Begging for Trouble: A Dog Walker Mystery
by Judi McCoy
Review by Mel Jacob
Signet Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451232786
Date: 01 March 2011 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Ellie Engleman has a talent for understanding dog thoughts. It helps her unravel the identity of a murderer in Judi McCoy's fourth Dog Walker mystery, Begging for Trouble. She takes her boyfriend, police detective Sam Ryder to drag club to see her good friend Rob Chesney perform. However, investigating a disturbance backstage, Sam finds drag queen Rob holding the murder weapon with a corpse. The only witness is his tiny dog Bitsy. The police immediately arrest him, but Ellie doesn't believe he killed anyone.
A professional dog walker, Ellie restricts her clientele to small dogs. Most are spoiled, but fond of her. Her assistant resigned and left her with a full workload that gives her little time to investigate on Rob's behalf. She also has to contend with her mother's meddling.
Ellie has solved three previous murder cases with the help of her canine friends, but in each case put her life at risk. Sam, fearing she'll put herself in danger again, wants her to leave his case alone.
Few people liked the victim, and rumor has it he was blackmailing someone. Convinced prejudice and inadequate investigation will convict her friend, she works with the traumatized Bitsy to identify the murderer. Poor Bitsy only wants to forget the horrific event.
McCoy provides humor, fun, and an exciting climax with a few surprises for even the most astute mystery reader. To date four Dog Walker mysteries have been published: Hounding the Pavement (2008), Heir of the Dog (2009), Death in Show (2010), and now Begging for Trouble (2011). The fifth mystery, Till Death Do Us Bark (2011) is scheduled for August this year.