many enemies with a motive to kill him. Cynthia Baxter knows how to write a good who-done-it complete with red herrings and enough twists and turns to keep the reader's interest.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner