Four Dog’s Sake by Lia Farrell

Four Dog’s Sake by Lia Farrell
Publisher: Camel Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (264 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

On a hot, humid July 4th evening in Rosedale, Tennessee, a young man is dead on arrival at the hospital where Dr. Lucy Ingram works. Lucy recalls the affable young man, Chester Willis, from an earlier visit. The death is pronounced a suicide from an overdose of the insulin used to treat his diabetes, but Lucy isn’t convinced. The man just wasn’t the suicidal type. She pushes for another autopsy, and they find an injection site proving that someone else administered the deadly dose. Later in the week his ailing father dies as well. Now there is the matter of the father’s will.

Who stood to benefit if Chester was taken out of the equation? The easy answer is Chester’s brother Rick, who is in debt and has an expensive fiancée. Then there’s Brooke, the struggling massage therapist the old man befriended. The will has made her a wealthy woman.

Sheriff Ben Bradley and Lucy’s boyfriend chief detective Wayne Nichols are on the case, along with newly appointed investigator dory, Ben’s girlfriend Mae December, and the rest of Ben’s office staff. Soon they must accept that there will be no easy answers. The heat has tempers flaring, and Wayne, Ben, and Mae are distracted: Wayne by his changing relationship with Lucy and by having to cope with dark episodes from both their pasts, Ben and Mae by his reelection campaign and the couple’s upcoming wedding. Then there is cupcake, the new basset hound puppy owned by Ben s son Matthew, who becomes the fourth canine to take up permanent residence at Mae’s house.

He was a healthy young man who had diabetes and was here to care for his father who has congenital heart disease. And, yet, he was the one who died first…

The author does an amazing job of character development. There are a lot of players in this story but they are all interesting and it takes all their skills to determine Chester was murdered and who the killer was. I found myself caring about them all. I even enjoyed Mae’s four dogs.

Mae helps Sheriff Ben with his cases. She’s good at getting people to talk to her. When you add in a doctor and coroner and all the folks from the cop shop, Ben has a real good team. He’ll need it for this case. There’s a lot of action in this read and it all flows well. Ben has to sort out what he finds out and figure out what’s important and what’s not.

The old man knew he was getting close to death. He had made his will leaving the majority of his wealth to his two sons. When Chester died, he changed his will. The oldest son is trying to contest it after his father’s natural death. Was it one of the two inheritors that killed Chester? Who else would have cared about him?

There are secrets in everybody’s closet in this story. The author stayed ahead of me. I had one suspect, then another. It isn’t until the very end you get the motivation of the killer. This is a fast paced cozy that keeps your attention all the way through. I’ll be watching for more in this series.

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