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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Paw Enforcement (Paw Enforcement, #1)

Paw Enforcement - Diane Kelly

Diane Kelly writes the most excellent Tara Holloway series and in 2013 released a short-story cross-over to this new series .  It was good, but I'm not generally a fan of multiple POVs, nor am I a fan of an animal having one of the POVs - both of which Ms. Kelly clearly intended to include in this new series.  But I really like her writing and I figured "what the hell" - and it languished on my TBR pile for almost a year.

 

Megan and Brigit inadvertently stumble across a bomb one day having lunch, ruining the bomber's plans by evacuating the building and avoiding any serious injuries.  Eager to make detective asap, she volunteers to assist the detective-in-charge in her off-time.  She meets Seth and his dog Blast from the bomb squad along the way, adding a bit of romantic tension to the story line.

 

The story started out rocky:  the writing felt a bit preachy, with too much philosophising as Megan is introduced and we learn how she ended up with a K-9 partner.  Everything felt too ramped up.  The book also started off with an alarming number of lists, and Brigit's canine thoughts were ridiculous; fortunately both became non-issues as the story progressed.  I also HATED the author's use of harm to animals, even though it was a small scene and ultimately crucial to the solution: she could have done it differently and I wish she would have.

 

After the first bomb went off, the story took off too: the writing smoothed out, the characters evened out and Brigid, though still getting her own very short chapters, acted more like the dog she is.  I don't think it added anything to the story itself, save for keeping everything lighter, but it didn't hurt the story as I expected it to either. 

 

I liked a lot: there's a realistic time-line; months go by instead of everything being crammed into a week.  The romantic element isn't rushed; there's tension but nobody is rushing to bed and there's a lot of baggage on both sides (but no melodrama).  Readers are going to discover Seth's baggage over time, right along with Megan if she sticks with him.  Finally, this isn't a typical cozy plot: there's no "big reveal" and the reader finds out who the bomber is before Megan - assuming the reader is paying attention.  All of this made for an incredibly refreshing change from the ordinary formula; so much so by the end I totally didn't mind having to read Brigit's thoughts.

 

I classified this as "cozy" on my shelf but it would seriously offend those with less tolerance.  Ms. Kelly doesn't tippy-toe around profanity and the flashback of how Megan ended up part of a K-9 unit is flat-out vulgar: like I said, I'd have used a gun, screw the taser.

 

 

[PopSugar 2015 Challenge:  A book with non-human characters.]