Howling Bloody Murder by Sue Owens Wright

Howling Bloody Murder by Sue Owens Wright
Publisher: World Wide Library
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Murder comes to beautiful Lake Tahoe with a serial killer dubbed the Tahoe Terror. Journalist Elsinore “Beanie” MacBean and her basset hound, Cruiser, unofficially assist the local law, looking for similarities among the victims—all powerful, well-connected businessmen. Police suspect the trail leads back to militant tribal councils and their fury against land developers, but whispers of the supernatural add an eerie twist to the case.

As Beanie—and Cruiser—spend a rather chilly Thanksgiving holiday with daughter Nona and her new and unlikable boyfriend, Beanie links the murders to a large corporation trying to a build a casino resort on Cave Rock. Soon, it’s a downhill race of life and death with a killer who has everything to lose if Beanie exposes the truth….

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I picked this book up because I love the idea of a basset hound mystery. The picture drew me right in. Cruiser, the basset, is a riot. He’s silly, roly-poly and everything a basset should be. The author wrote him in such a way I wanted to snuggle up on the floor with the big, silly pup.

There were other parts of the book that weren’t so snuggly. I’m all for a good mystery, but this one even I figured out whodunit before halfway. I didn’t figure out HOW, but who. The writing was a mix of drawing me in and easy to walk away from. Confusing, right? There were moments when I wanted to know more. I mean, the dog was a trip. Everyone who has ever had a dog knows the joys of tripping over them, the fun of having to give treats and the yum yum cabinet. In that respect, the author did a great job of portraying the dog and the life of the dog mom.

But then there were the parts of the book that were harder to get through. The mystery had some places to improve. In some places the pacing was a little slow and in others, it was a tad transparent. I wasn’t a fan of how the dog mom referred to the dog as being hefty often and the incident where the dog was accused of biting someone, but didn’t, bothered me. There are incidents when dogs do bite and it’s not great, but this was so quickly glossed over, it took away from the story to me. The heroine also seemed a little too perfect for me. She’s still grieving over her dead husband, but already has a boyfriend of sorts and gets to go to all these scenes of murder, but she’s only a reporter. I don’t know. It seemed a little too easy.

But the story itself is cute and the dog is the best. I loved Cruiser. If you’re interested in a dog mystery, then this might be the story for you.

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