Berkley, March 2002, 21.95, 304 pp.
Holly Winter, proud owner of two beloved malamutes Kimi and Rowdy, is going through some hard times. She is recovering from a case of amnesia and related neurological problems, while trying to adjust to the fact that her long time lover and vet, Steve Delaney, married somebody else. To add injury to insult, Steve's wife is somebody Kelly absolutely despises for good reasons.
To get her mind off her personal problems, Holly spends some time with a group of pet owners and their dogs in a beautiful park in Newton, Mass. One of the members, Sylvia has a golden retriever named Zsa-Zsa who is rambunctious to the point of being dangerous. It is a shock when Holly and some other member of the group find Sylvia dead in the park, killed by a bullet in her chest. Holly goes into her sleuth mode and tries to ferret out the perpetrator.
It has been a long time since Susan Conant has written a book about everyone's favorite malamutes but the poignant mystery was well worth the wait. The relationship the heroine and her canines share is precious to behold while Holly's sense of justice encourages her to take risks that most people would not. THE WICKED FLEA is a delightful whimsical and humorous mystery that shows off the attributes of humans and canines that are rather similar in nature.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner