Publication Date: October 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 304pp
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Linda O. Johnston on the WEB: website, blog, facebook
Shelter manager Lauren Vancouver, "an ardent advocate for homeless pet," has taught herself a new trick: sleuthing. Now she has a chance to hone her skills, as animal hoarding leads to one less human life...
When Lauren finds out that her old mentor, Mamie Spelling, is an animal hoarder, no is more shocked, and she jumps in to help rehome the cramped critters. But Mamie's troubles don't end there. She's accused of murder when the CEO of a pet shelter network is found dead. The aggressive businesswoman was bullying Mamie to join her organization by threatening to expose her hoarding, but that was before Lauren took control of the situation. Now, Lauren's dogged determination to clear her former friend of murder may put a killer on her tail...
Linda O. Johnston's Pet Rescue mystery series, isn't just about murder and mayhem. As with most cozy mysteries, there is more going on than just the whodunit. Johnston an animal lover and advocate is using her writing not only to give readers a great mystery but also as a platform for animal issues and awareness and I find that commendable. The first book in the series, dealt with issue of puppy mills and now in the second book, The More the Terrier, Johnston takes on the issue of pet hoarding, which is a huge concern. With shows popping up on television that have exposed the problem of hoarding in many areas, there is a new awareness, but I still don't believe many readers will be familiar with animal hoarding.
I thought this was a great premise of a mystery novel. I liked the fact that Johnston is educating the reader about animal issues they may not have been aware of while entertaining them well a first class whodunit. As with any cozy or mystery that I read, I am always looking at it to see if I think this could happen in the real world. The More the Terrier is definitely a story that is plausible. Hoarding a big issue, but more important to the mystery part of the story, blackmail can make people do some crazy things. There are also some fanatical people in this world and I could draw an easy parallel from Johnston's world to ours. The mystery aspect of the book is well written, with some intriguing suspects and motives that I didn't even think about. This one had me guessing all the way to the end, which is good thing!
Johnston continues to strengthen the main character, giving her new situations and real reason to do some sleuthing. Lauren Vancouver is one of those characters that readers just automatically fall for. She is smart and she has a big heart. Animals are creatures that a lot of times can't help themselves, they need an advocate and Lauren is that person. That's why it was so believable that she would want to find out who the killer was, not just because the murder involved her former mentor, but because it was related to the plight of these critters she cares so much about. The author is able to allow the reader to learn more about Lauren in a very subtle way that doesn't take away from the theme of the book or the mystery itself. It's like finding little crannies of goodness left on the cookie plate.
I really enjoyed this one because I am an animal lover myself and I think readers will appreciate Johnston's commitment to animals. Readers will love Lauren and the rest of the cast and look forward to learning more about her. I recommend this one to pet lovers, cozy mystery readers and anyone interested in animals. It's just one of those series' that offers a little more than the average fare.
The More the Terrier is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Linda O. Johnston is a lawyer and a writer of mysteries, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. She lives in the hills overlooking the San Fernando Valley with her husband, Fred, and two Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Lexie and Mystie.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The More the Terrier by Linda O. Johnston.
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