Saving Ferris By A. R. Kennedy: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

Apr 27, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy
& A.R. Ferris

This week we have a review of Saving Ferris by AR Kennedy, and also an interesting guest post by AR about pets being family not property-a major theme in the book. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Saving Ferris. There is also a link to purchase it Amazon.

Saving Ferris by A. R. Kennedy
Review by Sandra Murphy

Cecilia has suffered a lot of loss lately. First, her beloved father-in-law died. Before she can adjust to his passing, her husband is killed in a work accident. She’s left in a house she didn’t pick, a town she didn’t choose, and with a dog she didn’t want. Ferris was always more Joey’s dog. A big, goofy, golden retriever, he’s uncoordinated, slobbery, and enthusiastic always. He’s not what she’d choose to be her family.

She’s not been popular with the townspeople—she wasn’t born there and is from the city. They expect she’ll move back as soon as the funeral is over. They’re even calling realtors for dibs on her house. Family is no better. What they didn’t count on is how much she loved Joey. He loved the house, the town, and Ferris, so here she stays. book

Late one night, Ferris insists on going into the backyard. She doesn’t trust him to come back in quickly and goes with him. Once in the yard, she’s attacked. When the intruder threatens Ferris, she does just what Joey would want—she gets his gun and shoots.

In what should be an open and closed case of self-defense, problems arise. The prosecutor has ambitions far beyond the small town and thinks this is a criminal case he can win plus draw a lot of publicity. Cecilia is arrested, against the best judgement of the police chief.

This is information readers can find on the back cover, so not spoilers. There are still enough unknowns and complications to keep the mystery moving at a good pace.

Although the book is touted as a woman recovering from inconceivable loss to be open to living again, the heart of the matter is Ferris. Cecilia shot the intruder because he threatened Ferris. The law says Ferris is not family; he’s property. People can protect themselves and family but not property.

This book is well-researched on a volatile topic. How do you put a value on a pet? Is he family or “just a dog”?

The characters are well-drawn, many of them, people you’d like to know, depending on your answer to the question above. From the first few pages, readers will be dragged into the story and held captive until the end. The highest compliment a reader can give is this—the book is 386 pages. I read it straight though in one sitting and wanted more. This will be on my Best Reviews of 2019 list.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won’t see coming.

Pets Are Family Too
by AR Kennedy

The old adage goes “Money can’t buy you happiness.” The author of this saying must have never used their money for an adoption fee for a dog. Because to have a dog is true happiness. (Cat lovers don’t be mad! I can only speak about my life with my dogs.)

I’ve lived with many people over the years — family, college roommates, friends, boyfriends, etc—and not one has ever met me everyday overwhelmingly happy to see me. Not even close.

But my dogs are always happy to see me. Even if I’ve only been gone a few minutes, I’m met with wagging tails. After a long day at work, the tension of the work day dissolves as my two little pups dance around me.


A.R. Kennedy

In my home, my two dogs are considered family. It’s been like that since I was a child. My first dog, a miniature schnauzer my parents had when I was born, would get a cupcake for her birthday. She loved it! Some of my earliest memories are of her being presented with the cupcake, her taking off with it and eating every morsel.

Our poodle, the first puppy I ever had, went on vacations with us. The dogs I’ve had in my adulthood have been participating in holiday activities since their puppyhood. They open Christmas gifts, get Easter baskets, enjoy Easter egg hunts, and wear Halloween costumes! Without a doubt, they are a significant part of the Kennedy family.

Saving Ferris was born at the Writers’ Police Academy when I learned K-9 unit dogs are considered property after attending a class that discussed self defense laws. Upon returning home from the conference, through research, I learned all pets are considered property. It started the “What if?” question that all my stories start with.

“What if” an intruder threatened a dog?

How would the character react?

Why would they react that way?

And how would the police and prosecutor react to the homicide?

From there, Cecilia, Ferris, Holden, Briscoe and all the characters of Saving Ferris were created.

People often ask me, “Do you own a dog?” That’s an interesting concept that I never thought about until the Writers’ Police Academy. Do I own my dogs? The law says yes. But my heart says they own me.

I examine the dichotomy to how society and our laws treat pets in Saving Ferris. With research, I learned how pets have been treated during criminal cases, divorce trials, and malpractice suits. I read the devotion other pet “owners” have for their animals during these cases.

So, how does Saving Ferris’s Cecilia’s defense lawyer Wyatt Sewell defend her against the second degree murder charge? And how does the jury respond?

Read Saving Ferris to find out.

To enter to win a copy of Saving Ferris, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “ferris,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 4, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. 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 iTunes and Google Play. A new episode went up this week featuring Boxes in the Basement by Kathi Daley.

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

A R Kennedy was born and raised on Long Island, New York. (And no, she doesn’t have that Long Island accent). The finale of her Nathan Miccoli Mystery series, the 8th in the series, is expected in 2019.
When not working on her next novel, she works full time in healthcare to feed (and sometimes clothe) her two little dogs. Both are named after her favorite fictional characters from British entertainment, which few friends and neighbors understand.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. 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.


  1. Thank you for the great review!
    A R

  2. Certainly sounds unique!

  3. Love saving Ferris. Any dog book is a winner for me. Love dogs and I have a rescue dog named Bogie w ho is a wonderful companion. Thanks for this interesting feature and giveaway.

  4. I enjoy books that include animals! Thanks for the info and the chance to win this! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. Thank you for introducing me into A.R. Kennedy and her book. I am looking forward to learning more about this book and to have an opportunity to read it. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. New author to me. Love dogs featuring dogs, sounds like a goo book.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful book. I know what I’d do if anybody tried to hurt my dogs. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. The law works in mysterious ways.
    Not always sure who it is protecting.
    Sounds interesting and would
    love to read. thanks

  9. Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

  10. We have a winner!


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