St. Martin's, Aug 2003, 6.50, 352 pp.
In Baltimore, Thomas Tobin inherited the six pound canine Hairy when the dog's owner was murdered. Feeling a bit of guilt, as the victim was his informant, Thomas takes in the furball, but has no idea how to care for the creature. However, he notices how Hairy becomes frightened whenever he sees a blender so he wonder is perhaps the dog has associated that kitchen gadget with the homicide.
Thomas takes his pooch to animal behaviorist Dr. Emma Jenkins who lectures him about how to take care of a tiny dog as Thomas treats Hairy as if he was a Doberman. As Emma and Thomas become better acquainted, they fall in love though neither wants those feelings and both struggled mightily to control their libido. She is still recovering from her ex plus is taking care of LeeLee, the daughter of a recently deceased friend. He has enough on his plate between an unwanted canine and a killer on the loose who just might be targeting those that matter to Thomas: Hairy, Emma, and LeeLee.
Fans who take a chance on this novel will feel rewarded as Susan Donovan deftly combines humor, suspense, and romance into a delightful tale. The story line is fast-paced and action-packed, but also insures the characters are fully developed including the frightened little Chinese Crested canine. Thus the audience receives a strong novel in which the stalking killer is often forgotten while the quartet of interrelationships form. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME is a fun, funny frolic.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner