by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase the book from Amazon.
As the owner of the Sugar Maple Inn in the town of Wagtail, Virginia, Holly Miller is used to being surrounded by a huge assortment of four-legged friends. After all, Wagtail Mountain has established itself as a place that caters to everything human companions could ever need, from specialized veterinarians to clothing stores and restaurants. What Holly didn’t expect was to wake up with a strange dog in her bed, although it is followed by the far more delightful surprise of recognizing that Radar belongs to her cousin Joshua Paxton. Josh is keeping his arrival in Wagtail a secret in order to surprise their Oma Liesel Miller for her birthday, despite her declarations that she doesn’t want to make a big deal out of her upcoming birthday. To keep the surprise Joshua is camping out in the woods with Radar and a new girlfriend, who has her own reasons for wanting to keep their presence hidden. When Holly has to once again return a straying Radar to their campsite she has the unpleasant experience of finding not Josh or Dana, but the body of one of the Inn’s guests instead.
As much as Holly might prefer to let the police handle the matter, a cloud of suspicion now hovers over both the Inn and her family. Complicating matters is the unexpected arrival of Holly’s father, not only because he too is accompanied by a new female companion, but because it is not his second wife. Holly’s stepbrother and stepsister are less than thrilled with the new situation, but Holly’s mother Nell DuPuy Miller Goodwin has since moved on and has the most mature and welcoming reaction. The clingy Carole Hobson doesn’t do much to endear herself to the family nor to Wagtail itself, especially since she seems to have no affection for the pets that are central to the town’s existence. Cryptocurrency, multiple cases of stalking, and the upcoming birthday celebration all put a deadline on Holly’s investigation.
This ninth in the series makes it easy for new readers to jump in by introducing new characters who may also be unfamiliar even to longtime fans. The relationship between Holly’s parents is complicated but realistic, and readers will quickly grow invested in seeing how it develops. Holly’s own romance with Holmes Richardson is going along smoothly, and theirs is but one of the multigenerational flirtations simmering in Wagtail.
Animal lovers will of course appreciate the devotion given to the non-human guests and residents, with human and dog-friendly recipes included at the end. This is the embodiment of a perfect cozy mystery series that continues to evolve and tackle timely themes and topics. Holly and her human and her many four-legged friends delight with their good humor, clever banter, and dedication to helping all those in need.
To enter to win a copy of The Dog Across the Lake, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “lake” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 10, 2024. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up this month.
You can also click here to purchase this book.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.