by Cynthia Chow
& Diane Kelly
This week we have a review of a fun K-9 related mystery, The Long Paw of the Law, by Diane Kelly. We also have a fun pet related guest post by Diane. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Long Paw of the Law along with a link to purchase the book from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
The Long Paw of the Law: A Paw Enforcement Mystery by Diane Kelly
Review by Cynthia Chow
There are no immediate baby plans in the future for ambitious young Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz, as she is determined that nothing will come in her way of becoming a detective as soon as possible. A baby does soon take over her professional life though, a result of the Texas Safe Haven Statute of 1999 declaring that infants can legally be left in designated safe places. In this case that’s the Fort Worth Fire Department, where Megan’s fireman boyfriend Seth has contacted Megan officially to assist with Child Services. When Megan spots the word “help” sewn into the infant’s quilted blanket, she calls her K-9 partner Brigit into service to follow the scent back to the man claiming to be the father. Although the trail is cut off, further clues in the blanket point towards the People of Peace, a church commune that closely resembles a cult.
While legal roadblocks prevent Megan and Brigit from searching the church property for the mother, they continue to investigate the background of mysterious leader known as Father Emmanuel. It’s a task Megan balances with her daily patrols, which has them following up on a series of auto and home burglaries linked to the thefts of garage door remotes. As narratives alternate between Megan, Brigit, and the arrogant Father, the clock ticks down on multiple investigations, with the direst being the fates of the baby’s parents.
This continues to be an outstanding and compelling series, one that makes the thoughts of a police dog as realistic as they are hilarious. Brigit’s opinions on Seth and Megan’s “wrestling” skills are a delight, but her bond with her police officer partner is undeniable. Megan and Brigit trust one another completely, and they are so much more than just canine and handler. Roommates and best friends, they are an effective police team who one never doubts will track down their criminal prey. Just as admirable is Megan’s human mentor Detective Audrey Jackson, a relationship that proves to be an enviable example of women helping one another to succeed.
Fans of Diane Kelly’s Tara Holloway series will enjoy a brief cameo by the IRS investigative agent, but it is Megan who refuses to give up as she follows her suspicions towards the peaceful church community. The reality of the limits of police work is balanced with the rewarding moments of successful arrests, especially when done so with the involvement of the focused and disciplined Brigit. The history of cults in Texas, some ingenious detective work, and the always delightful K-9 officer make this novel as entertaining novel for police procedurals fans as it will be for those who truly consider dogs to be their best friends.
Dogs and Their Funny Bones
by Diane Kelly
People have dogs as pets for any number of reasons. They may want a sweet companion, another creature to keep them company and offer comfort. They may want a playmate, a dog with whom they can run or walk, or play fetch with in the yard or park. They may want a watchdog, a pet with keen ears to warn them of a potential security breach with an alarm of arf-arf-arf! So why did I bring three mutts into my home? For all the reasons mentioned above and also, admittedly, for the comic relief.
Is your dog a canine clown? An amusing mongrel? A witty tail-wagger? My dogs seem to have well-developed funny bones, and I bet yours do, too. Dogs seem to know that our laughter means they’ve done something to please us, that a giggle is an equivalent of “good dog!”
Years ago we had a greyhound named Tawny. A family member who is not an animal lover came to visit for a few days. Though Tawny all but begged this person for some type of acknowledgement—a head pat, a word or two in hello—none was forthcoming. As we animal lovers can attest, the saying “love me, love my dog” exists for a reason. I found myself growing increasingly annoyed that this guest refused to give Tawny the time of day. When she’d been ignored one time too many, Tawny performed an act of canine retribution. When this houseguest wandered sleepily into the kitchen one morning for a hot cup of coffee, Tawny snuck up behind the guest and deftly inserted her ice-cold nose in the most personal of places. Ignore me, will you? While my guest shrieked in shock, I had to fight from shrieking in laughter. I swear Tawny smirked. She certainly had our guest’s attention now!Reggie, our Dalmatian/American bull terrier cross, once performed a comic bit as my husband and I unloaded boxes after a move. We’d been so busy finding places to put our stuff that we’d paid no attention to what the dogs were doing. When we tossed some packing paper on the growing discard pile, the stack suddenly began to shift. Out popped Reggie’s face, bearing a broad smile. Surprise! She earned big laughs and a treat for her efforts. Reggie also loves water, and when she wanders into the neighborhood pond to swim a lap or two, she also laps up water with her tongue as she dogpaddles about. When we chuckled the first time, she looked our way as if registering “hey, this act gets a laugh.” She’s repeated the bit every time she’s gone in the pond since, glancing our way as if to cue our laugh track.
Dogs lay on their backs and wriggle and woof. They drape their heads over their human’s thighs and bat their eyes. They hide in unexpected places and dart out just in time to surprise us. No one will ever convince me that they don’t know exactly what they’re doing. With all the laughs dogs bring to our lives, I hope the canine comedy show never ends.
To enter to win a copy of The Long Paw of the Law, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “paw,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 17, 2018. 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.
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