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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hair of the Dog by Cindy Davis

Hair of the Dog by Cindy Davis
Publisher: L&L Dreamspell
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: Full Length (293 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Angie needs more than a little ‘hair of the dog’ the morning after her neighbor is killed—when she’s accused of the crime.

Angie Deacon thought her vacation in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire would be relaxing. But the dog next door would not stop barking. Finally she confronted the owner, Simon York at the local diner. Their ‘discussion’ ended in a near knock-down drag-out. The next morning he is found dead. And she’s the prime suspect.

Angie must seek out the real killer before they stuff her behind bars till her skin wrinkles and arthritis knobs her joints. Her search leads to a cosmetics factory that’s putting out some very questionable products. When the owner of the factory—Simon’s wife—turns up dead, Angie must prove she wasn’t involved before she becomes the next victim.

Fans of Ms. Davis will be excited to greet her newest romantic mystery; Hair of the Dog. Everyone’s favorite theater operator-slash-investigator Angie Deacon is back, desperately attempting to salvage the remnants of her vacation at the lake.

The local pub “Hair of the Dog” figures largely in the adventures in this one. As does a barking dog – actually, the barking dog really gets some front-action play, as it barks non-stop next to Angie’s rented cottage. The dog is the catalyst – she approaches the owner, unsympathetic and rude Simon. Of course, the interaction (that the police insist on terming ‘an altercation’) doesn’t help her out any when Simon is discovered in a pool of blood in his cottage. Angie gets a first look along with the police – and we can see what’s coming. She’s in up to her ears in solving this… and we can’t help but hope that the distant boyfriend will be back to help out. (If you didn’t read ‘Playing with Fire,’ you’re out in the cold a bit here, because you just don’t know how much Jarvis is worth waiting for.)

Dialogue is zippy and realistic and carries the story to a great degree. From gal-pals to confrontations, and more unexpectedly: the ins and outs of canine relationships, there really is never a dull moment, although I might wish for a little more (and earlier) action with the dashing Jarvis. When he does show up he’s still that fabulously attractive and intelligent cop we remember. There are plenty of lighter moments and flippant dialogue.

The setting is very wonderful: anyone who has ever visited the Lake Winnipesauke region of New Hampshire will get a special kick out of this. Between the signature drink, the hoot of a barman(who’s a Yankee when he wants to be,) and the fab fettuccine, I wish the Hair of the Dog really existed. A fun read – don’t miss.