Starting with a prologue that is told in a killer’s point of view, C.A. Newsome has added an interesting twist to the cozy mystery genre with the inse..Show More »t. While ostensibly the story is focused on a group of regulars at a dog park, the story works on several different levels that may be disconcerting for some readers.
Firstly, the dogs: I am a huge fan of do-related stories, and the particular insets of the many dogs and their associated personalities, as well as their relationships and correlations to their owners is cleverly done. There are several characters introduced in the story, and it does make it a bit more difficult to narrow down the more important players from the group. What is very well done is the cold, calculating and distinctly written and narrated point of view insets from the murderer him (or her) self. Kudos to the author for the stylistic switch: and to the narration by Jane Boyer in which she imbues a harder and more calculating quality to the voicing of those sections. It is a quality that is often overlooked in audiobook narration, particular intention behind a character’s narration and tone, and she excelled at this story.
But back to the story itself: I really did enjoy this, even with the lack of a comeuppance for the murderer, or even a sense that you are certain the murderer has been named. Possibly muddled by the many characters, there was a sense that the second book will not only provide the reason for this murder, and fully explain the intentions of the culprit. In this, the mystery portion of the story has the potential to disappoint some readers who want to have a final wrap up that is defined and obvious, but I particularly appreciated the openness and quality of the stylistic differences that made this story unlike any I have previously encountered.
I own this book in two forms, I purchased a Kindle copy, and I was fortunate to win the AudioBook version of the story. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Aritst Lia Anderson is donating her time to paint murals at a local convalescent home. To keep paying the bills, she's working an evening job scoring ..Show More »academic proficiency tests. There, she meets and befriends Desieree Wallis, a budding young jeweler who is also a friendly, funny pocket-sized sexpot.
Desiree has a rescue beagle named Julia, who is constantly stealing and squirreling away small items--often, but not always, Desiree's underwear. She also has a stalker, someone who is leaving her little dolls, and once a whole diorama, made of cleverly folded tinfoil. What she doesn't know is that he's also gotten a camera into her bedroom.
When Desiree is killed by an intruder in her apartment, Lia takes Julia, and also inherits the stalker.
But she's had a fight with homicide detective boyfriend Peter, and the team investigating Desiree's murder are on the wrong track and don't take the evidence of a stalker seriously. Lia's on her own. Well, on her own except for her dog park friends, and her own dogs.
I read the first dog park mystery--A Shot in the Bark--and enjoyed it, but apparently missed the next two. As much as I enjoyed that first one, it did have some weaknesses in plot and characterization. It was still a fun read, though! Sneak Thief is just as much fun, and much stronger in plot and characterization. Lia is actually a strong female lead, rather than merely clearly being intended as such. The clues to the mystery are all present, along with well-done misdirection so the reader doesn't figure it out too soon. And Lia, Peter, and their friends have clearly been growing as characters over the course of the books I missed. Newsome has developed a lot as a writer, and in all the right ways.
Read this. You'll have a lot of fun.
I received a free copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.