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Publisher's Summary

The Tail Waggin' Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who's filming the festivities. She's critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake - and as a matter of fact, that's exactly what they're both going to do....

It's the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the 80 or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore - with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard - but Lauren is dragged out stone-cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound, Socrates, at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation - whether he wants her to or not....

©2018 Bethany Blake (P)2018 Tantor

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another excellent animal lover mystery!

As <strong>Pawprints and Predicaments</strong> by Bethany Blake opens, the small town of Sylvan Creek in the Poconos is having its popular Tail-Waggin' Winterfest. The event features charity fundraisers and tours of Bear Tooth Forest, including the local legend of the Lake Wallapawakee St. Bernard, a ghost dog who lives in the forest. But the highlight this year is a polar bear plunge in the lake, an event in which Daphne Templeton, pet sitter, has agreed to take part. With little organization, the 80- some people joining in the activity create a mob, with people's getting jostled badly, and Daphne gets pushed underwater. When she surfaces, she finds her hands wrapped in hair, pulling up the body of Lauren Savidge, the field producer of the show America's Most Pet Friendly Towns, in Sylvan Creek to film an episode of the show. Calling out for help, Daphne gets rescued by Detective and former Navy Seal Jonathan Black, and an unknown St. Bernard jumps in to pull Lauren to shore. Is this the mysterious Lake Wallapawakee St. Bernard? He then disappears into the forest.

It doesn't take long before the coroner determines that someone bashed Lauren on the head with a rock, making it murder. Because Jonathan's ex-wife, Elise Hunter-Black, was seen holding an argument with Lauren, the detective has to recuse himself from the case. Then, Gabriel Graham, owner and sole writer for the local newspaper, produces the mysterious St. Bernard, calling him Bernie and hiring Daphne to take care of him. But one thing is missing. When Bernie rescued Lauren, he had an old-fashioned cask around his neck. But it is gone now. Despite the strong cautions by Jonathan against investigating, Daphne can't prevent herself from poking into things.

I have enjoyed all the books by Bethany Blake I've listened to, and <strong>Pawprints and Predicaments</strong> is no exception. The many red herrings in the case add to its fun mystery. There are many twists that create plenty of diversions. The characters have plenty of details to them, with Daphne's having a philosophical quote for every situation. The animals have even more depth than the humans. Socrates, the basset hound, is very wise and dignified. Artie, the one-- eared chihuahua with a severe overbite, can be described only as exuberant and full of the joy of life. Further, Bernie is cuddly and sweet. We come to appreciate all the animals and see the creativity in the human characters.

Elise Arsenault gives a great performance in this book. She sounds realistically as one might expect Daphne, a free spirit with a Ph.D. in philosophy, to sound. Her voices for the various characters are effective, especially the enigmatic but highly efficient Jonathan. Further, her depictions of the dogs add to the flavor of the book.

<strong>Pawprints and Predicaments</strong> is a really creative, fun book that I thoroughly enjoyed. There is plenty of humor in it to make it all the more pleasurable. I will eagerly anticipate the publication of the next audiobook. I give this book five stars.

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A a great entry in a delightful series

I love Bethany Blake's Lucky Paws Pet Sitting Mysteries series. I have read everyone that's been released so far and they get better and better. Elise Arsenault's narration makes it sparkle.