by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this review on how to enter to win a copy of The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore.
Geri Sullivan and her partner Pepe have solved two murders, competed on the hit reality competition show Dancing with Dogs, and even stopped a dog-napping ring. These aspiring detectives-in-training operate under the license of the Seattle Gerrard Agency, whose questionable owner is Jimmy G, a third-person speaking, knockoff of a forties’ noir detective. It seems that Jimmy G has finally ponied up with a real case for Geri and Pepe that doesn’t involve picking up laundry or getting coffee. Their assignment is to meet with attorney Barrett Boswell regarding the five-million dollar estate the late Lucille Carpenter left to her four Cocker Spaniels, a seemingly perfect fit for this team.
To say that all is not what it seems is a gross understatement. First, Pepe happens to be a talking Chihuahua whom only Geri hears, and he’s a dog with tales of more harrowing experiences than any Seal Team Six agent. Whether they are actually true… Also, it seems that the ethically-challenged Jimmy G may actually be double-crossing them by working on behalf of Bernard Bickerstaff, the attorney representing Mrs. Carpenter’s disgruntled and disinherited children and step-children. That Geri and Pepe are the first to discover Bickerstaff’s body is both a sign of Geri and Pepe’s streak of bad luck, as well as a sign that perhaps the pair are in over their head. The rival attorneys Boswell and Bickerstaff shared an office, allowing both the opportunity to riffle through one another’s files as well as raise confusion over just who was the murderer’s true target.
Their investigation means cancelling on her date with trainer Felix Navarro, something a jealous Pepe regrets not in the least. Luckily for Geri, the unbelievably handsome vet Dr. Hugh Williams is around for both information and to serve as an appealing attraction in addition to Sequim’s famous lavender festivals. There’s no shortage of parties interested in the estate, including the caretakers who provide the pampered four-legged heirs with high tea, a trustee with possible conflicts of interest, and Mrs. Carpenter’s powerful and very resentful children. Their claim that she was not of sound mind because she talked to her dogs, well, that’s a little awkward for the detecting duo.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of this series, written by the writing team of Waverly Fitzgerald and Curt Cobert, is just how easily the reader succumbs to the premise of an intelligent, talking dog. In fact, it’s easy to be startled when other humans don’t respond to Pepe’s often over-dramatic, proclamations. That can be blamed on his love for telenovelas, from which he also gained rather elaborate scenarios of murder. The tone is appropriately humorous, but an underlying sense of seriousness appears as one learns more about the motives of the heirs. Geri still sees the counselor she saw to battle depression, a therapist who not surprisingly questions Geri’s grasp on her sanity and what is believed to be a four-legged incarnation of Geri’s subconscious. This latest in the series continues to delight readers and dog lovers with an often outrageously feisty Chihuahua, a sympathetic and resilient heroine, and a riotous plot that is entirely original and ultimately all comes down to the value of family.
To enter to win a copy of The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Sniffs,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 27, 2014. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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