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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 and Order (Paw Enforcement, #2)

Paw and Order  - Diane Kelly

1/2 star added because I know the author can write and write well.  This one just isn't her best example.  Definitely a series sophomore slump, in spite of an interesting crime plot and an intelligent MC who isn't TSTL.


Megan and her K9 partner, Brigit are assigned to the local rodeo and stock show to patrol and garner some good PR for the police department.  An escalating string of thefts gives Megan a chance to gain more experience before she's eligible for detective.  She's also got some romance issues that are keeping her hopping.


Even by my rather wide and tolerant definition, this is not best described as a cozy: I don't remember a lot of profanity, but there is a lot of crude and suggestive dialogue that would drive those sensitive-natured into a fit of the vapours. The author also has a strange fascination with testicles that I'm trying hard not to think too much about.  


I was hesitant about the first book Paw Enforcement because it was an alternating POV between Megan and the dog, Brigit, and I don't like animal POV narratives.  It also occasionally included chapters that were done from the POV of the bomber, and I typically don't like antagonist POV narratives, either.  But I really liked it - the dog had mostly dog thoughts and those chapters were short, and the bomber's POV was used sparingly and just enough to ratchet up a bit of tension without giving anything away.


None of that was the case in Paw and Order:  too much narrative from the dog, with the dog having more human thoughts than dog ones; I'm pretty sure, too, that a police K9 would be MUCH better trained to behave herself that Brigit.  The antagonists POV was used WAY too much and there was never any mystery about who she was.


I could easily see someone who'd never read Ms. Kelly's other work DNF'ing this one because they couldn't get past the metaphor abuse in the first 25% of the book.  If I noticed it, it was over-used.  The publisher has this one at 368 pages, and I suspect around 30 pages of that could have been eliminated by editing out a lot of the repetition (I didn't care about "Robin Hood"'s unfair life the first 3 times I read about it; I really didn't care after the tenth and don't get me started on Megan's self-inflicted romance angst.)


Speaking of romance, what the flip was going on with Megan's love life?  The whole cockamamie thing was just asinine.  I really like Seth, true, but the whole thing was just utterly pointless unless Ms. Kelly wanted me to think Megan needed to be hit over the head with her own baton.  Her behaviour was juvenile and inconsistent;  thankfully, it appears to be short-lived as well, as it seems all is resolved by the end of the book.


I highly recommend Diane Kelly's Tara Holloway series: it's fun, intelligent and well-written.  I'd recommend the first book in this series, too: Paw Enforcement, but I'm going to wait and read the 3rd book coming out this summer before I make an further decision about this series.  This one just wasn't as good as I know it could have been.