A Dog Gone Murder: Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper
by Elaine Viets
Review by Sherry Lilley
Signet Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451465986
Date: 04 November 2014 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Mystery shopper Josie Marcus's latest assignment is dog day care centers seeking certification from the dog day care organization. The first center she is to mystery shop is Uncle Bob's Doggy Day Camp. Uncle Bob is known for his crazy commercials, and for Ralph, the talking dog. Josie arranged to take her mother's shih tzu, Stuart Little, to Uncle Bob's for a morning of doggie day care and an afternoon of grooming and pampering. However, the night before she is to take the dog, her mother's tenant, who works at Uncle Bob's, reveals that Uncle Bob doesn't even like dogs. In fact, he’s mean, one might even say abusive on occasion, to the dogs. Uncle Bob's staff is great with the dogs, but not Uncle Bob.
The tenant, Frank, has decided to quit Uncle Bob's, but agrees to stay on one more day to make sure Stuart Little is safe. As soon as Stuart Little leave doggie day camp and goes to the groomer, a person Frank knows will keep Stuart Little safe until he is picked up by Josie and her mom, Frank goes into Bob's office and quits.
When Jose and her mom get to Bob's to pick up Stuart Little, Josie asks to speak to Bob. When she goes to his office, she finds him on the floor, alive, but not by much. Somebody poisoned Bob, and among the suspects is Frank. Frank was the last person known to speak with Bob before his death, and it was not a friendly conversation. Frank is a special friend of Jane's, and Josie just has to clear his name. She knows he didn't murder Bob. But who did, and why? Was it a client whose dog Bob abused? Was it his wife? After all, Bob and his wife are separated, even though they are keeping that little fact secret from the public. Perhaps it was a disgruntled employee.
Along with solving the mystery of Bob's death, Josie has other dog day care centers to visit and a tweener daughter to cope with. Not to mention, she is a newlywed. It's enough to keep the story moving along, and hold your interest.
This is a good book. It's well-written, with a good story, engaging characters and an interesting subject. The research that went into this book is apparent, especially if you take the time to read the shopping tips at the back. They're very interesting.