Friday, December 19, 2014

The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice (A Barking Detective Mystery #4)

Author:  Waverly Curtis
Genre:  Mystery

Four Stars
Aspiring P.I. Geri Sullivan's new case has got her talking Chihuahua, Pepe, hot under the collar. Wealthy widow Lucille Carpenter left her entire fortune to her beloved dogs, and someone is trying to poison them. Anyone who would hurt a perro is lower than a cucaracha in Pepe's book. But when Geri and Pepe investigate, they discover that it's not just the coddled canines who are in danger. Now there are human targets too.
At the lavish Carpenter manor, Pepe digs for clues among the pampered pooches, bitter relatives, suspicious staff, and larcenous lawyers. But there's only one diminutive detective smart enough to save the day--and the dogs...
Geri Sullivan is training to be a private investigator with Jimmy Gerrard, owner of Gerrard Investigations.  Getting a call from him, she is told that she needs to see an attorney, Barrett Boswell, the estate trustee, who believes that someone is attempting to kill dogs.  Yes, dogs.  It seems that Lucille Carpenter left her vast fortune and her home to her dogs. 
So she heads out from Seattle to Port Townsend, to to see her newest client with her dog and partner, Pepe.  Pepe is a chihuahua that talks.  Literally.  Except Geri is the only one that can hear him.  And since he's also pretty good at flushing out answers, due to his heightened sense of smell, Geri really needs him to solve cases, and since this one regards dogs, Pepe will be even more helpful.
When she arrives at Boswell's office, she discovers someone dead behind his desk.  At first she thinks it's her client, but when Boswell arrives shortly after her to disavow her of this notion, it turns out the dead man is another attorney, Bickerstaff, who had an office across the hall from Boswell.  Finding out the man was poisoned, both Geri and Boswell think that the person or persons trying to kill the dogs have now gone on to attempting to kill humans as well.
The fact that Mrs. Carpenter left her entire fortune to the dogs doesn't sit well with her children nor her stepchildren.  So it seems that all four of them have reason enough to want the dogs dead; after all, with no dogs, then the fortune will probably revert to them.  Geri has her work cut out for her with this case.
I thought that this was a delightful mystery.  It had enough twists and turns to keep me interested, and the author developed an inviting story with plenty of colorful characters to keep it moving along.  I would have given it five stars, but it was completely annoying that Jimmy G kept talking about himself in the third person.  It's almost as if he sees himself as a detachment - someone who isn't really who he is - but then again, maybe he does see himself as someone else.

Also, Geri states early on that she's grateful no one else can hear Pepe since it makes her look smarter, but then she has conversations with her dog right in front of people so that kind of nulls that fact.  If you have a talking dog, even one that's smart enough to help you with investigations, it's not going to make you look smarter by talking with (not to, but with) him with other people around.  It's going to make you look crazy.

Aside from this, the book was a fun read, and I look forward to the next in the series.  Recommended.


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Dance of the Scarecrows (A Jonathan Wilder Mystery #1)

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