Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Hounds Abound

Hounds Abound (Pet Rescue Mystery - Book 3) by Linda O. Johnston

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Penguin USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 304pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0425247051
ISBN: 0425247058

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Linda O. Johnston on the WEB: Webpage, Blog, Facebook

Books In The Series: Beagle Mania (2011), The More The Terrier (2011), Hounds Abound (2012)

Coverart: Click on the image for a clearer,larger picture of the books in this series.

Excerpt from Hounds Abound courtesy of Amazon's Inside Look Feature


Saving animals and solving murders seem to go paw in paw for shelter manager and amateur sleuth Lauren Vancouver. But this time, mixed up in a murder that may close a much-needed new shelter, she's perhaps too quick to catch the scent of the killer...

For Lauren, Save Them All the newest no-kill shelter in Los Angeles, is just what the vet ordered: a place for handicapped kitties and senior spaniels to find a loving home and a second chance. There's just one problem. It's charming owner, Bella Frankovick, is now suspected of murdering her ex-husband, a powerful and animal-hating cosmetic surgeon. And it's up to Lauren to use her bulldog grip on the case to rescue Save Them All and decide Bella's fate, while keeping herself and own critters safe from an unleashed killer...


Pet lovers and mystery readers alike will be impressed with Linda O. Johnston's latest cozy, Hounds Abound. Third in the Pet Rescue series, Hounds Abound takes on-no kill animal shelter's and a clever killer. Johnston's heart for pet rescue is evident in every page of this book. Her clear and concise writing style focuses in on the smallest of details and her descriptions take the reader right into the action. This is a whodunit that clearly has a deeper message.

Being a pet lover myself, this is a series that always strikes a cord with me. The only shelter we have where I live is not a no-kill shelter and that's heartbreaking. I loved the idea that Johnston puts forth in this book, of having a shelter specifically tailored to older and/or handicapped pets. An excellent idea and an excellent premise of Johnston's book. I liked the idea that this shelter has opened but in danger of being closed because of the owners financial entanglements with her soon to be ex-husband. That is definitely a believable scenario. The soon to be ex-wife being accused of murder is also plausible.

Lauren being asked to investigate is somewhat believable as well. This woman is a friend and fellow pet enthusiast. I can see Lauren wanting to help her out and prove her innocence, because of the shelter and because of her relationship with Bella. One of the things that I look at when I review or read a cozy is whether I think this story could have played out in real life and in this case, it's a definite yes! Both the victim and accused had a few more secrets than met the eye and enemies of their own, that could have wanted things to turn out this way. Johnston does a great job of showing motive and intent without giving away the killer until the end.

I didn't have this one tagged until the very end. I'm generally hard to stump with these things, but it does happen LOL! I liked the fact that I had to work for the solution a little bit. Johnston doesn't just say, here's what happened step by step. The reader has to be quite observant. Once I knew who the killer was, I saw how Johnston went about leading the reader right up the killer without really outing him/her. It was cleverly done and there were lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing throughout. What's a good cozy without a red herring or two?

This is a series that will appeal to many kinds of readers along with pet enthusiasts and cozy fans. There is a little something for everyone here and I think readers will agree that Johnston is a huge pet advocate and that her series is focused on pets and keeping them and the situation with overcrowding and euthanasia  in the forefront. The quirky characters and chaotic circumstances all add to the story itself and gets the message across to the reader without overwhelming them. A great addition to a very heartfelt series!

Hounds Abound is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

 Linda Carole Johnston (Osgood) is an American author of mystery and romance novels.

Johnston's first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the Year. Since then, she has had several more short stories published as well as numerous romance novels.

Johnston is a practicing attorney who splits her time between legal work and writing fiction. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1970 with an undergraduate degree in journalism with an advertising emphasis. Before obtaining her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law, she ran a small newspaper and then worked in advertising and public relations.

Johnston currently lives near Universal Studios in Hollywood, California along with her husband Fred and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs. She has two adult sons.


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway of one copy of Hounds Abound by Linda O. Johnston.

~You must be a GFC follow or an E-mail subscriber to participate.
~U.S. addresses only.
~Deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST May 10th .

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Nancy said...

Love Cozies and love animals so will love this book.

Karen B said...

This sounds like a great book/series!

Rachelle21 said...

I had not heard or seen anything about this series before. I will look for it when I go to bookstore.

Carol N Wong said...

I am very excited about this series. I hope to someday to be able to adopt a dog. Right now wondering about how to select a dog who would be OK with out birds, money for the adoption fee and money for apartment deposit after we move. Thinking of adopting a senior dog.

Really want to read this book.


Melissa Bo said...

This sounds like a great book!
I love cozies!

I dont have a dog right now..but they are wonderful pets!

lag123 said...

I have this one on my wish list. Great series!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Violette Severin said...

I would love to win this book but will buy it if I don't. As an animal shelter volunteer, I love everything about animals.

GW said...

I have a dog who i adore so i hope to win this book

Sue Farrell said...

My hounds want me to win this giveaway---they think I'll read it to them!

Martha Lawson said...

Sounds like a really good book! I'd love to be entered to win.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Renee said...

I have yet to read this series and can't wait!

Linda Kish said...

We have 4 rescued dogs and do foster work for dogs rescued from kill shelters. I love books about animals. Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

This sounds like a good read about animals and mystery.

Theresa N. said...

I've added it to my reading list.
Theresa N

mamabunny13 said...

I love a good cozy with animals in the mix!

Mary (mkdmom) said...

Looking forward to reading this next book in the series...loved the other two!

catslady said...

I enjoy books with animals so that and a mystery sounds like a fun read.


Chèli said...

read the first and loved it

glad there are more coming

Cheli's Shelves

Dolly said...

What adorable covers on this series!!! I have a huge soft spot for shelters, I need to read this series!